Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Break It Down

Debbie Hartley


This engaging game may be used as a group activity for the reinforcement of identifying word parts. It could be modified to be used as individual assessment of the same skill.


The student identifies word parts such as prefixes, suffixes, and root words.


-Glue sticks (one for every group)
-Break It Down Game Board (See Associated File)
-1 Envelope per group
-Several pages each of pink, white, and yellow copy paper
-15 Words each containing a prefix, root word, and suffix


1. Compile a list of 15 words, each having a prefix, root word, and a suffix.
2. Reproduce words as follows:
-prefixes on pink paper
-root words on white paper
-suffixes on yellow paper (make sure you use a font size that will fit the game board)
*Note: You will need one copy of each for each group.
3. Cut apart each of the above and place one copy of each in an envelope for each group.
4. Copy one Break It Down Game Board, per group. (See Associated File)
5. Arrange desks in groups of 4; determine group members.


1. Tell the students that they will be playing a fun game today.

2. Distribute the supplies to each group.

3. Instruct the groups to empty their envelopes.

4. Tell the students that before them they have a wide variety of game pieces. The pink ones are prefixes; the white ones are root words; and the yellow ones are suffixes.

5. Instruct them to place the pieces on their game boards, making sure the new word they form is an actual word. They are not to have any pieces left over. They are to write the complete word in the final column.

6. Instruct the students to glue only AFTER they have placed all their game pieces.

7. Answer any questions they may have then say, “Ready, set, GO!”

8. As the students are working, circulate around the room and provide formative feedback to the students as needed.

9. At the end of the period, collect the gameboards to use as a formative assessment.


The completed Break It Down Game Board (See Associated File) is the assessment tool.


1. You could use this activity with your ESOL students by using words in their language.
2. Students could come up with their own words to make game pieces for a class set of games to be used during “free” time.
3. Students could begin to explore the etymology of words.
4. You could use this as an individual cummulative assessment by copying all word parts on white paper and having each individual complete their own game board.

Web Links

Web supplement for Break It Down

Attached Files

This file contains the Break It Down Game Board.     File Extension: pdf

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