Word Building Dominoes are a fun, hands-on way for beginning readers to practice using word analysis and word formation skills to build vocabulary. Included are 108 double-sided, color-coded dominoes (216 words and affixes): 44 green prefixes, 70 blue suffixes, 102 yellow base words. Use the dominoes with small groups of students, or place them at a center for hours of independent, skill-building learning.
Word Building Dominoes Activities
Introduce the Dominoes
Encourage students to explore the dominoes, helping them to read any dominoes that are difficult for them. Point out the different color dominoes, and explain that they show different word parts. Print sentences, such as the following, on sentence strips or on the board: locked the door when left. Mom unlocked the door when she came home. She will relock the door when she goes out. Have a volunteer read the sentences aloud. Ask students what the un- means in unlocked (not or opposite of) and what the re- means in relocked (to do again). Explain to students that re- and un- are prefixes. When a prefix is added to the beginning of a base word, it forms a new word. Do the same activity with suffixes, explaining that a suffix is a word part that is added to the end of a base word to form a new word.
Write the meaning of each prefix and suffix included in this set on an index card. Place the index cards and dominoes at center. Have students match the prefix and suffix dominoes with the index cards that show the word part’s correct meaning. For example, students would match the domino with un- and the index card with not. You may also want to provide a “hint,” such as ___happy or ___lock.
Depending on the age and experience of your students, spread some or all of the dominoes out on a table, or use the base words an either the prefixes or the suffixes. Ask child or small group of children to form as many words as possible, using at least two dominoes per word. When a
word i formed, put it aside. Remind students to look a both sides of the dominoes for more options. When student are finished, count how man words were made. As students become proficient creating words with two dominoes, challenge them to use three dominoes.