Word Sorts and Activities 

In the “Syllables and Affixes” stage of Word Study, as researched and reported in Words Their Way by Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton, and Johnston, students discover various rules that help them to spell two syllable words.   Students look at plural endings, compound words, the addition of a variety of inflectional endings, and open and closed syllable patterns.  The discovery of these rules and patterns helps students use the knowledge of short and long vowels that they obtained in earlier stages of Word Study and apply that knowledge to longer words.  Many activities and sorts that help students develop an understanding of these principles were suggested in the Teacher’s Guide and Student Activities For Shark Beneath The Reef.  This guide is available in the Teachers’ Resource Area for “A Great Catch.”

Continuing on with the study of the spelling of two syllable words, we now will look at various vowel patterns, prefixes, suffixes, and two features of spelling unique sounds.  Sorts for each topic are suggested based on sample words found in the individual articles.  Follow up activities and games to supplement your established classroom routines are also included. Below is a list of the articles and the Word Study topics that accompany each article.

Part 1: Renewable Energy Sources…

Really Strange Vowels!           

In the first section of A Breath Of Fresh Air, we read about renewable energy sources.  Our Word Study for this section will focus on the spelling of ambiguous vowels in multi-syllabic words.  We will look at the spellings for both the long and short sounds of oo, along with the /oi/, /ou/, and /ô/, sounds.

1. “Using A Really Big Power Plant”
The spelling of long oo   (oo,ew)

2. “Journey To The Center Of The Earth – A Conference Center Uses Geothermal Energy”                    
The spelling of /oi/  (oy,oi )

3. “It’s Not Just A Lot Of Hot Air….Kinko’s Uses The Wind!”
The spelling of /ou/  (ou, ow)

4. “The Mighty Whale Puts Waves To Work”
The spelling of /ô/  (au, aw)

5.“Biomass: An Alternative Energy Source”
The sound of short oo

Part Two: Using New Technologies… Using Prefixes

The second section of  A Breath Of Fresh Air contains articles that highlight people and companies that are taking steps to reduce air pollution using new technologies and techniques.  We will look at prefixes and their meanings in conjunction with these eight articles. Sorts are provided to allow students to discover the meaning of the prefixes and to spell the words.  A suggested activity follows each sort.  These activities may be used for any and all of the lessons in this prefix section.  You may find that some work better than others for your particular group.

The goals for learning these prefixes are to increase the student’s ability to understand new words that contain these prefixes and to practice spelling these words.

6. “Landfills:  A Heap or a Help?”
de- and ex-

7. “Cooking Curanto”
mis- and pre-

8.“A School Uses A Different Way To Save Energy – Cogeneration”
co- and sym-

9.“A Winning Combination: Wood Chips and Cogeneration”
dis- and over-

10. “What’s The Big Problem With Cars?”
pro- and re-

11. “SunLine Transit Travels In The Right Direction”
en- and trans-

12. “Cement Makers Solve Hard Problems!”
Number prefixes

13. www.helpenvironment.com
inter- and intra-

Part Three: Nature’s Natural Air Pollution Fighter – Trees…Going to the Root With Suffixes!

In the Syllables and Affixes stage of Word Study, various suffixes are studied and compared.  We will look at five of these suffixes: -ful, -less, -ly, -er, and –est.  It is important that students learn not only the meaning of the suffix, but that they also explore what happens to the “root” word when the suffix is added.

14. “They’re Nature’s Gift…….Trees”
-ly, -less, and -ful

15.“Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!”
-er and -est

Part Four: One Can Make A Difference…Different Spellings of Sounds

Sometimes there are rules that we can follow to help us determine what spelling choice we should make at the end of a word or syllable.  Sometimes we just have to memorize the correct spelling.  In “A Great Catch,” we looked at the ending –le and –el.  This is an ending that must be remembered.  In this Earth Adventure, we’ll look at one sound that has a regular helpful rule (/j/) and one ending that must be memorized /er/.  Because many of these features must be memorized, we will look at a limited number in each new adventure.

16.“Scott Bernstein Looks For Solutions”

17.“The Power Of One”
-er and –ir

Part Five: Putting It All Together…Put Your Word Knowledge Together, Too!

18. “Let The Sun Shine In – BP’s Sun Matches What It Feels About The Environment”



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