Thursday, January 14, 2016

Making up new words with prefixes

A friend of mine suggested this creative idea that she had seen in an article. In this activity, students make up new words using a list of prefixes and a list of random, simple words and write a definition for the new word.

Before doing this activity, I used this handout to make sure that the students remember (because they were already familiar with prefixes and suffixes) what each prefix means.

one/same                   not (opposite)              many                        between                three
after                   before                   negative / opposite                 against
Prefix
Meaning
Examples
non-

non-alcoholic
anti-

antisocial
poly-

polyphonic
post-

post-graduate
inter-

international
uni-

uniform
tri-

tricycle
dis-

dislike
pre-

preschool

After this short revision, I gave them the following list of words:

pen
house
family
teacher
student
exam
bed
book
water
drink
phone
world
sofa
flower
table
hand
nose
face
shirt
food
sun
coat
smell
cat
shoes
photo
TV
car

In groups of 4-5, I asked them to combine a prefix and a word from the lists above and make a new word, and write a definition for their new words. I also reminded them to use relative clauses in their definitions as in the example below.

Example: A triteacher is a teacher who teaches three different subjects.

They came up with many creative examples. A few of them that I remember are:

Antisun means a person who is allergic to sun.
A tridrink is a drink that has three different drinks in it.
Triface means a person who is a liar.