Building Vocabulary: Greek and Latin Roots


ELAR-Grade-6 Foundational Skills Building Vocabulary: Greek and Latin Roots
Students learn the influence of Greek and Latin on the English language. They build and decode words using Greek and Latin roots and apply their new vocabulary words in writing.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn the influence of Greek and Latin on the English language. They build and decode words using Greek and Latin roots and apply their new vocabulary words in writing.

Objectives

  • Determine the meaning and use of Greek and Latin roots.
  • Use words containing Greek and Latin roots.

Duration

One class period.


English contains many words of Greek and Latin descent. In fact, the word descent itself is made up of the Latin prefix de- and root scent. It’s estimated that 60 percent of English words have Greek or Latin roots. The more of these roots you know, the more quickly your vocabulary expands.

Objectives

  • Determine the meaning and use of Greek and Latin roots.
  • Use words containing Greek and Latin roots.


Greek alphabet

So many English words are based on Greek and Latin, that when there are new inventions that need names, they are often based on those ancient languages.


Look at the following list of modern innovations, and try to guess which names derive from Greek or Latin.

A) Internet
B) computer
C) telephone
D) automobile
E) hip-hop
F) vaccine
G) pajama

All but two of the words originate from Greek or Latin roots. Hip and hop both originate from German, and pajama originates from Persian.


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