Ending Well...

Ending well . . .

by Marianne Hering

Reading Tip

To move your child beyond the second-grade reading level, he/she will need to learn word endings—or suffixes. (Word beginnings—prefixes—don’t usually trip a child up as much as suffixes.) Many children tend to sound out the beginning of a new word and then guess at the ending of the word as they read; that’s not all bad because good readers rapidly move into reading for comprehension and don’t need to sound out every word. But you don’t want your child reading “hypotenuse” for “hypothosis”(which my son still does!); at some point he/she must be able to QUICKLY sound out longer words. Second and third graders are learning increasingly longer words by sight—but until they know a word well, they will still have to decode the words. The more familiar they are with common word endings, the faster the reading process will become.

I don’t use many difficult-to-decode words in the Imagination Station books. But when those more difficult words with suffixes do pop up during your child’s reading sessions, point them out. I’ve made a list here of six suffixes you can identify and practice before reading Peril in the Palace with your child :

1.      “tion”—imagination, station, invention, question, direction, attention, motion(ed), emotion, action

2.      “ant”—giant, elephant, servant, instant

3.      “ful”—powerful, colorful, careful[ly], wonderful, beautiful, handful, useful, grateful, fearful

4.      “ance”—distance, balance, trance, glance

5.      “ly”—(as you read the book aloud, ask your child to clap every time he/she hears a word that ends in “ly.”) suddenly, really, separately, probably, hardly, hilly, quickly, slowly, gently, clearly, lightly, carefully, softly, politely, neatly, curly, simply, richly, quietly, slightly, especially, finally, closely, easily, really, surprisingly, tightly, cuddly.

6.      “ing”—(this list has mainly the nouns and adjectives listed, not all the verbs were included) exciting, missing, puzzling, building, belongings, amazing, flapping, surprising(ly), leggings, opening, wrapping, happening, cooking.

At the dinner table or in the car, take turns saying words with suffixes. Start with “ing” and “ly” and “er” to get warmed up. Then move to “tion,” “a/ence,” and “ful.” For more practice work with suffixes, ask your child’s teacher for resources or search online for “suffix list” or “suffix worksheets.”