About Readroots

What is Readroots?

Readroots is a series of 100+ vocabulary building units that help students learn important Greek and Latin roots and affixes. The 100+ units are organized into five sets of twenty units per set, the idea being that teachers in sequential grade levels can work together to present coherent and effective vocabulary instruction (e.g., a fourth grade teacher could teach Set 1, a fifth grade teacher could present Set 2, etc…). Each unit comes with its own Google Slides presentation and ready-to-print materials. We recommend that students keep their Readroots work in interactive notebooks, and have therefore sized the Readroots materials to fit into a standard composition book.

How Readroots Works

Each unit requires students to learn just six parts, but the six parts work together to create a lot of words. The six parts of Unit 1, for example, are the prefix “re_,” four roots (“pel/pul/puls,” “quer/quir/quest” “volv/volvo/volu/volt,” “mot/mov/mob”), and the suffix “_tion/_ion.” With these parts, students can construct the words: repel, repulse, request, require, question, revolve, revolt, revolution, remote, remove, and motion. Readroots is designed such that subsequent units connect with and build on the parts of previous units. Unit 2, for example, teaches: “de_,” “flex/flect,” “tect,” “press,” “ceiv/cep/cept,” and “fend/fens.” Students can now build: demote, devolve, reflex, reflect, reflection, repress, repression, receive, reception, deflect, deflection, detect, detection, depress, depression, deceive, deception, defend, and defense.

Why Readroots Works

Readroots is structured to foster recursive learning. The activities are highly interactive, incorporating images and providing opportunities for social learning. We made it recursive because the more we see, hear, and speak, the greater our chance or remembering. We paired the Readroots roots and affixes with images because we are able to recall images with great reliability, even after a long period of time, and we remember words + images better than we remember words alone. We made it social because interacting with others during learning is a proven way to improve learning and remembering.