Learning science vocabulary through knowledge of Greek and Latin roots

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Getting to the root of the word: Learning science vocabulary through knowledge of Greek and Latin roots

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  • I am sure many of you have heard the common phrase, “Let’s get to the root of the problem.” I’d like to present a problem to you that many science teachers struggle with in their classrooms daily.
  • Learning science vocabulary through knowledge of Greek and Latin roots

    1. 1. Getting to the root of the word: Learning science vocabulary through knowledge of Greek and Latin roots Nicola L. Ritter RDNG 674.700/720 R.M. Joshi Texas A&M University
    2. 2. Purpose <ul><li>Provide a clear explanation of Greek and Latin roots </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions from research and practice supports the use of roots to aid in vocabulary comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how roots can be utilized to understand science vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages and disadvantages in using roots over other vocabulary strategies to understand science vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate examples of science vocabulary with Greek and Latin roots </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching strategies to use in the classroom </li></ul>
    3. 3. Problem <ul><li>Students struggle with science content due to lack of vocabulary comprehension. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Problem H 2 O
    5. 5. Solution <ul><li>Students can gain a broad understanding of the science word’s meaning by identifying the root of a word (Aaron, Joshi, Quatroche, 2008). </li></ul>
    6. 6. What is a root word? <ul><li>A root word is a word that: </li></ul><ul><li>can stand by itself (Aaron, et al. 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>and have meaning </li></ul><ul><li>About 60% of all English words have Latin or Greek origins (Partnership for Reading, 2001). </li></ul>
    7. 7. Why are Greek and Latin roots helpful in understanding science vocabulary? <ul><li>Science vocabulary terms are often derived from languages other than English, most commonly Greek and Latin roots (Sarma, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Latin and Greek word roots are found commonly in content-area school subjects, especially in the subjects of science and social studies. As a result, Latin and Greek word parts form a large proportion of the new vocabulary that students encounter in their content-area textbooks (Partnership for Reading, 2001). </li></ul>
    8. 8. Why are Greek and Latin roots helpful in understanding science vocabulary? <ul><li>Knowing the word origin of a particular term helps to identify its roots and can make it is easier to understand its use in science (Sarma, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing some common prefixes and suffixes (affixes), base words, and root words can help students learn the meanings of many new words (Partnership for Reading, 2001). </li></ul>
    9. 9. Are there disadvantages in using roots to understand science vocabulary? <ul><li>There must be an initial investment of time and to a certain level a degree of memorization on the students part in order to use roots effectively to dissect words and decode the parts to create a definition of the entire word. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Why use root strategies over other vocabulary strategies to develop science vocabulary? <ul><li>Root Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Timely </li></ul><ul><li>Provides a clear meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Not hindered by lack of understanding of context </li></ul><ul><li>Context does not overwhelm students </li></ul><ul><li>Other Vocabulary Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Reference Aids – slow process </li></ul><ul><li>Context Clues – doesn’t always provide a clear meaning of the word </li></ul><ul><li>Context Clues – difficult to use in science as there is a high frequency of unknown words limiting comprehension </li></ul>
    11. 11. Does research support teaching Latin and Greek roots to understand science vocabulary? <ul><li>In the Journal of Chemical Education, Nittala S. Sarma explains that learning the connection between the roots and the chemical meaning of the terms can improve students’ understanding of chemistry concepts, making them easier and more enjoyable to master (Sarma, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>In the Classical Journal, John W. Burke concludes acquiring knowledge of Latin and Greek roots enables students to manipulate word elements and generate words more readily (Burke, 1998). </li></ul><ul><li>Nittala S. Sarama later came to this same conclusion when studying Earth sciences. Sarama (2006) found that knowledge of the root words from which technical terms are formed not only made learning of the concepts represented easier, but also helps to quickly understand new terms that may be encountered. </li></ul>YES!
    12. 12. Has classroom practice actually seen improvements in science vocabulary comprehension? <ul><li>In the English Journal, Suzanne R. Kail reflects on her successful experience in teaching roots of words in her English class and how the knowledge of roots aided in comprehension in other subject areas particularly the sciences (Kail, 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Susan Glazer, Director of the Center of Reading and Writing at Rider University supports the teaching of prefixes, suffixes and roots and entertains the notion that the learning process can be more than straight memorization (Glazer, 2004). </li></ul>
    13. 13. How are roots used to understand science vocabulary? <ul><li>Since root words have a meaning standing alone, when pieced together with other roots, affixes or base words the word as a whole can take on a different meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul>hydrophobic hydros –water phobia – fear hydrophilic hydros – water philos - friend <ul><li>Substances that are hydrophobic do not dissolve in water while substances that are hydrophilic will dissolve in water. </li></ul>
    14. 14. What are some examples of science vocabulary with Greek roots? <ul><li>chlorophyll </li></ul><ul><li>isotope </li></ul><ul><li>endothermic </li></ul><ul><li>exothermic </li></ul><ul><li>heterogeneous mixture </li></ul><ul><li>homogenous mixture </li></ul><ul><li>hypertonic solution </li></ul><ul><li>hypotonic solution </li></ul><ul><li>isotonic solution </li></ul><ul><li>hemisphere </li></ul><ul><li>chloros – “green”; phullon – “leaf” </li></ul><ul><li>isos – “equal”; topos – “place” </li></ul><ul><li>endo – “internal”; thermos – “heat” </li></ul><ul><li>exo – “external”; themos – “heat” </li></ul><ul><li>hetero – “different” </li></ul><ul><li>homo – “same” </li></ul><ul><li>hyper – “over” </li></ul><ul><li>hypo – “under” </li></ul><ul><li>isos – “equal” </li></ul><ul><li>hemi – “half” </li></ul>
    15. 15. What are some examples of science vocabulary with Latin roots? <ul><li>mutation </li></ul><ul><li>dentist </li></ul><ul><li>velocity </li></ul><ul><li>vital </li></ul><ul><li>respiration </li></ul><ul><li>perspire </li></ul><ul><li>resonance </li></ul><ul><li>sonic </li></ul><ul><li>sonar </li></ul><ul><li>solar </li></ul><ul><li>muta – “to change”; tion – “the result of” </li></ul><ul><li>dent – “tooth”; ist – “one who” </li></ul><ul><li>veloc – “quick”; ty – “condition of” </li></ul><ul><li>vital – “life” </li></ul><ul><li>re – “back”; spir – “breathe”; tion – “the result of” </li></ul><ul><li>per – “through”; spir – “breathe” </li></ul><ul><li>re – “back”; son – “sound”; ance – “state of being” </li></ul><ul><li>son – “sound”; ic – “having the nature of” </li></ul><ul><li>son – “sound”; ar – “relating to” </li></ul><ul><li>solar – “sun”; ar – “relating to” </li></ul>
    16. 16. List of Teaching Strategies <ul><li>4 Examples of </li></ul><ul><li>Root Recognition Activities </li></ul>
    17. 17. Root Recognition Activities Latin and Greek Root Word Wall 20 minutes per week <ul><li>The first day of the week spend about 15 minutes copying down roots and discuss their meanings and derivatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Post list of roots on the wall for students to add to throughout the week. </li></ul><ul><li>As roots are encountered, take a moment to point out the connections. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Root Recognition Activities What’s My Word? <ul><li>Using a word wall or a list of root words, have students develop their own words using those roots. </li></ul>microdermazitz Example from: Glazer, S. M. (2004). What's my word?. Teaching PreK-8, 34 (6). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from Wilson Web Database. micro – “small” derma – “skin” zitz – “pimple”
    19. 19. Root Recognition Activities “ Root of the Week” <ul><li>The teacher displays a list of words: </li></ul>bicycle bicolor binocular biennial bicentennial Example from: Glazer, S. M. (2004). What's my word?. Teaching PreK-8, 34 (6). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from Wilson Web Database.
    20. 20. Root Recognition Activities “ Choose a Root” <ul><li>Choose a Latin or Greek root. </li></ul><ul><li>From that one root probe students to come up with a dozen or more English derivatives. </li></ul>hyper means over hypertension hyperchromic hyperthermia hyperimmune hypersensitive hyperacute hyperexcited hypermania hypermetabolism hyperactive hyperstatic hyperreactive
    21. 21. Conclusions <ul><li>A root word is a word that can stand by itself and have meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember research and practice has both supported the use of roots to aid in vocabulary comprehension. </li></ul><ul><li>The benefits of root retention strategies supersede other vocabulary strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Please feel free to review the examples of science vocabulary with Greek and Latin roots in this presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Use teaching strategies presented here to teach roots as well as research on the internet and implement other teaching strategies to teach roots. </li></ul>
    22. 22. References <ul><li>Aaron, P.G., Joshi, R.M., & Quatroche, D. (2008). Becoming a professional reading teacher . Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. </li></ul><ul><li>Baumann, J. F., Edwards, E.C., Boland, E.M. and Olejnik, S. (2003). Vocabulary tricks: Effects of instruction in morphology and context on fifth-grade students' ability to derive and infer word meanings. American Educational Research Journal, 40 (2). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from Wilson Web Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Burke, J. W. (1998). Foreign language techniques in teaching etymology. The Classical Journal, 93 (3). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from JSTOR Arts and Sciences Complement Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Fhang, Z. (2006). The language demands of science reading in middle school. International Journal of Science Education, 28 (5). Retrieved September 3, 2008 from EBSCO Host Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Finamore, J. F. (1998). Teaching etymology in a classics program. The Classical Journal, 93 (3). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from JSTOR Arts and Sciences Complement Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Glazer, S. M. (2004). What's my word?. Teaching PreK-8, 34 (6). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from Wilson Web Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Hennings, D. G. (2000). Contextually relevant word-study: adolescent vocabulary development across the curriculum. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 44 (3). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from EBSCO Host Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Kail, S.R. (2008). Vocabulary instruction goes “old school”. English Journal, 97 (4). Retrieved September 3, 2008 from EBSCO Host Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Kucan, L., Trathen, W.R., Straits, W.J., Hash, D., Link, D., Miller, L. and Pasley, L. (2007). A professional development initiative for developing approaches to vocabulary instruction with secondary mathematics, art, science, and english teachers. Reading Research and Instruction, 46 (2). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from Wilson Web Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership for Reading. (2001). Vocabulary: Instructional guidelines and classroom examples. Reading Rockets Article 3473 Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/3473. </li></ul><ul><li>Sarma, N. S. (2004). Etymology as an aid to understanding chemistry concepts. Journal of Chemical Education, 81 (10). Retrieved September 15, 2008 from Wilson Web Database. </li></ul><ul><li>Sarma, N.S. (2006). Forming concepts and strengthening vocabulary in earth sciences through etymology. Journal of Earth System Science Education. Retrieved September 15, 2008 from http://jesse.usra.edu. </li></ul>

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