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Lessons
Flip-a-Chip: Examining Affixes and Roots to Build Vocabulary
Discipline
Reading
Grades
6, 7, 8
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Professional Commentary

In this lesson, students are introduced to the Flip-a-Chip vocabulary activity. To begin the activity and model the procedures, teachers show how prefixes, suffixes, and roots can be combined to form new words. Following some whole group demonstrations, students work in small group to develop vocabulary chips and corresponding paragraphs. Each group creates a packet containing word parts that are printed on poker chips and paragraphs with blanks for the four words that can be flipped from their chips (e.g., impose, impress, suppose, and suppress). Students then exchange their packets to see if the context clues in the paragraphs are strong enough to enable other classmates to fill in the words correctly. This activity works well as a follow-up to an introductory vocabulary lesson. It provides an opportunity for students to apply their understanding of roots and affixes. (author/ncl)


Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
Grades 6–12
Language
Grade 6
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
L.6.4 
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  1. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  2. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).
  3. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  4. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
Grade 7
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
L.7.4 
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  1. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  2. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., belligerent, bellicose, rebel).
  3. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  4. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
Grade 8
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
L.8.4 
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  1. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  2. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).
  3. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
  4. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
Ohio English Language Arts Standards (2001)
Acquisition of Vocabulary Standard
Benchmarks (4–7)
A.
Use context clues and text structures to determine the meaning of new vocabulary.
E.
Use knowledge of roots and affixes to determine the meanings of complex words.
Benchmarks (8–10)
A.
Use context clues and text structures to determine the meaning of new vocabulary.
E.
Apply knowledge of roots and affixes to determine the meanings of complex words and subject area vocabulary.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 6)
1.
Define the meaning of unknown words by using context clues and the author's use of definition, restatement and example.
6.
Apply the knowledge of prefixes, suffixes and roots and their various inflections to analyze the meanings of words.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 7)
1.
Define the meaning of unknown words through context clues and the author's use of comparison, contrast, definition, restatement and example.
6.
Use knowledge of Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon roots and affixes to understand vocabulary.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 8)
1.
Define unknown words through context clues and the author's use of comparison, contrast and cause and effect.
6.
Use knowledge of Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon roots, prefixes and suffixes to understand complex words and new subject-area vocabulary (e.g., unknown words in science, mathematics and social studies).