Introduction to Word Analysis

Introduction to Word Analysis
What is Word Analysis?
• Word analysis is a process of learning
more about word meanings by studying
their origins and parts.
• A “morpheme” is the smallest meaningful
part of a word.
• Other terms for word analysis:
• Morphemic analysis
• Word study
How is Word Analysis Important?
• Words are more than a collection of
letters: wonderful, review, disorder.
• Students need to understand that words
include more than one morpheme, each
one with a story.
• Analyzing words helps students see how
words connect to cultures and linguistic
Example 1:
• Dis - order includes the prefix dis, based in
the Latin meaning lack of or not. We can
trace the root of the word order back to
Latin and Italian origins.
How Does Word Analysis Help
• The same morphemes appear in lots of words.
• Knowing the meaning of a morpheme means your
students will recognize it wherever it appears.
• Morphemes give your students a head start in
knowing something about hundreds of words—
even very long ones.
• Students with strong word analysis skills expand
their vocabularies and draw upon new words as
they read, write, speak, and learn.
How Can I Prepare Students to
Use This Practice?
• Provide clear explanations about what word
analysis is and how to use it to define words.
• Share strategies to help your students use
word analysis. Model these strategies for
• Give students lots of opportunities to study
words as single or multiple units of meaning.
Students who struggle with reading need
many, focused experiences with word study.
Discussion Questions 1
1. What challenges does word analysis present
to struggling readers and/or ELL students?
2. In what ways can word analysis skills help
students build academic vocabulary in
science, social studies, and/or math?
3. Do you embed word analysis in reading and
language instruction or teach separate, minilessons?
How Can I Support Students' Use
of Word Analysis?
Use of Evidence-Based Practices
• Provide Clear Explanations
• Give Students Strategies and Models
• Provide Opportunities for Practice
Differentiated Instruction
• Plan instruction that considers students'
readiness, learning needs, and interests.
• Use a range of technology tools to:
– engage learners at varying levels
– engage learners in multiple ways.
– offer students options for demonstrating
understanding and mastery
Ways to Differentiate
• By Content
– Different levels of reading or resource materials, reading
buddies, small group instruction, curriculum compacting, multilevel computer programs and Web Quests, audio materials, etc.
• By Product
– Activity choice boards, tiered activities, multi-level learning
center tasks, similar readiness groups, choice in group work,
varied journal prompts, mixed readiness groups with targeted
roles for students, etc.
• By Process
– Tiered products, students choose mode of presentation to
demonstrate learning, independent study, varied rubrics,
mentorships, interest-based investigations
Ways to Differentiate
• By Readiness
– Options in content, topic, or theme, options in the
tools needed for production, options in methods for
• By Profile
– Consideration of gender, culture, learning styles,
strengths, and weaknesses
• By Process
– Identification of background knowledge/gaps in
learning, vary amount of direct instruction, and
practice, pace of instruction, complexity of activities,
and exploration of a topic
Discussion Questions 2
1. Are there specific diagnostic tests you use
to determine the needs of your struggling
readers? If so, what are they?
2. How do speech and language problems
interfere with developing word analysis
3. In what ways can technology support your
instruction in word analysis?
Activities Before Reading
• Identify key words your students will
encounter in the text.
• Help your students break content area
words into their sub-parts to prepare
students to read the text.
• Example: Photosynthesis
– from photo- "light" + synthese "synthesis."
from syntithenai "put together, combine," from
syn- "together" + tithenai "put, place,"
Activities During Reading
• Have students identify words with multiple
morphemes as they read.
• Keep a running list of words that students
can add to over time.
• Flag unknown words and model using the
word study approach to discover their
• Encourage students to use context clues
to help identify meanings.
Activities After Reading
• Review new words found as a class. Ask
students to point out the words with multiple
• Ask students to identify morphemes they
• Help students see patterns: for example,
students may read “bio” often in science:
biology, biodegradable, biome, biosphere,
• Build word groups with the same prefixes or
Discussion Questions 3
1. How can your students take advantage of
the features of digital text by color coding,
highlighting, and underlining morphemes
and root words when reading online?
2. What types of speaking, drawing, and/or
writing activities might help to reinforce
these skills for your struggling students?
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