Word study


  • We all encounter words that we do not know during challenging reading assignments. Strategic readers try to guess meaning from context, but sometimes there is insufficient information given. Knowing several dozen prefixes, suffixes and root words allows readers to figure out many unknown words.
  • Provide students with a list of common word stems and encourage students to break apart unknown words to determine meaning.


  • Ask students to make a guess at the meaning of words before formal definition. They can check their guesses against accepted meanings.
  • WordStudy.gif
    Example of of word study applied to science common science terms
  • Here is file for middle school science as a starter:


  1. Kent School District list of root words
  2. Florida Online Reading Strategies (description, examples and additional references)
  3. EdHelper root word worksheets
  4. Core Knowledge comprehensive root word study guide (57-page pdf file; you might have to copy and paste this URL in the address bar: http://coreknowledge.org/CK/resrcs/lessons/05_8_GreekLatinRoot.pdf)
  5. Just Google "root words"