WHAT IS MORPHOLOGY?
Morphology is the study of the meaningful units of words. Morphology is different from phonology which is the study of the sounds of words. Interested in phonology? We have a program for that too! Click here to learn more! A morpheme may have one sound, or it may have multiple sounds.
In morphology, we have base words, roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Sometimes you will hear prefixes and suffixes referred to as affixes. Base words are those words that have meaning all by themselves. For example, play. Notice that play may have multiple different meanings (the action you do at recess and what you perform on a stage), but you need the entire word. You can’t break it into smaller parts of meaning.
We can add information to base words using prefixes and suffixes. In this blog post, we will be showing examples of how we can add suffixes to show that an action happened in the past. We also call these past tense verbs.
There are many different types of past tense verb suffixes in English. There are so many, it is best to teach them with a systematic and explicit program. So, that is what I created.
The program is brilliantly simple. Using a Canva slideshow, you introduce the concept of past tense verbs to your students. I do not have this part in a slide. You can show a YouTube video or give a hands on explanation in your classroom. Past tense verbs are also a lesson in my Learning to Write program. You can check that out here.
Once students understand the concept of past tense verbs, they are ready for some of the suffix patterns. The number of patterns you teach to your students will definitely depend on their grade level. The program uses all of them, but you don’t have to teach every pattern.
This is a ten day program. You might think that is a lot of days to spend teaching one type of suffix, but you will see how powerful those ten days will be.
On each day, you will introduce one past tense verbs suffix pattern using the chart that references all of the rules. We want students to see that they are learning just one rule out of many. (I probably wouldn’t do this with kindergarten or maybe even first grade, but second graders and up can definitely handle it.)
You explicitly teach the rule and give some examples (all of this information is in the chart). Then, students get either their notebooks or a whiteboard ready. The slide after the chart has a base word that follows the pattern you just taught. Students apply what they learned to make the base word past tense. (We are working on creating past tense verbs, so all of the base words will be present tense verbs.)
Here is where the magic happens, after day 1, you will get a mix of the current rule being studied and the past rules. Students are constantly coming back to what they learned in the days before. This repeated, spaced practice allows time for forgetting and then remembering which is how we get the strongest learning. Are you worried your students will get too stressed out trying to remember the rules? This is a low-stakes activity. The answers are always given on the next slide. Kids can write down their answers, and immediately check for accuracy. When doing work like this, getting that immediate feedback is what makes learning sticky.
Curious about the order of the program? Check it out!
PAST TENSE VERBS SUFFIX 1
The most common suffix for making a verb past tense is -ed. For example, laugh becomes laughed.
Since this is the easiest and more common suffix for making a verb past tense, we teach it on day one of the program.
PAST TENSE VERBS SUFFIX 2
The second past tense verb suffix we teach is -d. We use this suffix when words end in e. For example, close becomes closed.
PAST TENSE VERBS SUFFIX 3
The third past tense verb suffix we teach is -ed for words that end in a vowel + y. For example, the play becomes played. We teach this as a separate rule to differentiate from the words that end in a consonant + y. We will learn about these words next.
PAST TENSE VERBS SUFFIX 4
The fourth past tense verb suffix we teach is -ied for words that end in consonant + y. We drop the y and add -ied. Some people say, “Change the y to i, and add -ed.” For example, hurry becomes hurried.
PAST TENSE VERBS SUFFIX 5
The fifth past tense verb suffix we teach is for words that end in a short vowel + one consonant. With these words, we double the consonant before we add -ed. For example, jog becomes jogged.
PAST TENSE VERBS SUFFIX 6
The final past tense verb suffix we teach are irregular past tense verbs. These words follow no specific pattern for becoming past tense verbs. For example, go becomes went. There are so many irregular past tense verbs that we spend five days learning them.
If you are counting, that is a full ten days of morphology instruction. Plus, we give you five more days of review to use directly after your initial ten days or interspersed for weeks to come.
This program sounds pretty amazing, right?! You would probably pay a lot, at least a few dollars, for the convenience of having everything prepped and ready to go, right?! Well, I am not going to ask you to pay a couple of dollars. In fact, I am not going to ask you to pay anything. You can have this program for free. Click the picture below to go to the view-only version of my Canva slides. It is yours to use to teach your students. Just please don’t sell it or give it away as your own work. One final ask. If you use this program and you love it, please show us some love and let people know about where you got it.
Here is the link. Just click on the picture.