Common Prefixes/Suffixes


The lesson introduces students to common prefixes and suffixes.  Once students begin using the prefixes and suffixes correctly, they’re reading skills will improve and their vocabulary will expand.  Many students sometimes use a prefix or suffix incorrectly, and the more practice students have to identify prefixes and suffixes as they read, the better they will use them in their own writing.

Common Prefixes/Suffixes Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Common Prefixes/Suffixes
  • Many Homework Pages for students to practice using Common Prefixes/Suffixes
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Built for Grade 3 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson introduces students to common prefixes and suffixes. The introduction to the lesson explains that adding an affix to a word can change its meaning. Charts are provided for both prefixes and suffixes that list the affix and its meaning. Students are reminded that prefixes are attached to the beginning of a word, and suffixes to the end of a word. Gaining an understanding of these affixes will improve your students’ reading and writing skills.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask students: How can you change 1,000 words into 15,000 new words?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. If students do not identify adding prefixes or suffixes, display one of each and ask students if adding them to the word would change the meaning of the word.  How would it change the word?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Common Prefixes and Suffixes to the class.
  4. Distribute Common Prefixes/Suffixes content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Use current spelling words or other content during the lesson presentation.  Use the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity pages. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students for the activity.  Distribute scissors.  Ask students to try the different prefixes and suffixes with the words in the fables and create a list of new words.  Allow sufficient time for completion.
  6. Once completed, ask students to share some of the words and to define the new words. In addition, ask students to tell which words in the fable include a prefix or suffix.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  9. In closing, ask students: What prefix and suffix are your favorites and why?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students which may symbolize who they are in everyday life.  For example, a child who may like to do things over again may choose re- or a child who sometimes regrets things may like un-.  Review the definitions of each affix and ask students to be creative with their responses.

Common Core State Standards:


Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more language arts resources? Check out our other Language Arts Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

3rd Grade


Language Arts