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What's In a Name - A Study of Biological Prefixes and Suffixes



Want your students to succeed in your biology class?  Start by having them learn these prefixes and suffixes!

The new vocabulary words in a first year life science or biology class can be overwhelming.  However, many of the vocabulary words contain either a prefix or a suffix that will help the student understand the meaning of the word.  This assignment will help to familiarize your students with many of the common prefixes and suffixes used in biology.  This may seem difficult at first, but once the student learns these prefixes and suffixes, it will be of great benefit to them as the year progresses.

This document contains two separate products:
1.  What's In A Name Activity Wroksheet
2.  Quiz on Biological Prefixes and Suffixes

The "What's In a Name" activity is a four page worksheet with answer key for the teacher.  The student will learn 50 prefixes and 30 suffixes that are commonly found in many biological terms.  There are 44 problems on this worksheet.

For example:  What does the term "polysaccharide" mean?
Answer:  "Poly" means "many" and "sacchar" means "sugar".  Therefore a polysaccharide is a compound composed of many sugars.

Other problem examples:  What term means "a study of small forms of life"?
Answer:  "Micro" means "small".  "Bio:" means "life".  "Logy" means "a study of".  The term that means "a study of small forms of life" is "microbiology".

There are sufficient practice problems to help the student begin to master these prefixes and suffixes.

Also included is a short quiz.  I require my students to memorize these prefixes and suffixes.  To check to see if they are studying, I use this short quiz.  There are 50 questions/problems on this quiz.  It, too, comes with an answer key.

This is one of the science skills that I stress from the beginning of the year until the end.  You will not regret teaching your students how to break words apart to decipher their meaning.


1 comment:

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