Building Vocabulary: Greek and Latin Roots


ELAR-Grade-7 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. Then they learn about oxymorons.

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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. Then they learn about oxymorons.

Objectives

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

Duration

One class period.


Out of the linguistic remains of ancient Greek and Latin arose many new languages, including Old English, which evolved into our modern English. Many of the building blocks of English words come from Greek and Latin—words like decade and epicenter are descendants of the languages of the ancient writers, Homer and Virgil.

Objectives

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


ancient Roman ruins

Ancient Rome


Consider this famous Latin quotation from Virgil:


Amor omnia vincit. (Eclogues X)

Love conquers all.   


Write words you think could be descended from the Latin word vincit. To post more than one word, separate them with commas, like this: kind, kindness

Post your answer

Examples include victor, victory, victim, victimizer, invincible, victorious, evict, conviction.

Vincit is a form of the Latin verb vincō and survives in English through the root vict or vinc, meaning conquer.


If you learn Greek and Latin roots, not only can you expand your English vocabulary, but you can also impress your friends by reading this quote from Roman Emperor Julius Caesar:


“Veni, vidi, vici.”

The phrase means “I came, I saw, I conquered.” It is attributed to Julius Caesar following his victory at the Battle of Zela. The phrase is used to refer to a swift, conclusive victory. 


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