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Introduce: The Prefix mis-

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Lesson Type: Introduce
Grade: 2, 3
Group Size: Pairs, Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 15 minutes
Goal: Given the prefix mis-, students will generate and use words that contain mis-.

Materials: Board or chart paper

What to Do


Write the prefix mis- on the board or on a piece of chart paper for the students to see.


1. Introduce the prefix mis- and solicit examples of words that contain mis-.

Today we are going to learn about prefixes. Who knows what a prefix is?

2. Allow time for students to respond.

A prefix is a word part added to the beginning of a word. It changes the meaning of a word. Mis- is a prefix that is used in many words. Misunderstand, misguide, and misprint are all words that have the prefix mis- in them. Do you know of any other words that have the prefix mis-?

3. As students share, write the responses on the board or on a piece of chart paper. Circle the prefix mis- in each word as it is given.

4. Define the meaning of mis-, as well as words containing the prefix mis-.

Look at the list of words with the prefix mis-. Who knows what mis- means? Mis- means “wrongly.” Look at misunderstand. Misunderstand means “to understand wrongly.” When the prefix mis- is added to understand, it changes the meaning of the word. Can anyone tell us what misguide means? What about misprint?

5. Solicit the meanings of the remaining words from the first step.


6. Connect words to students’ prior knowledge. Ask students a variety of questions to help them connect their experiences to the words in the list generated in the first step. For example:

Do you ever think you misunderstand what I say?

Have you ever felt misguided?

Can anyone use misprint in a sentence?


For Advanced Students:

Encourage these students to use each word on the class-created list in a sentence.

Explain how the parts of speech may change when a prefix is added. In the case of the prefix mis-, however, both the root word and the word with the prefix added are verbs.

For Struggling Students:

For the students who have difficulty understanding what a prefix is, try presenting the word list above as a series of math equations. For example:

  • mis + understand = misunderstand
  • mis + guide = misguide
  • mis + print = misprint

For ELL Students:

Point out that some of the same prefixes may exist in their native language. If the prefix is not the same as in English, there may be an equivalent in their native language.

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