Lesson Plans to Teach Suffixes

Suffix Games

This suffix lesson includes directions for two games. You will need scissors for every student, Post-its or small pieces of paper, and markers to play these games in the classroom.

Review Word Parts

Words have three basic parts: prefixes, roots, and suffixes. Suffixes are basically endings to words. If students can learn what some of them mean, they can figure out difficult vocabulary words in the future.

Cut the Suffix Game

Understanding words by looking at word parts can help students develop vocabulary. Teachers can assess students' knowledge by completing this activity that is a pre-test. Students will each need a pair of scissors. Teachers need to prepare handouts in advance with five words printed in size 50 or larger font. On the handout, teachers need to type the words in bold or write them in large letters. The words are as follows: pedagogue, patricide, anthropomorphic, etymology, and spheroid. You can download the handout.

Teachers need to ask students to cut the five words into five strips of paper. Then, they need to cut off the suffix from each word strip. When they have completed this task, they need to lay them flat on their desk. The teacher needs to ask students to see what words they cut correctly and show the right answers on the board.

  • ped-agogue
  • patri-cide
  • anthropomorph-ic
  • etymo-logy
  • sphere-oid

If students did not cut the words correctly, they can complete the next activity to learn and memorize some basic suffixes.

Review 10 to Play the Game

Many nouns use suffixes. Learning the following ones can help students to improve their noun vocabulary or they can form new words form new words with other ones.

Students will need a handout with the following suffixes. Ask students to read and study the words.

  • agog, agogue-leader
  • cide-kill(ing)
  • ectomy-cutting
  • fy- make
  • ia, y-act, state
  • ic, tic, cal, ac-having to do with
  • ics-things having to do with
  • ism-the belief in
  • logy-study of
  • oid-remembering, shape of

Post a Suffix Game

To assess students' knowledge of the the handout, they can play the Post a Suffix Game. For this game, each student will need 10 Post-its or 10 small pieces of paper that they can tape to a surface. The teacher will need to have 10 large pieces of easel paper or make 10 columns on the board. At the top of each column or board, the teacher needs to write one of them from the list.

When the students arrive in the room, ask each student to write his or her name on the front side of the Post-it (the side without the adhesive). On the back, the students need to write the definition of one suffix per Post-it or paper.

Send up students in groups of 10 to place their Post-its on the easel paper or columns. Only their name should be facing up. After the entire class has placed its Post-its, the teacher can have 10 students check and see who placed all of them correctly. This can be completed before a pencil and paper quiz over the suffixes.

These two fun games will help to teach or review suffixes. They are hands-on and will be more fun than the traditional worksheet.


Explanation of Suffix, https://www.redwoods.edu/Eureka/ASC/Handouts/What%20is%20a%20Suffix/What%20is%20a%20suffix.pdf

Suffix List, https://www.msu.edu/~defores1/gre/sufx/gre_suffx.htm

Suffix List, https://www.michigan-proficiency-exams.com/suffix-list.html