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Introduce: The Prefix re-

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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 re-, students will generate and use words that contain re-.

Materials: Board or chart paper

What to Do


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


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

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. re- is a prefix that is used in many words. Reread, retell, and rewrite are all words that have the prefix re- in them. Do you know of any other words that have the prefix re-?

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

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

Look at the list of words with the prefix re-. Who knows what re- means? re- means “do again.” Look at reread. Reread means “to read again.” When the prefix re- is added to read, it changes the meaning of the word. Can anyone tell us what retell means? What about rewrite?

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:

Who would like to reread [a favorite read-aloud story]?

What types of things do you retell to your friends?

Can anyone use rewrite 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 given prefix is added. In the case of the prefix re-, the part of speech stays the same. For example, the verb read becomes the verb reread.

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:

  • re + read = reread
  • re + tell = retell
  • re + write = rewrite

For ELL Students:

Point out that some of the same prefixes and suffixes 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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