I am a little obsessed with English and vocabulary. Jam and Boo have been taking Latin with their Nana in England for the last three years, and have really enjoyed it. So when I was offered a review to expand Jam's vocabulary using the program Greek Morphemes It's Not Greek to Me I was very intrigued. The company Ready To Teach specializes in Latin and Greek Morphemes to help prepare older students for pre-college vocabulary testing.
The curriculum is aimed at grades 7-12 and is perfect for the home-schooled public schooled student alike. I mean really every child who wants to improve their understanding and use of the English language should have some basic knowledge of Latin and Greek.
We received two books and a CD plus a USB drive. The USB drive replaced our CD so we never actually used that. All of our laptops have CD drives but I have friends that have the kind of computers that don't so the USB is definitely a good move.
DR. ALENE H. HARRIS taught in secondary schools for sixteen years and created this program while working with her students. She figured out a way to teach parts of words roots, suffixes and prefixes in such a way that helps the student use them to unlock the meaning of large intimidating words by separating them out. Jam like I said has been studying Latin for a few years and I have seen how they have helped him become more familiar with vocabulary. I have seen another huge improvement while working through the last few weeks of this Greek Morpheme program.
Jam and I worked through the first lesson together. I stayed with him step by step of the way. There are 12 lessons altogether each one taking roughly a week. The lesson includes time spent watching a slideshow on the USB drive (make sure you watch it on 'slideshow' mode otherwise it doesn't show up right - kind of layered on each other - completely my fault for not realizing- my duh moment)
At the beginning of each lesson the student is introduced to a list of roots, prefixes, and suffixes and words that go with them. The student then works through the slideshow writing down the definition. After this are assignments A & B this is where the students work through each word in the list. Jam and I worked through each word in the list and identified the Greek Morpheme or Morphemes it contained. Then beneath the word using a line for each Morpheme, we wrote the Morpheme and their meaning. After this we had to try to figure out what each word meant using the Morpheme it contained and wrote MD (meaning 'my definition') Then we looked up and wrote the dictionary definition and labeled it DD (Dictionary Definition). It was interesting to see how close we came.
Here's an example of one of ours.
PHILANTHROPY - Phil = Love
Anthrop = Man; Mankind
AN = Not, Without
MD - Without Love for Man
DD - etymologically means "love of humanity" in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing "what it is to be human" on both the benefactors' (by identifying and exercising their values in giving and volunteering) and beneficiaries' (by benefiting) parts.
Jam actually got this one a little mixed up- but we did get better. I decided to let him take the lead in this part. I figured it was good for him to learn from his mistake. I of course knew the definition of this word before we started.
The next section assignments C & D these sections help the students use the words. Each of these sections are done in two parts.
In the first part of section C Jam practiced creating context clues. The clues are;
1. Definition in Context
In the second half of section C Jam practiced using the morphemes. Jam created his own words using the prefixes, roots, and suffixes. One of Jam's words was 'Macrophonic' his meaning was 'A loud sound'.
Section D contains another opportunity to break words apart and then write possible definitions. The second part of section D is quite fun, This time Jam was had to match his 'created' words with a list of funny definitions. Some of these were very funny.
At the end of each lesson Jam made a set of flash cards. They were easy enough to create on the computer and then he practiced with them. He added to them each week.
There are 15 tests in the unit. One at the end of each of the twelve lessons, one as a review of lesson one and two, a midpoint test over lessons one through six, and then a final test over lessons seven through twelve.
I know Jam is only 14 but this is definitely a program that will help with SAT prep. It's amazing to see wheels turning and things clicking together when we come across new words. It's easier to understand even the most difficult words.
We really loved this program. We will continue to work on this until we finish it. Check out what other people on the crew thought by clicking on the link below.
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