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Introduce: The Suffixes -ion, -tion- and -ness

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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 suffixes -ion, -tion and –ness, students will generate and use words that contain -ion, -tion and -ness.

Materials: Board or chart paper

What to Do


Write the suffixes -ion, -tion and -ness on the board or on a piece of chart paper for the students to see.


1. Introduce the suffixes -ion, -tion and -ness and solicit examples of words that contain -ion, -tion- and -ness.

Today we are going to learn about suffixes. Who knows what a suffix is?

2. Allow time for students to respond.

A suffix is a word part added to the end of a word. It changes the meaning of a word. -ion, -tion and -ness are suffixes that are used in many words. Action, connection, and goodness are all words that have the suffixes -ion, -tion and -ness in them. Do you know of any other words that have the suffixes -ion, -tion and -ness?

3. As students share, write the responses on the board or on a piece of chart paper. Circle the suffixes -ion, -tion and -ness in each word as it is given.

4. Define the meaning of -ion, -tion and -ness, as well as words containing the suffixes -ion, -tion and -ness.

Look at the list of words with the suffixes -ion, -tion and -ness. Who knows what -ion, -tion and -ness mean? -ion, -tion and -ness mean “act of, condition of.” Look at action. Action means “the condition of acting.” When the suffix -ion is added to act, it changes the meaning of the word. Can anyone tell us what connection means? What about goodness?

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:

Has anyone taken action to clean up the bookshelves?

Can anyone make a connection to the story?

Can anyone use goodness 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 suffix is added. In the case of the suffixes -ion, -tion and -ness, the words change from adjectives or verbs to nouns.

For Struggling Students:

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

  • act + ion = action
  • connect + tion = connection
  • good + ness = goodness

For ELL Students:

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

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