Real Spellers

English Makes Sense!

How do you study prefixes along with your students?  How do you -- together -- become familiar with the meanings of prefixes?  Additionally, do you group prefixes into a main prefix with different variations?  For example, look at this Etymonline description of (italics are mine):

ad- Look up ad- at
prefix expressing direction toward or in addition to, from L. ad "to, toward" in space or time; "with regard to, in relation to," as a prefix, sometimes merely emphatic, from PIE *ad- "to, near, at" (cognate with O.E. æt; see at). Simplified to a- before sc-, sp- and st-; modified to ac- before many consonants and then re-spelled af-, ag-, al- etc., in conformity with the following consonant (e.g. affection, aggression). In O.Fr., reduced to a- in all cases, but written forms were refashioned after Latin in 14c. in French and 15c. in English words picked up from Old French. In many cases pronunciation followed the shift.

We had the word come up last night during a football game (and all because the Razorbacks were looking "incompetent".  Never saw that connection before!)  I put on my prefix poster, but now I am wondering about that.  Obviously when I create a word sum or matrix for <appetite> I will use <-ad>, but am I going to put all the variations of <-ad> on my main prefix poster?  I'm not sure what I want to do.  Perhaps a very large sticky note with <-ad> in bold and the variations in smaller writing on the same note?

Any thoughts or experiences?



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