Middle school students love friendly competition, and word games can be an ideal context to help them study the meaning, structure, and spelling of words. In this lesson, students practice analyzing word meanings by learning root words and affixes. They work in a variety of ways with a list of about 20 common but challenging words to learn the definition and spelling of each. Then they get in small groups to design and play the Make-a-Word card game, during which they must form complete words with three cards: a prefix, a root word, and a suffix.
In creating and playing the game, students are using grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots to help them discover the meaning of a word. This resource would supplement a lesson or min-lesson on affixes. It could be used as an introduction to affixes or as an extension or review.