MORPHOLOGY is the study of the structure and form of words in language.

Morphology uses roots, prefixes and suffixes.

Prefixes, suffixes and roots are Latin, Greek and Anglo-Saxon in origin. Morphology is actually the study of how words are constructed from morphemes.


A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in words. Therefore, prefixes, suffixes and root words are all morphemes.

Big image


With respect to students with dyslexia, Deacon, Parrila & Kirby (2008) analyzed the pertinent literature base and concluded, "Morphology may provide a compensatory avenue of instruction for dyslexics and poor readers, and may be the means by which some individuals have overcome dyslexia". In order for students to expand their vocabulary, it is necessary they understanding that words are connected by meanings, as well as spellings. Vocabulary development and decoding are essential for developing strong reading skills. Therefore, morphology is a significant element of a rich vocabulary development, as well as accurate decoding skills.


  • Teach morphology in context of rich, explicit vocabulary instruction
  • Teach students to use morphology as a cognitive strategy with explicit steps
  • Teach the underlying morphological knowledge needed in two ways - both explicitly and in context.
  • Teach morphology in relation to cognates for students who speak Spanish.
  • (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2007)


Concept Sort


(Beck, McKeon and Kucan 2002) as cited in (Kieffer and Lesaux, 2007) defined what they call "robust vocabulary instruction" as vigorous, strong and powerful instruction that "involves directly explaining the meanings of words along with thought-provoking, playful and interactive follow-up." Sorting pictures or words by concepts or meaning is a good way to link vocabulary instruction to students' conceptual understanding (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008).

A concept sort is an appealing way for students to become familiar with vocabulary for a new topic or in a book. Teachers provide students with a list of terms, vocabulary words or concepts from reading material. Students place words into different categories based on each of the word's meaning. Categories are defined by the teacher or by the students. However, when the student is given the job of deciding the categories, it's of course another outstanding way for synthesizing to ensue. When used prior to reading, concept sorts provide an excellent opportunity for a teacher to see what the students' understanding of the topic are. When used after reading, teachers can assess students' understanding of the ideas presented.


Big image


"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald

These tips are effective in helping your child become a better reader, as well as develop their vocabulary.

  • Engaging conversations: Engage in lively and expressive conversation with your child using engaging vocabulary, as well as showing interest in what they are saying by looking at them and showing them you are listening to their every word.
  • Daily reading: Read with your child daily, whether it's a bedtime story, singing nursery rhymes in the car or pointing out signs on the roadway.
  • Language games: Board games, like Pictionary, Scrabble or Taboo.
  • Reading activities: Encourage activities that require reading with your child. Such as cooking together while reading a recipe, reading a how-to-manual or instructions, read the Sunday comics together or when you are in the store, stop at the greeting card aisle and let your child pick a simple card.
  • Flash cards - Whether sight words, vocabulary words, words with affixes, use cards to quickly motivate your child.
  • Technology - Apps are a fun and motivating way to get your child to learn. There are a multitude of educational apps that will provide your child skills in phonics, spelling, writing, comprehension, vocabulary and print awareness. To name a few:, Alphabytes and Vocabulary/City Spelling
Morphology Lesson 1



The Florida Center for Reading Research is a great website for both educators and researchers. FCRR is a multidisciplinary research center at Florida State University. This site has available resources and material for educators to improve reading instruction to students as it relates to morphology. The materials available have been developed through the Center’s research projects. There is a multitude of student activities, as well as assessment overview and differentiation instruction that will aid in the development of morphology.


ABCya is a free educational computer games and mobile apps site for kids. ABCya is an award-winning destination for elementary students that offers hundreds of fun, engaging learning activities that relate to the morphology process. Some interesting facts concerning ABCya - In 2011, ABCya's app, Math BINGO was featured on Apple's website and installed on the demo iPads at Apple retail stores throughout the US! reaches over 65 million players annually logging over 1.5 billion games played. Their mobile apps have been downloaded almost 5 million times in just a few short years.

ABCmouse Early Learning Academy is a subscription-based online education program for children ages 2–7, created by Age of Learning, Inc. There are over 500 lessons and 5,000 learning activities. Read books, watch videos, listen to music, play games, paint pictures, are just a few of the activities available. Curriculum designed by teachers and learning experts to align student's learning. New lessons and games are updated frequently. Daily featured activities. ABCmouse may be accessed by computer, tablet or smart phone devices. Vocabulary rich activities to enhance morphology skills.


Pinterest has become a well known social network site that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as 'pinning' on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others' boards (i.e. a collection of 'pins,' usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned. The literacy activities boards are a wealth of information for how-to's, learning/literacy activities, as well as resources and inspiration for parents and teachers. There are ideas for games, posters, flash cards, writing activities, letter games, foldables, vocabulary strategies, etc. All of these ideas and activities create literacy learning experiences in understanding morphology for all students.


Discovery Education transforms classrooms, empowers teachers and engages students by providing high quality, digital content to school districts. Discovery Education offers a portfolio of opportunities for districts to meet students where they want to learn in the digital age. With award-winning digital content, interactive lessons, real time assessment, virtual experiences with some of Discovery's greatest talent, classroom contests & challenges, professional development and more — Discovery is leading the way in transforming classrooms and inspiring learning. The video segment, Infinitec, (2008). Language Structures analyzes the different levels of language structure: phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and discourse. The segment stresses the importance of sentence and paragraph structure (syntax and discourse).


  • Goodwin, A., Lipsky, M., & Ahn, S. (2012). Word Detectives: Using Units of Meaning to Support Literacy. The Reading Teacher,65(7), 461-470

This article examines general trends in morphological instruction and offers insight into what effective morphology instruction should look like in K-8 classrooms. This instruction will therefore improve literacy results in the classroom. This study synthesized the results of 30 studies involving morphological instruction in improving literacy results for students. Teachers are encouraged to instruct students to:

  • Build morphemes by segmenting.
  • Improve spelling by using morphemes.
  • Practice in affix and root word meanings.
  • Identify cognates in order to support English Language Learners.
  • Segment and then combine compound words.

This article explains that "word study is an approach to spelling instruction that moves away from a focus of memorization." It states this is what researchers have discovered about the alphabetic, pattern, as well as meaning layers of English orthography. It further explains that word study also teaches students to use this knowledge to support their spelling efforts during writing activities, as well as to help them decode unfamiliar words while reading. Included are nine tips to implement a word study in a classroom. There were other articles related and were cited.

This article was excerpted from a longer article: Williams, C., Phillips-Birdsong, C., Hufnagel, K., Hungler, D., & Lundstrom, R.P. (2009, April). Word Study Instruction in the K-2 Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 62(7), 570-578.

  • Bear, D. R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (2008). Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

This book conveys the tools needed for a teacher to effectively approach word study in a hands-on instruction for Phonics, Vocabulary and Spelling. It is an approach for the Emergent Learner, Beginner in Letter/Name Learner, Transitional Learner, Intermediate Reader and Writer Learner, as well as the Advanced Reader and Writer Learner. This instruction will complement any existing phonics, spelling and vocabulary curriculum and will therefore increase morphology understanding in students.

  • Birsh, J. R. (2011). Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills. (3rd ed.) Baltimore, MD: P.H. Brookes Pub

This book is research based on each topic and is a go-to reference book for teachers. Topics include multisensory strategies for effective instruction in language skills, the development of oral language and its relationship to literacy. Also incorporated are strategies and activities for teaching phonemic awareness, handwriting, reading with accurate decoding, spelling, word learning and vocabulary instruction. There are chapters devoted to assessments, and well as technology as it supports literacy instruction and learning.


Bear, D. R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., & Johnston, F. (2008). Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Dalton, B., & Grisham, D. L. (2011). EVoc Strategies: 10 Ways to Use Technology to Build Vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 64(5), 306-317. doi:10.1598/rt.64.5.1

Deacon, S. H., Parrila, R., & Kirby, J. R. (2008). A review of the evidence on morphological processing in dyslexics and poor readers: A strength or weakness. The Sage Handbook of Dyslexia, 212-237.

Kelley, J. G., Lesaux, N. K., Kieffer, M. J., & Faller, S. E. (2010). Effective Academic Vocabulary Instruction in the Urban Middle School. The Reading Teacher, 64(1), 5-14. doi:10.1598/rt.64.1.1

Kieffer, M. J., & Lesaux, N. K. (2007). Breaking Down Words to Build Meaning: Morphology, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension in the Urban Classroom.The Reading Teacher, 61(2), 134-144. doi:10.1598/rt.61.2.3

Palumbo, A., Kramer-Vida, L., & Hunt, C. V. (2015). Teaching Vocabulary and Morphology in Intermediate Grades. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 59(2), 109-115. doi:10.1080/1045988x.2013.850649

Rasinski, T. V., Padak, N., Newton, J., & Newton, E. (2011). The Latin-Greek Connection. The Reading Teacher, 65(2), 133-141. doi:10.1002/trtr.01015

Walters, J., & Bozkurt, N. (2009). The Effect of Keeping Vocabulary Notebooks on Vocabulary Acquisition. Language Teaching Research, 13(4), 403-423. doi:10.1177/1362168809341509

I pledge, on my honor, to uphold UT Arlington's tradition of academic integrity, a tradition that values hard work and honest effort in the pursuit of academic excellence. I promise that I will submit only work that I personally create or that I contribute to group collaborations, and I will appropriately reference any work from other sources. I will follow the highest standards of integrity and uphold the spirit of the Honor Code.