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Vocabulary Strategies:
Compound Latin Roots

One of the most powerful vocabulary strategies is to help students make connections through compound words. Provide one new Latin root word, fully explained with an example or two. Then watch them make their own vocbulary-building connections. A word splash may be the perfect do-now or anticipatory set. Let them think first. Then show them how to apply what they know to discover new English vocabulary words.

Latin Word of the Week:

CAEDO, CAEDERE, CECIDI, CAESUM
to cut, to cut down; to kill
You'll be amazed how many English derivatives come from this Latin verb meaning to cut or to kill. And your students will be amazed how many words they already know!

Vocabulary Strategies: Compound Words

Prior Knowledge
Words that access prior knowledge help you and your students remember the meaning of the Latin root word.
incision (n): a cutting into. As with many compound words in Latin, there is a change in the stem vowel. In this case the -ae- of caesus changes to -i- in the compounded form. The doctor made an incision to remove the appendix. From the 4th principal part Caesus.
genocide (n): the attempt to kill off an entire race or tribe of people. The Latin root of this noun means killing a tribe, from the Greek word genos (race, kind). It comes from the 2nd principal part Caedere. The same stem vowel change occurs, i.e. -ae- becomes -i-.

Brainstorming: Add Prefixes!
decide (v): the Latin root of this verb means to cut down or to cut off. Think about it this way: To make a decision is to cut off all other possibilities. The judge decided for the defendant, leaving the plaintiff out of luck.
concise (adj): expressing ideas efficiently, in few words, i.e. with all unnecessary words cut out. She spoke concisely and her argument won the day.
incisive (adj): cutting, biting, penetrating. Incisive minds cut straight to the point; incisive words may sting the listener. Your incisors are your sharpest, most pointed teeth.
abscise (v): to cut away, remove. Scar tissue formed where the the limb had been abscised.

Vocabulary Strategies: Compound Words
homicide (n): the killing of a human being. Compound with homo, hominis, meaning man, human. A homicide detective; a homicidal maniac.
pesticide (n): the killing of a pest. Compound with pestis, pestis, meaning pest, vermon. Pesticides can be detrimental to the environment as well as to intended victims such as moscitos or caterpillars or rats.
insecticide (n): the killing of insects. Compound with insectum, insecti. An insecticidal spray; an insecticidal ointment.
patricide (n): the killing of a father. Compound with pater, patris, meaning father.
matricide (n): the killing of a mother. Compound with mater, matris, meaning mother.
fratricide (n): the killing of a brother. Compound with frater, fratris, meaning brother.
infanticide (n): the killing of a baby. Compound with infans, infantis, meaning infant, speachless one.
suicide (n): the killing of the self. Compound with sui, a reflexive pronoun meaning of self.
germicide (n): the killing of micro-organisms. Compound with germen, germinis, meaning a shoot or sprout.
amicicide (n): the killing of a friend. Compound with amicus, meaning friend.

Advanced English Derivatives
caesura (n): in poetry, a natural place to break or pause in reading. This is NOT an exhaustive list of English derivatives from CAEDERE! Can you apply vocabulary strategies to explain the meaning of the following words?
sororicide, precise, excise
Print a puzzle for this list of words.

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