Fun with Suffixes

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I don’t recall ever getting excited about suffixes…it just meant another grammar worksheet, in my experience.


It turns out, suffixes can be very exciting! Who knew? You just have to do it another way, with a different attitude than the one we usually assume while teaching something that seems so very uninteresting.


This is an elementary Montessori work, done with the small moveable alphabets. A child with a complete Montessori experience, from primary up, would do this at six years old. But, of course, it can be done at any age.


There are various suffix charts (and later, prefix charts), that are one page each. I made this version in Spanish (an English version is available from Jessica at Garden of Francis, in the “Word Study” packet), using the book The Montessori Elementary Material, by Maria Montessori. The Spanish charts are quite a bit different from the English charts, due to the differences in the languages, and because suffixes are not nearly as important in English as they are in Spanish.

To do this work, you hang a chart (only one) on the wall in some part of the room, far away from the table where the children will work. Two children work on this together. They take out two moveable alphabets of different colors. They walk to the chart on the other side of the room, and each chooses a group of words. They read the first word in the group, and go back to their table to form the word. Then they go back to the chart for the second word, and back to the table to form it with the moveable alphabet, under the first word. When they finish forming all of the words in their group of words, they take the chart back to the table with them to check their work. They correct any spelling errors. Then the guide looks at the words with them, helping them see where the words are the same, and what changes were made. She defines those changes as suffixes, and they think about how a suffix changes the meaning of the word.


In the second exercise, the form the words the same way, but using black for the root of the word, and another color for the suffix (as seen in photos above). In the third exercise, they do the work in their notebok, as seen in the photo just above.

If you do this with an older child, it’s likely they will want to advance more quickly, not doing all three exercises with each chart. My 8-year-old did one group with the moveable alphabet, and did the rest of the work in his notebook. They repeat the process above with each chart, and they end up with an excellent understanding of how suffixes work!

I’m sharing the charts in Spanish today; you can see them below, and you can download them all together in pdf form by clicking on the image at the bottom of the post. It took a lot of work to develop this material, so please do not share the pdf on any other site. You are welcome to share the link, but not the pdf nor the images below. Thank you, and enjoy working on suffixes!

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Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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