Are You Teaching Prefixes?
Make it Easy with Latin Roots!

Has teaching prefixes always been tedious for your students and frustrating for you?

Are you looking for ways to liven up your lesson plans without watering them down?

Our Latin Word of the Week will help you in three ways! First, you will access your students' prior knowledge. Second, you will spark their interest in learning new words. Third, you will give them learning strategies they can use for a lifetime.

Latin Word of the Week (2/3/2008):


To Drag

You'll be amazed how many English derivatives come from this Latin verb meaning to drag or to draw. And your students will be shouting out with joy to demonstrate their prior knowledge!

Teaching Prefixes to Build Vocabulary:

Prior Knowledge

Words that access prior knowledge help you and your students remember the meaning of the Latin root word.

tractor (n): a machine that drags a plow. From the 4th principal part Tractus.

train (n): an engine that pulls, drags, or draws. From the 2nd principal part Trahere.

Brainstorming: Add Prefixes!

_subtract (v): to drag from under. Drag two from under five, you have three remaining. (subtraction, subtractor)

_extract (v/n): as a verb, to pull out. She had her wisdom teeth extracted, i.e. dragged right out of her head. As a noun, a representative sample of the whole. She read extracts from her new novel.

_detract (v): to drag down. His nasty personality detracted from his natural good looks.

_abstract (adj): dragged away; opposite of concrete. An abstract painting in one that is pulled away from reality.

_retract (v): to drag back, pull back. The cat retracted her claws; the mayor retracted his previous statement.

_distract (v): to drag in all directions, to scatter. Compare distracted to scatter-brained.

_protract (v): to drag foward, extend. A protracted faculty meeting; a protracted student assembly. When will they ever end?

_contract (n/v): as a noun, a contract is a document pull together to define an agreement. As a verb, to contract is to become drawn together or to shrink.

_attractive (adj): anything that draws attention to itself is attractive. Attractive things spark interest, they are alluring. From the prefix ad + tractus. Think of an attractive woman wearing an attractively plumed Easter bonnet.

If you're teaching prefixes, that's nine different prefixes attached to one Latin root word!

But don't stop there! Here are six more words related to trahere:

Advanced English Derivatives:

_tractable (adj): easily managed or controlled. A tractable child; a tractable horse.

_intractable (adj): not easily managed or controlled. An intractable child; an obstinant, intractable mule.

_traction (n): adhesive friction, such as tires on a road. The small car didn't have the traction to climb the snow bank.

_tract (n): an extent of land, space or time. She bought a large tract of land near her home town. In biology, a bodily system such as the digestive tract or urinary tract.

_tractile (adj): capable of being drawn out in length, ductile. Silly puddy is tractile.

_tractive (adj): serving to pull or draw. She used her tractive, hypnotic voice to get her way.

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