Word Builders

Grades 5–8
Less than 99¢ per student!

The Word Builders Series is for students in grades 5–8 to build grammar and vocabulary fluency, while increasing reading comprehension. Understanding how words are formed, as well as how they originate, is an essential part of grammar instruction, as well as building reading comprehension and proficiency in writing. The Word Builders Series provides students with practice in language arts and reading fluency, developing fundamental skills that will last a lifetime. The Word Builders Series is the ideal follow-up for students who have worked through The Parts of Speech Series™.


The Word Builders Series includes the following reproducible resources —

  • Word Builders:  Noun Suffixes (30 pages)
  • Word Builders: Adjective Suffixes (30 pages)

Students learn how adding a suffix to a word can change the job that word does in a sentence and to what part of speech (noun, adjective, verb, or adverb) the new word belongs. Since numerous suffixes are derived from Greek and Latin roots, students are also introduced to word etymologies that strengthen reading comprehension and allow for more accurate decoding of unfamiliar words.

Aligned with Common Core Language Arts Standards

Suited for ELL Instruction
ELL students can benefit from instruction in the meanings of suffixes to further aid reading comprehension and essential decoding skills.

newton-edu-word-builders-nouns-smWord Builders Noun Suffixes
Less than .99¢ per student!
newton-edu-word-builders-adjectives-smWord Builders Adjectives Suffixes
Less than .99¢ per student!
  • Each book in The Word Builders Series consists of 10 two-page lessons, each lesson focusing on a different suffix. Lessons are self-guided so that students can work alone or with a partner at their own pace.
  • Lessons is easily incorporated into any current language arts curriculum, or can be used with more direct instruction.
  • Lessons can be used in after-school programs, as part of summer school instruction, or during one-on-one tutoring sessions.

Each lesson has four parts:

Part One
Students are introduced to a suffix, its meaning, and its application. Students then study 12 companion words that consist of a root word and the suffix. The most common definition(s) of each word is provided, in context with the meaning of the suffix. In this way, students gain an understanding of how each suffix impacts the meaning of a root word.  After studying each word, students write the root for each companion word. In some cases, this will take careful decoding and a spelling adjustment; students are encouraged to use a dictionary if they need help. Isolating the root of each companion word in this way provides further reinforcement of the relationship between root word and suffix as well as rules of spelling.

Part Two
Students use what they have learned about a specific suffix, as well as the 12 root words, to define five additional words on their own.

Part Three
Students complete 12 sentences using the words introduced in Part One. These sentences provide context so that students gain an even deeper understanding of how the words influence language and meaning. Context also allows students to discern the nuanced differences between words with similar, yet distinct, definitions. Some sentences can be completed with more than one word, but students use their developing skills to discern which meaning best fits each sentence.

Part Four
The final part of each lesson concludes with Word Travels, where the history and etymology of a word from Part One is featured. Word Travels provides students with a deeper understanding of how language is actually shaped and changed over time. After studying the word history, students are encouraged to use a dictionary and/or thesaurus to find and write three synonyms for the featured word.

Answer Key
All answers to the ten lessons are provided in the Answer Key. The Answer Key can be used by either the student or the teacher. You may choose to make the Answer Key available to students working in pairs or small groups to correct their own work. Self-correction can be an essential component toward strengthening a student’s skill comprehension. Through self-correction, students often gain insight into what thinking may have led to any errors. By allowing students to check their own work with a partner or in small groups, you provide opportunities for them to discuss their responses and rationales for the choices they made. In this way, students use essential metacognitive skills that provide insight into the way they process information, as well as encourage students to take an active role in their own learning.

Extension Activities
Extension Activities for The Word Builders Series will be made available as part of our Free Downloads.

View the Common Core Correlations for The Word Builders Series.

Coming soon!

Related Products

The Parts of Speech Series™
The Parts of Speech Series™
Grades 3-8
Five Resource Books

Each book in The Parts of Speech Series builds vocabulary and grammar fluency with a specific part of speech—Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives and Adverbs, Pronouns, and Prepositions, Interjections, and Conjunctions. This resource also helps develop language and writing competency. Supports Common Core Language Arts Standards!