Etymological knowledge - identifying how words reflect their derivations
Building word recognition and spelling skills through improving etymological knowledge. Engaging students with how words and letter combinations are derived from other languages. Students will spell words with the same base word by understanding why the word is spelt as it is due to the original meaning of the base word. For example tele meaning far, is used in television, telephone, telegraph.
Activities to support the strategy
Activity 1: word web
Write a word like tele in the centre of a graphic organiser to construct a word web. Explain that it was the Greek word for far. Ask students to think of words that come from tele.
Add to the word web as additional examples are experienced in reading and writing. Add to the environmental print around the room.
This strategy is best used if the words chosen need to be used in a specific Key Learning Area, for example in Mathematics; Teach the Latin word centum meaning “one hundred”. Relate to cents in the dollar, centimetre, centilitre, centigrade, centipede, centenary; Science – hydro the Greek word meaning water is used in hydrate, dehydrate, hydrogen, hydraulic; aero, the Greek word for air; aeroplane, aerobics, aerodrome, aerosol, aerospace, aeronaut, aerofoil, aerodynamics.
(Please see Programming and Strategies Handbook (Secondary) NSW Department of Education and Communities 1999 pp 52-54 for a more comprehensive list).
The students teach...and I learn!
- Online etymology dictionary: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=kid
- To explore the origins of some English words; to learn the meaning of the word 'etymology' to understand the function of a dictionary: news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews
ACELA1539: Understand how to use spelling rules and word origins, for example Greek and Latin roots, base words, suffixes, prefixes, spelling patterns and generalisations to learn new words and how to spell them
EN4-3B: uses and describes language forms, features and structures of texts appropriate to a range of purposes, audiences and contexts.