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3.7 Year 3: W - word families based on common words, showing how words are related in form and meaning

image of 3.7 Year 3: W - word families based on common words, showing how words are related in form and meaning
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This resource is part of our grammar curriculum
Real Grammar
  • Covers every objective for years 1-6
  • Five-step sequence ensures deep understanding
  • Includes asssessment and revision tools

This Real Grammar resources pack provides everything that you need to explore word families with Year 3 or to revisit this area of learning. Pupils will explore prefixes and suffixes that can be added to root words, exploring how the meaning of the word is altered. Teaching slides, worksheets, games and an opportunity to apply the new learning in a writing task are all included to create a complete KS2 resource to teach word families. Pupils will need to be familiar with nouns before completing the activities in this KS2 resource pack.

Terminology that pupils need to be familiar with are prefixes and suffixes.

What is a word family?

Word families are words that are related to each other in a combination of having the same word root (with prefixes, suffixes or other words added to make compound words like superman), grammar and meaning.

The words play, playful, playing and replay are all part of the same word family as they all have the same word root (play) and are related in meaning.

What is a root word?

A root word is a basic word that does not have any prefixes or suffixes added to it.

What is a prefix?

A prefix is a group of letters that can be added to the beginning of a word to a create a new word. Prefixes have different meanings so they can be used to change the meaning of a word.

Examples of prefixes are un-, dis-, mis-, in-, super-, anti-, auto-, sub-, semi-, bi- and non-.

What is a suffix?

A suffix is a group of letters that can be added to the end of a word. The suffix can change the word’s meaning.

Examples of suffixes include -ing, -ed, -er, -est, -ness, -less, -ful, -ly, -ment and -ous.

What are the spelling rules when adding prefixes and suffixes to words?

Most prefixes can be added to root words without any change in spelling of the root word. See English Appendix 1: Spelling for more information.

Many root words can just have the suffixes added to the end of the words but there are some spelling rules which pupils will need to learn and apply (detailed in English Appendix 1: Spelling).

Doubling the consonant

When the last syllable of the root word is stressed has a vowel making the short vowel sound /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/ and ends in a single consonant, we double the last letter.

  • forget – forgetting
  • prefer – preferred

Words ending in ‘e’

When a word ends in an ‘e’, we remove the ‘e’ before adding the suffix.

  • large - larger - largest

Words ending in ‘y’

For words ending in a consonant followed by a ‘y’, the ‘y’ is changed to an ‘i’ before adding the suffix .

  • happy – happiness

What is included in this resources pack?

This pack is divided into five parts:


This section includes PowerPoint teaching slides and teaching notes with an optional script to introduce word families. It can also be used to revisit this aspect of grammar with pupils.


An independent activity for pupils to practise using what they have been taught, allowing teachers to assess understanding.


A series of short, 10-minute activities that can be used following the TEACH session to revisit and rehearse what has been taught. These may be short writing tasks, grammar games or editing/proofreading activities.


A short writing task where pupils can use the grammar skills taught in context to produce independent writing.


Five SATs style test questions, including cloze activities and multiple choice quiz questions, based on the grammar that has been taught.

Teachers can choose which section of the resource pack to use according to their pupils’ needs and could use the activities over a series of lessons or weeks

Teacher notes are provided to show how these quality resources could be used with pupils.

How is this resource pack differentiated?

The PRACTISE and REVISE sections include three activities differentiated for three levels of ability:

  • Worksheet 1 for pupils who may need support. Questions will have a lower cognitive domain (what is being asked of pupils) and/or vocabulary used may be simplified where possible.
  • Worksheet 2 for pupils working at age related expectations.
  • Worksheet 3 for pupils who may need an additional challenge and may be working at a greater depth in this area. Questions will have a higher cognitive domain with more challenging vocabulary.

SUPPORT and CHALLENGE ideas are also included in the teacher notes of each section where relevant, with ideas of how to support pupils working towards the expected standard or at greater depth in this area.

What pupil-facing resources are included?


    PPT slides; model text ‘When the circus came to town’


    Practise 1, Practise 2 and Practise 3 worksheets


    Game 1 and game 2 cards


    Planning sheet, circus image


    PPT slides; Revise 1, Revise 2 and Revise 3 worksheets

Answer sheets for all worksheets are provided, where appropriate.

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