A Morphemic Spelling Activity


A couple of months ago I was invited to submit an article for Dystinct Magazine.  When I looked at the types of articles others had submitted, I knew that sharing an effective activity for teaching children to recognize morphemes in words would complement them nicely.  For those who haven’t heard of Dystinct Magazine before,  it is a digital magazine available on tablets and mobile devices with purchase of a subscription.

“Dystinct was launched in 2021 as a resource for the families and educators of children and young people with learning difficulties….Dystinct aims to peel back at the negative layers of damaged self-esteem and provide children with a platform to truly appreciate their uniqueness, take pride in their differences and revel in the knowledge that within their difference lies their strength.”

If you’d like to see the topics of the other articles in this month’s publication, use THIS LINK.   This magazine is worth subscribing to.  Each issue is filled with thought provoking articles – ideas to intrigue the educator, the tutor, the parent, and the student.  In the meantime, here is the article I submitted.

If you are interested in giving this activity a try, here is a collection of bases you might want to use.

Word lists for word sum practice-1


4 thoughts on “A Morphemic Spelling Activity

  1. I believe your matrix for each word was first made by David Hornsby from Australia.
    I have been using this method (his method) since the 90’s.
    Your article is interesting and well laid out.

    • I didn’t mean to imply that Neil Ramsden invented the word matrix – only that he has a program where you can input word sums and create a matrix that you can then use with students. I’m glad to hear David Hornsby has been using word matrices for so long. I wish I had learned of them earlier than I did! The matrix is a great tool to use. My Fifth Grade students enjoyed collecting related words, writing the word sums, and then making their own matrix at the Mini Matrix Maker.

      Thank you for your comments,
      Mary Beth

    • Thank you, Eli!

      It wasn’t until 2012 that I discovered the importance of teaching spelling by teaching about morphology, etymology, and phonology. Phonology by itself is what I grew up with, but it’s just not the whole story when it comes to seeing the consistency and logic of English spelling.

      Mary Beth

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