Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Fluency and Word Study.

Teaching Word Parts


One of the most effective decoding strategies for students in grades 3-5 is to chunk words into parts. These word parts are meaningful and/or are easily pronounced. They consist of compound words, onsets and rimes, prefixes, suffixes, and inflectional endings. In this activity, you will select words that contain a similar word pattern and plan a lesson to teach these words. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assignment.

Before you begin, review the kinds of word parts:

  • Compound words - two words that combine to form a new word; must have the meaning and pronunciation of both words (e.g., baseball)
  • Onsets - all consonants that precede the vowel in a syllable or word (e.g., str in street)
  • Rimes - the vowel and all consonants after it in a syllable or word until the next vowel
  • Prefixes - any syllable attached to the beginning of a word that changes the meaning of that word
  • Suffixes - any syllable with meaning attached to the end of a word that changes the meaning of that word
  • Inflectional endings- a special set of suffixes that change the number, case, or gender when added to nouns or tense when added to verbs

In this activity, you will select words from a text you are using and categorize them based on their similar word patterns. You will then develop a lesson plan for teaching those words for a given pattern unclear that appears frequently in the text.

  1. First, review a text or portion of text you plan to teach.
  2. Select those words that your students may have difficulty reading or understanding.
  3. Categorize the words based on their similar word parts, using the Teaching Word Parts (PDF) chart (an example is given for each component of word structure).
  4. Next, decide which category contains the most words and plan a lesson to teach those words and word parts before or after students read the text.
  5. Develop a lesson plan that addresses the following information:

    Modeling and Demonstration:

    • How will you help students to chunk each word?
    • How will you demonstrate the chunking process used to read these words?
    • How will you explain the importance of this strategy to your students?
    • What chart(s) might you construct with your students to support their understanding?

    Guided Practice:

    • What instructional strategy or prompt will you use to help students think about other words with a similar pattern?
    • What words do you expect to elicit from students?
    • What tasks will you assign to students to use in groups?
    • How will students practice reading these words rapidly in isolation and in phrases?
    • How will you support struggling readers?

    Independent Practice:

    • How will students demonstrate knowledge and use of the strategy in independent reading?
    • What ongoing opportunities will you provide students to practice the strategy?


    • How will you document students' understanding and use of the strategy?

Next > Developing Vocabulary

Session 2: Printouts | Assignments | Resources


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