Greek & Latin Roots Games

Instructor: Shelby Golden
These fun games can help your students learn more about Greek and Latin root words. Read this article to get instructions and discover some educational resources for your classroom.

Root Stack

This game rewards students for correctly identifying and understanding root words. Here's a list of supplies you'll need:

  • Small paper cups
  • Markers
  • Paper bags

Set up this game by writing the root words you want your students to study on the bottom of the cups (one word per cup). Write the definition of the word on the inside of the cup. Place 15-20 of the cups upside down in a paper bag.

After dividing students into groups of two, have one student draw a cup from the bag and define the word on the bottom while the other student makes sure he or she has answered correctly. Students who successfully identify the meaning of the root word get to keep the cup and use it to build a pyramid. Have your students take turns drawing cups and see who can build the largest cup pyramid!

Root Jeopardy

Use this game to get your class engaged with answering questions about root words. Supplies include:

  • Index cards
  • Tape

Set up a Jeopardy game before class by writing down 'answers' related to root words and taping them to your whiteboard. You can assign different point values to different answers to keep the game competitive.

Then, divide your students into teams and have them try to figure out the right questions for each answer. For example, if you write the root 'cent' as an answer, the correct 'question' from your students would be: What is the Latin root word that means a hundred?

Grouping Roots

Your students can play this game to figure out the meaning of different root words. All you'll need for this activity are:

  • Blank sheets of paper

Begin by deciding on a root word you'd like your students to work on. Have them draw three circles on their paper, and tell them what root they're going to practice. For example, you could have them work on 'auto.' They then need to come up with three words that use this root word. Ask them to separate the words into parts and see if they can determine that 'auto' means 'self'. You can repeat this game with other root words to help students build their vocabulary.

Quick Tip:

Before beginning these activities, give your students an introduction to root words through this easy-to-follow Root Words for Kids lesson.

Additional teaching tips and suggestions for introducing the concept of root words in your class can also be found in this lesson on Teaching Root Words.

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