Suffix Lesson Plans

Lori Soard
Girl at whiteboard

Suffix lesson plans are readily available and easy to implement into your typical homeschool day. Lessons involving the use of suffixes are usually part of a wider study on parts of words, and you will likely also study prefixes, root words and their meanings.

What a Suffix Is

A suffix is a word part or affix that attaches to a base word to change the meaning.

Examples of Suffixes

  • Base Word: eat
  • Suffix: -ing
  • New Word: eating
  • Base Word: walk
  • Suffix: -ed
  • New Word: walked

List of Suffixes

There are some common suffixes that are used quite often.

  • -ed
  • -ing
  • -er
  • -tion
  • -sion
  • -fully
  • -est
  • -able

This is just a partial list of suffixes. Michigan Proficiency Exams lists a more complete list of possible suffixes along with examples of how they are used.

Free Online Suffix Lesson Helpers

You can find worksheets at the local teacher supply store and print them online for free. These are in ready supply, so the following lessons offer more of a unique perspective on studying suffixes.

  • Penalty Shootout: If your homeschooled student enjoys playing online games, then Penalty Shootout is an excellent time filler. Some homeschool parents even use these games as rewards for doing other work the student might not enjoy as much. The game winds up being so much fun that the student doesn't even realize he is learning about how to pair suffixes with base words correctly.
  • Jellyfish: Fill the fish tank with colored jellyfish by adding a suffix. You will also work with prefixes. Allows students to break the word down into its various parts and gives immediate feedback about whether or not the answer was correct.
  • Short Circuit: This game is created by Scholastic. Maggie is dealing with a computer short circuit and needs the student's help to fix it. You are "restoring Maggie's power to communicate" by matching suffixes to their meaning. For example, match the suffix -cent with the meaning "hundred". You will also work with suffixes.

Games and Quick Suffix Lesson Plans

There are many simple lessons and fun games that you can work into your homeschool to help your child understand what a suffix is and what it does.

Round Robin Stories

Gather a group of your own children or fellow homeschooled children. There can be an age and level difference. The first person starts a story and adds three words to it, such as "I will walk..." The next person must add a suffix to any new verbs and add three more words of their own. The example would change to "I walked to the park..." This continues until the story gets so long that the next person in line can't remember the story. The story can be as silly as you'd like. Have fun with this.

Index Card Matching Game

Use index cards to create base words and suffixes. Turn the words and word parts face down. The student then plays a memory matching game where two cards create a word that makes sense. If the spelling changes, the student must state that out loud or the match doesn't count.

Make a Board Game

Spinners can be purchased at teacher supply stores. You can then add your own entries, such as different suffixes. Have the student draw a card with a base word (make these from index cards). They can then spin and match the base word to the suffix they land on. Each suffix should be worth a certain number of moves on the game board. You can make your own game board from cardboard or use an extra board you've picked up at a garage sale. If they cannot make a word, then they miss that turn and the next person draws a card. You keep a card until you can add a suffix to it to make a new word.

Suffixes Every Day

In addition to reading the information on where to find free worksheets on prefixes and suffixes, you'll also want to find ways to add the study of suffixes into your daily routine. In the car, ask your kids what suffixes they can add to words like drive, walk, run and skip. When cooking, ask your daughter how many ways you can change the word "cook" (cooked, cooking, cooker, cookable, etc.). Keep things lighthearted and fun. Before long, your child will learn suffixes and be able to use them effectively in communication.

Suffix Lesson Plans