Morphological Awareness Strategies for the General and Special Education Classroom: A Vehicle for Vocabulary Enhancement

In this article from the International Dyslexia Association Perspectives, Susan M. Ebbers discusses the significance of teaching vocabulary through morphology and presents practical strategies for instruction. The focus is on morphemes, including prefixes, suffixes, and roots, which are vital in conveying meaning and facilitating vocabulary growth. The author emphasizes the need for explicit instruction in morphology to foster students’ morphological awareness, a metalinguistic insight that aids in understanding word structure and meanings. Ebbers suggests introducing morphemic analysis gradually, starting with familiar affixes and base words. Incorporating context clues and multisensory activities can reinforce morphological knowledge. By nurturing morphological awareness, students can enhance their vocabulary and comprehension skills, improving their reading, writing, and communication abilities.

Beneath the Surface of Words: What English Spelling Reveals and Why It Matters

In Beneath the Surface of Words, author Sue Scibetta Hegland aims to convince readers that English spelling isn’t as unreliable or quirky as they may have believed…and argues an excellent case. For example:there’s actually a reason for the L in talk! Written in an engaging voice, this is an excellent title for building educator knowledge to support instruction in spelling, particularly related to morphology and etymology, with connections to vocabulary as well. Helpful appendices, for example “Applying Suffixing Conventions” and “Working With Word Sums and Evidence Banks” are also included. Reading Beneath the Surface of Words is like taking a crash course in the complexities and rationale of the English writing system and is recommended for all literacy educators.

English Decoded: Layers of the English Language

This quick, 2 minute video gives a brief overview of the 3 main layers of the English Language: Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Greek.  A nice simple video to show students to help them understand that although English is complex, it makes sense, if you understand how they are put together (morphology). 

Morphology Matters: Building Vocabulary Through Word Parts

Wondering where to start with morphology and how it can tie in with your explicit vocabulary instruction? This 36-page resource is full of lesson ideas and activities that you use with your students. This resource provides some essential background knowledge of morphology for all educators and then provides several lesson frameworks that you can use with your students, using the new Ontario Curriculum.  It provides a suggested scope and sequence as well as word lists, but remember that the scope and sequence for morpheme introduction for the new curriculum is found on page 6 of Appendix A (Word-Level Reading and Spelling: Applying Phonics, Orthographic, and Morphological Knowledge).  Once the introductory morpheme sequence from the curriculum has been consolidated, the word and morpheme lists  found in this resource you can use to expand students’ morphological understanding beyond Grade 4 and across many subject areas.

Secondary Reading: Implementing High-Leverage Practices

This PaTTAN webinar featuring Dr. Anita Archer focuses on five high-leverage practices that you can use in your classroom everyday and across multiple content areas. Dr. Archer takes the audience through each routine with lots of examples and opportunities for practice. Grounded in explicit instruction, Dr. Archer shows how foundational skills as well as higher-order critical thinking skills can be brought together in a dynamic and systematic approach to teaching and learning. If you are an elementary educator, do not be fooled by the title, as ‘Secondary’ in the United States is for students in Grades 6 – 12. However, the information and knowledge from this webinar can be used in any classroom, K-12.

Kate Winn Vocabulary & Comprehension Lesson 2: Hana’s Hundreds of Hijabs by Razeena Omar Gutta

In this vocabulary and comprehension lesson, Ontario Teacher Kate Winn provides a step-by-step lesson designed to increase and enhance vocabulary and comprehension. Using the picture book Hana’s Hundreds of Hijabs by Razeena Omar Gutta, this lesson plan provides detailed, explicit instruction on using vocabulary from the book and includes the blackline master for a follow-up writing activity.

Spelling in a Complex Orthography: Can knowing better really help do better?

In this video from PaTTAN Literacy, Lyn Stone shows, through practical demonstration, the benefits of systematically teaching the orthographic patterns of written English.  Drawing on principals of cognitive load theory, linguistic analysis and her vast experience in varied educational settings, Lyn offers suggestions for implementing high quality spelling lessons into everyday classroom instruction.