Happy #morphememonday everyone!

I hope you found some way to promote literacy yesterday on UNESCO’s International Literacy Day. If you didn’t, there is no reason you can’t find a way to promote literacy any other day of the year.  So in my efforts to promote the importance of Morphological Awareness in reading instruction, here are this week’s morphemes.

Origin: Latin & Greek

Definition: one

Examples: unicolour, unification, unify, unilateral, unanimous, Unitarian

<uni> + <cycle> = unicycle

<uni> + <valve> = univalve

<uni> + <form> = uniform

<uni> + <sex> = unisex

  • Please note that technichally speaking, <uni> is considered to be a combining form. This means that it is a word element that is used in the formation of derivatives.
  • There are some instances when it is combined with a base that begins with a vowel that the ‘i’ is dropped.
  • This prefix can be taught to students in the middle grades once they understand that parts of words can convey meaning.
  • As I am writing this post, I think it would be fun to work with younger students and discuss the similarities and differences between a unicycle, a bicycle, and a tricycle. Let me know how this goes if you try it out!

Origin: Latin

Definition: to breathe

Examples: aspire, conspiracy, perspiration, spirit, expire, inspiring

<con> + <spire> + <acy> = conspiracy

<trans> + <spire> = transpire

<re> + <spire> + <ate> = respirate

<un> + <in> + <spire> + <ing> = uninspiring

  • The spelling of this root can change depending on what it is combinded with. For example, in the word expire, the ‘s’ is dropped but for the word conspiracy, the ‘e’ is dropped.
  • This root should be taught to students who have a good repertoire of other roots.

Origin: Latin

Definition: one having a certain skill or art; having to do with

Examples: Olympian, civilian, politician, electrician, logician

<Italy> + <ian> = Italian

<optic> +<ian> = optician

<magic> + <ian> = magician

<Australia> + <ian> = Austrailian

  • This suffix is noun forming and refers to a person
  • This suffix could be taught in the intermediate grades when students are learning about the countries of the world and discussing what people from certain countries are called.
  • This suffix should be taught once students have a solid foundation in other, more common suffixes.


Last week, September 2, 2019, the morphemes were the prefix <hemi>, the root <sect> and the suffix <able>.

Next week, September 16, 2019, the morphemes will be the prefix <mid>, the root <max> and the suffix <ship>.

Be sure to check out more graphics for these morphemes on our Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and Twitter pages.

If there is anything we can do or post to help you learn more about the importance of morphological awareness (or any other topic for that matter) please send an email to blog@garfortheducation.com

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