Teaching prefixes and suffixes is crucial in 2nd grade to improve students’ reading comprehension and to expand students’ vocabulary. In this post, I’ll share some fun prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade to boost your students’ understanding.
I’ve included teaching ideas, resources, prefix and suffix grammar units, books, videos, games, and more. All of these prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade address 2nd grade Common Core Language standards focusing on word parts.
I hope some of these activities help you plan fun and engaging learning experiences for your students!
Prefix & Suffix Activities for 2nd Grade
Learning prefixes and suffixes is such a powerful skill. With this knowledge, students will be able to read and determine the meaning of unknown words. Understanding of prefixes and suffixes improves vocabulary and spelling, too.
Try these 11 prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade to help your students build a deeper comprehension of word parts and master this critical grammar skill.
Use an Interactive PowerPoint
Teach and model word parts and prefix and suffix meanings with an interactive PowerPoint that allows students to get involved in the lesson.
The teaching slides I use for prefixes and suffixes have modeling, whole group activities, partner work, and independent practice activities built in.
Identify Words with Prefixes & Suffixes in a Reading Passage
Identifying words with prefixes and suffixes in context is an important task because it will help students to differentiate between words that have a prefix or suffix added to a root word and words that don’t. The tricky thing for 2nd graders is that some words might look like they have a prefix or suffix added, but they really don’t.
For example, -er is a suffix that can be added to a root word. However, the word mother does not have a suffix. Also, the prefix re- is taught in 2nd grade, but the word rescue does not have a prefix.
Exposure to texts and words with prefixes and suffixes in them can help students better understand how they are used.
In my prefix and suffix grammar units, I spend one day a week having students identify words with prefixes and suffixes in reading passages. We call them “Grammar Gazettes” because they are really little news stories that I make up and use the grammar skill in.
Read Prefix & Suffix Books
Introduce or reinforce the concept of prefixes and suffixes with a read aloud that further explains and gives examples of the skill.
Try one of these prefix and suffix read alouds:
- If You Were a Prefix by Marcie Aboff
- If You Were a Suffix by Marcie Aboff
- Pre and Re, Mis and Dis by Brian P. Cleary
- Me First! Prefixes Lead the Way by Robin Pulver
- Ful and -Less, -Er and -Ness by Brian P. Cleary
Play Games Online
Education.com has a game called Prefix & Suffix Fish that will help students get some extra practice with prefixes and suffixes. Students will combine prefixes and suffixes with root words to create new words.Room Recess’s Prefix Popper game will help students practice identifying the meanings of different prefixes.
Practice with Prefix & Suffix Task Cards
Task cards are an excellent way for students to practice with prefixes and suffixes. They allow students to focus on one task at a time, which helps them stay engaged and motivated in the activity.
You can completely personalize task cards to meet your needs in your prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade. Have students determine the meaning of words when prefixes or suffixes are added, or have students identify the words that have prefixes or suffixes in a sentence.
Each week in my grammar routine, we have one day dedicated to completing task cards. I usually have students do a “roam the room” activity. I place the task cards in different spots around the room. Then, students work independently or with partners to answer each task card on an answer sheet.
Match Prefix & Suffix Words to Their Meanings
It’s important for students to get practice exploring how prefixes and suffixes affect the meaning of words. Provide a resource or activity to allow students to match words that have prefixes or suffixes added to their new meaning.
One of the activities in our prefix and suffix grammar units is a cut and paste matching activity. Students cut out words that have prefixes or suffixes in them. They match each word with its new meaning. Then, they glue the word next to its meaning.
Watch Grammar Videos
Videos present information to students in a new and different way. High-quality videos are an enriching addition to your prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade.
Here are some learning videos about prefixes and suffixes:
- Word Parts: Prefix, Base Word, Suffixes – Kids Academy
- Prefixes – BrainPop Jr.
- Suffixes – Mind Blooming
- Prefixes for Kids – Homeschool Pop
- Practice Prefixes – Scratch Garden
- Prefixes – Mind Blooming
- Suffixes -ful, -less, -ly, -able – Kids Academy
Include Grammar Songs
Maximize students’ learning and improve their ability to remember what they learn by using songs in your prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade. Teaching young students through songs and music activates multiple parts of their brain and helps them to retain information more effectively.
Try one of these prefix and suffix learning songs:
- Prefix or Suffix? – The Bazillions
- Wizards of Words – GoNoodle Blazer Fresh
- The Prefixes & Suffixes Song – Anchor Creative Education
- Prefix and Suffix Song – The Grammarheads
- Head Body Tail Song – Nessy
Build Words With Prefixes & Suffixes
Have students practice building words using prefixes, suffixes, and root words.
In our units for prefixes and suffixes, students complete a cut and paste activity to practice forming words. They cut out root words and glue them next to prefixes or suffixes the words can accurately be added to.
When you’re planning your prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade, consider making some word cards for students to use as manipulatives during your unit. This can be done quickly using a computer and printer, or even just with notecards and a sharpie.
Just write the prefixes and suffixes you’ll teach on some notecards. Then, write some root words that those prefixes and suffixes can be added to. Now you have an instant whole group or small group activity for building words!
Simple Prefix & Suffix Assessments
Assess your students in a quick and effective way to determine their mastery after completing your lessons and prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade. Assessments should allow students to show their ability to identify words with prefixes and suffixes in writing, determine the meaning of words using prefixes and suffixes, and apply words with prefixes and suffixes to their own writing.
Our no-prep grammar units include simple assessments to use each week that will show students’ ability in a quick and straightforward way. These assessments are designed to take students 15 minutes or less and they are very easy to grade.
If you’re looking for ready-to-use grammar resources, check out our yearlong second grade grammar series. These units include everything you need to teach, practice, and assess targeted grammar skills in just 15 minutes each day.
I hope you can use some of these fun prefix and suffix activities for 2nd grade in your classroom!
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