Literacy 4-6

Morphological Knowledge

Factor Connections

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How Morphological Knowledge connects to...

Morphemes are parts of words that have their own meaning, such as prefixes (replay) and root words (re_play_). Processing and understanding this morphological information helps students use these parts as building blocks to recognize, comprehend, and produce longer and more complex words in their reading and writing.

Main Ideas

Morphemes are the smallest units of meaning in a language. These components are:

  • Root Words: The primary lexical unit of a word without a prefix or suffix (e.g. "play");
  • Prefixes: A morpheme placed in front of a root word to change it into another word (e.g. "replay");
  • Suffixes: A morpheme placed at the end of the word (e.g. "farm_er_"); and
  • Stress: Stress on one syllable over another that can change the meaning of a word (e.g. "record" can be a noun or a verb depending on where the stress is placed).

Morphological Knowledge includes:

  • Morphological Processing: The implicit, less conscious processing of morphological information; and
  • Morphological Awareness: A key metalinguistic skill that involves the conscious reflection of morphemes and the meaning attached to them, including understanding morpheme meanings and their relationships to one another.

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