Here are resources to explore morphology, etymology, and vocabulary.
1. Robinson, Sandra R., with Lindsay McAuliffe (1989). Origins, Volume 2, The Word Families. NY: Teachers & Writers Collaborative
Students deepen their understanding of roots, stems and word families in these lessons. There are many activities for intermediate-age students as well. This is because of Robinson and Lindsay’s explorations of sound and meaning in consonant blends and digraphs. Reminds me of Walker Percy’s discussion of the meaning of these sounds in Message in the Bottle.
In Volume 2, Robinson and root trees and lesson plans, poems, and other materials are provided for these 12 word families:
byl BHEL to swell bowl, boulder, balloon, belly
dr DHREU to fall drip, drop, drowse, droop
gh GHEIS fear or amazement ghost, poltergeist, goblin, aghast
cr KER bent, crooked cramp, crouch, creep
gl GHEL to shine glow, gleam, glimmer
fl FLEU to move like water fly, flight, float, flow
mid MEDHYO middle middle, mediator, mediate,
cl KEL to hold onto; to hold together clip, clamp, clam, claw
wr WER to twist, bend, turn wrestle, wring, wrist, warp
tw DWO two two, twelve, twilight, duet, double
tr DERU to be firm, solid, stead truth, trust, tray, endure, duress
OINO one one, alone, lonely, lonesome
Start with a template of a tree. Students fill in the root tree templates found both in this book and in Vocabulary Their Way, found in searches for Images for trees on the web, or students sketch a tree with branches.
Students use word study references and the resources online for words with the same root and meaning. For example, here are words that can be added to a root tree for KER and cr:
Can students make the meaning connection between “crooked or bent” and these words?
KER: creep, crouch, crumble, cringe, cramp, crooked, cringle, crochet, creek, cradle, crinkle
Robinson suggests pantomiming these movements to see how we are bent when we creep, crouch and crumble. So smart and useful for expression.