In the last month or so, I've been going back to the basics: parts of speech and homophones. In this last silly few weeks of school, I'm still working on that. Today we even attempted to cover transitive or intransitive verbs! Eek.
On Monday, I once again told my students that words are like Legos: put small pieces together to make bigger ones. For words, we can use prefixes, roots, and suffixes. I gave them an example on the board. Then I gave each table a bunch of construction paper cards. One color had prefixes, another color had roots (things like 'act', 'geo', 'anim', along with origin and meaning), and a third had suffixes. They were to mix and match and see how many words they could build.
They set to work and it was great! They saw words right away and started playing with the word parts. I had to prompt a few of them to find all the words: if they saw "impossible" then they could also get "possible." Or "possibly" too. But it was definitely successful and the kids seemed to enjoy it.
This lesson was to be a primer lesson for the lesson which I composed while trying to sleep last week. I've noticed all year that the kids have no idea about spelling rules and things, so this lesson is to address that. Better late than never, I say. Enjoy!
Previous lessons: What is a prefix? What is a suffix?
Objective: Students will learn when to double consonants.
Name all the vowels.
Name five consonants.
Name some common suffixes. (ing, ed, er)
Quick review: What are long vowels? Make the sound of the name of the letter. Ee, eye, oo, [you], ai
What are short vowels? Eh, ih, ah, uh, etc
Mini Lesson: Let’s think about certain verbs, that end with a vowel-consonant-vowel. How do you know what to do when you add a suffix—do you double the consonant or not?
Bring two students to front of room. Tell one to be the letter A, and the other to be the letter P. Teacher is the letter E.
When you have a vowel, consonant, followed by the letter E, the E can reach over the consonant and lengthen the vowel to make it a long vowel sound.
Demonstrate reaching over the P and pulling up the A to make it a long vowel.
If there were two consonants in this word, the E would not be able to reach over both of them and the vowel would stay short.
So, when you add a suffix like –ing, that I can do the same thing. Let’s take the word Write. Students to be W, R, I, and T. Teacher is E, shows that the I is a long vowel.
Let’s add the suffix –ing. First we drop the E though.
Bring two more students up to be N and G. Teacher becomes I.
See how the I can still reach over and elongate the first I? That makes the word “write-ing.”
Let’s check our answer. If we put another T in there (doubling the consonant), what happens? One more student to be the T. Look, now as the I in –ing, I can’t reach over both Ts, which leaves the I a short sound. Should “write-ing” sound like “ritt-ing”? No! So we know NOT to double this consonant.
Thus, when you have a word with a LONG vowel sound followed by a consonant and ending with another vowel, you DO NOT double the consonant when adding a suffix.
How about words that end in a short vowel and a consonant?
Four students to be S, P, I, and N.
Let’s add the suffix –ing. Three more students, I, N, G. What’s that I going to do?
Tell the second I to reach over the N and pull on the first I.
Should “spin-ing” sound like “spine-ing”? No! We need another consonant, stat!
Grab another student to be another N. Tell the second I to attempt to reach over both Ns.
Observe, boys and girls! If you have a word with a short vowel sound, keep it short by doubling that consonant!
Your turn: Think of as many words that fit both these rules. Add –ing or –ed or –er suffixes, and decide whether or not to double the consonant.
Once you’ve got a list of a few words, write some sentences that include correctly-spelled suffixed versions of these words. For instance, write a sentence that has the words “spinning” and “writing” in it.
Examples if they need them: Spin, Begin, Cut, Scrap, Run, Ape, Write, Skate, Hate, Bike, Scrape
NOTICE! If it has two consonants at the end, like “jump,” you don’t add or subtract anything! Leave the word and add the suffix letters. “Jumped,” “jumping,” etc.