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Do strangers sometimes recognize you simply because you look like your brother, mother, or cousin? Words belong to families, too, and connecting them to their roots helps define them.
Introduce the lesson by listing new words that have entered our language over the past one hundred years due to new ideas and inventions such as telephone, astronaut, and microwave. Discuss the Greek and Latin origins for these words. Ask students to think of other English words that contain similar root words (telegraph, astronomy, microscope, etc.). Talk about how groups of words with the same root form a word family.
Have students divide into small groups. Provide a list of common roots and their meanings. Ask each group to select one root word and make a list of English words that belong to that family. One student in each group should write the group’s root word and an explanation of its meaning on a long, horizontal piece of poster board and add an appropriate illustration. Other students in the group should each select one of the words from the group’s list and illustrate it using Crayola® materials and scraps of heavy paper cut into shapes representing their words. Ask each student to also create a second shape and write the given word and its origin on it.
Invite groups to create mobiles by hanging their visual images and verbal explanations from the original root words with short pieces of string. Display the mobiles in the classroom.
Encourage students to look at what other groups have made. Discuss the images. In what ways do individual words relate to other words in their families?
Create an original pop-art repetitive portrait based on a study the life and work of Andy Warhol.
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