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Year 3 Root Words and Word Families KS2 SPaG Worksheets

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This bright, appealing grammar worksheet is an excellent way to practise and revise root words and word families in Key Stage 2. This worksheet is divided into five sections: understand, challenge, test, explain and apply.

  • Understand

Write the root word next to each example. Create new words by adding prefixes or suffixes to root words.

  • Challenge

Choose two root words and use prefixes or suffixes to create a new word. Use each word in a sentence.

  • Test

What do the root words scrib, struct and vis mean in the examples? What is the common root word for the examples given?

  • Explain

Using your own words, explain what a root word and a word family is. Use examples.

  • Apply

Write a short story about the picture. Make sure that you include five different root words in new words and underline them

This 15-minute challenge features activities that include SATs-style questions and opportunities for creative writing responses, with eye-catching images as prompts.

What is a root word?

Root words can stand alone, whereas suffixes or prefixes can’t. For example, ‘help’ is the root word for other words in its word family, such as ‘helpful’ and ‘helpless’, and also for its inflections such as ‘helping’. Compound words can contain two or more root words, such as ‘help-desk’.

Root word examples

  • played [the root word is play]
  • unfair [the root word is fair]
  • football [the root words are foot and ball]

What is a word family?

Word families are groups of words that are related to each other in a combination of having the same root word (with prefixes, suffixes or other words added to make compound words like superman), grammar and meaning. Words that change when written in the past and present tense (for example understand and understood) are also part of the same word family. A word root is a basic word with no prefix or suffix added. 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.

Word Family examples

  • play, playful, playing, played, replay
  • scribe, subscribe, describe, unsubscribe
  • write, wrote, written, writing, rewrite, unwritten

National Curriculum English programme of study links

Apply their growing knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes (etymology and morphology), both to read aloud and to understand the meaning of new words they meet.

  • Worksheets featuring five sections: understand challenge test explain and apply. Activities include SATs style questions and opportunities for creative writing responses with eye-catching images as prompts
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