Saturday, October 1, 2011

Storytime idea; The prefix "Octo"

Ever wonder why October is the tenth month instead of the eighth? Me, too. That curiosity led to this storytime about prefixes, specifically "octo."

GRADE LEVELS: 2-4 (could be modified for younger ones)

  1. INTRODUCE "OCTO" For older grade levels, ask your students to brainstorm words that begin with "octo." What does the prefix "octo" mean? Stump them by asking why October is the 10th month instead of the 8th (and explain the answer). For younger students, show them some pictures of "octo" words (octopus, octagon, octogenarian, octave, octopod) and ask them what they think the objects in the pictures have eight of. 
  2. EASY AND FICTION BOOKS ABOUT "OCTO"
  3. Octopus's Garden (Tracy Kompelien)
    Olive Octopus decides to appear on the television show, Wading Spaces, to have her gloomy cave redecorated. Alternating pages provide facts about octopuses.
    Octopus's Den (Deirdre Langeland)
    Octopus encounters danger as he returns to his den, finds it claimed by another of his kind, and ventures out to seek a new home.
    Good Thing You're Not An Octopus (Julie Markes)
    A little boy finds that his life is pretty easy compared to how it might be.
    For older students, read aloud the first chapter of Attack of the Giant Octopus (Secrets of Dripping Fang, book 6, by Dan Greenburg). The Dripping Fang series is a milder (but still plenty gross) version of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books. Reading just one chapter aloud will help generate interest for students who are not familiar with this popular series.

  4. NONFICTION BOOKS ABOUT "OCTO" AND OTHER NUMERICAL PREFIXES
  5. I haven't found very many interesting books available to teach children prefixes. Gareth Stevens Publishers has its Grammar All Stars series, which includes Pit Stop Prefixes, but to me, the illustrations are a bit too young for the grade 3-5 crowd. For a lesson on prefixes with older students, I prefer a PowerPoint to introduce prefixes. I believe the students will remember them better and have more fun when they see giant photos of real things and places and can try to guess the prefix. For this lesson, I focused on numerical prefixes. Please keep in mind that this is just an introduction, an overview of numerical prefixes that will need to be supplemented in the classroom if kids are expected to master them.

  6. POWERPOINT OF WORDS WITH PREFIXES This presentation has photos of real objects that use prefixes. My intent is to show students that they already know these prefixes, but maybe they haven't really thought about them. I would use this presentation with 3-5 graders.

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