Teaching Resource

Morphology Matters: Building Vocabulary Through Word Parts

By William Van Cleave • Educational Consultant • W.V.C.ED Last updated 2024/05/27
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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.

Curriculum Connection

B2. Language Foundations for Reading and Writing
This resource guide supports the teaching of Morphology and Vocabulary.  It is connected to strand B2. Overall Expectations: Language Foundations for Reading and Writing.
Grade(s): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Topic(s): Applying MorphologyApplying OrthographyApplying PhonicsVocabularyWord-Level Reading and Spelling


  1. Thank you, William van Cleave and ONlit for providing this wonderful resource. It provides a reminder for all of us of the importance of starting ‘First Level Morphology’ in primary grades (k-2).

  2. I appreciate the compilation of lesson ideas for a week at each division level. Analyzing morphemes and finding connected words using matrices is a great activity to help students build knowledge about how words are connected.

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