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Latin Stem BINGO is a Hands-on Way to Improve Vocabulary

Latin Stem BINGO is a Hands-on Way to Improve Vocabulary

Tri- means three we have all learned this at some point. We know triangles have 3 angles and tripods have 3 feet. So if you saw an unknown word with tri- in it, you could guess that it indicated 3 of something.

That is the beauty of knowing stems. That knowledge allows us to decode the meaning or at least part of the meaning without having seen the word before.

This works for kids too. Knowing Latin and Greek stems can help kids build their vocabulary without having to memorize loads of words. This also has a second benefit because having a better vocabulary also improves fluency when it comes to reading. Better fluency increases the likelihood of the child growing to be a reader even outside of school; after all we all like doing things that are easy for us.

My kids have been working on Latin and Greek stems for a couple years now, and they do get tired of flashcards. To make practice more fun, I created these BINGO cards.

How to Play Latin Stem BINGO

  1. Start by printing out your cards. The printable includes 4 cards with some basic stems as well as a key. I also included a blank card, so you can print and write in whatever stems your kids need to practice.
  2. Give your kids each a card and something to act as BINGO markers. You can play with just one kid as well there just won't be any competition.
  3. Call out the definition randomly. If you want you could cut the key up and draw the slips of paper. There are a few stems that mean the same thing like mal- and mis- both mean bad, so try not to use them on the same board.
  4. Kids cover the stems that match the definition until they have 5 in a row!

Here's a secret -- use m&m's as BINGO markers, and the kids are sure to want to play! Plus you have an excuse for that snazzy BINGO visor....or not.

Once they learn these you can increase the difficulty by using the blank form and adding new stems.

Latin Stem BINGO

Another way to play would be to call out an example word and have the kids find the stem used in that word. Be sure not to use words that combine more than one of the stems you are working on though!

If you keep at it, not only will the kids know that tri- means 3, but they will also be able to decode bigger words. After all add -metry as a stem, and they will soon know trigonometry is the mathematics (or measuring) of triangles.

Looking for more vocabulary fun? Check out our Vocabulary Egg Hunt

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