Updated: Apr 8
Introduction: The word “affix” actually means to attach to something. An affix is something that is attached to the beginning and/or end of a word to change its meaning, or create an entirely new word.
When they're taught: Affixes, to include prefixes and suffixes are introduced early on, typically in first or second grade. Then are studied in more depth beginning in the third grade and into the fourth and fifth grades, where they are reviewed.
How They Are Taught: Well, most classroom kids do not remember or understand what affixes are because they are taught entirely as an isolated concept, rendering them completely irrelevant and boring. However, we aren't raising classroom kids, so that does not need to be their fate. Even if you are raising a classroom kid, by incorporating the strategies in this post, you will give them a winning edge they won't likely get in school.
How They're Remembered: The key to mastering affixes is to integrate them into your everyday. Learn their meanings, point them out when you read and talk. Games are always a great learning tool as well. The hardest part is to remember to point them out mid-sentence!
In the meantime, whether you have already introduced them and need more repetition, or your child has never heard of affixes before, use the following YouTube videos and activities to supplement your child's study.
1. Introduce Affixes
Affixes are short word pieces that you can add to a word to change it, or make a new word. We naturally use affixes everyday without even realizing it. Taking the time to look at the words we speak and read will help us understand them better. When we understand the words we use, we become better speakers, writers, and communicators.
Start by printing out a list or two to help guide your instruction.
Most Common Roots and Affixes List (advanced, intended for grade 6 and up)
ReadWriteThink.org (extra practice)
2. Watch the Videos
Basic, Introductory level, 1st - 3rd grade, 8:25 mins.
Basic, introductory level, 1st - 3rd grade - 3:13 min.
Basic, Introductory level - intermediate, 2nd - 5th grade, 24 mins.