Creative Writing - Vocabulary and language activities

Creative Writing

Roots and branches of words

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SEC6 Word a day

You can encourage your pupils to build their vocabulary by:

  • Having a word of the day or words of the week
  • Encouraging your pupils to keep a vocabulary notebook
  • Focusing on etymology: suffixes, prefixes and related word groups

Classroom Activity

Ask your class to form groups. Give each group a word root and ask them to collaborate to think of different words, based on the root word and present them to the class in pairs. Ask each group to present their words over the month. At the end of the month, have a review of meaning and spelling. Here are some examples to start with:

  • archy
  • cite
  • cred
  • demo
  • dyno
  • fid
  • fort
  • gest
  • gram
  • hypo
  • loq
  • medi
  • micro 
  • min
  • miss
  • mune
  • note
  • pend 
  • phil
  • phobe 
  • pos
  • quad 
  • rect
  • scend
  • sect
  • spect 
  • tent/ten
  • vid
  • gress 
  • term

Ask each group to research the meaning of the root in an etymology dictionary or online. For example the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Then ask them to pick the five most interesting words or a range of different words that use the same root.

Ask you pupils to write sentences for context for each of the five words.

Once they have done this, ask them to present the word to the class in pairs or individually.

You may find the root and branches resource useful.

Root & Branch tree