Word Roots

Check out this youtube video about word roots !


Some English words come from other languages such as Latin or Greek. If you know some “root” words and possible prefixes/suffixes, you will be able to  understand the meaning of many words that are new to you.  Here is an example of how you can use information to understand the meaning of a word:

Root  ” predict”   ( to say before)

Suffix ” able”  ( capable of )

New word  ” predictable”   ( capable of saying before)

Here is a site where  you can check out some Greek and Latin roots http://www.readingrockets.org/article/root-words-roots-and-affixes


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Have you ever heard the phrase ” He really gets my goat !” ?

This idiom means that someone is really  irritating. Seems kind of odd though right ? The goats in the picture look kind of cute and don’t seem to be bothering anyone at all. Actually, the origin of the phrase may come from a few different sources. One source suggests that  this idiom may be from  the 1700s when goats were used as companions to race horses. The goat was a calming influence on the horse. So, if the goat was stolen, the horse would not able to focus on the race and potentially would lose the race. Thus, to “get your goat” was not only irritating to the horse, but also to the horse’s owner !

Can you think of another idiom that involves a farm animal ?

A simple Compare and Contrast exercise

Writing a compare/contrast paragraph can present a few hidden problems. A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Identify the traits/characteristics that you will compare and those which will be contrasted. You might find it helpful to use a table to list the details.
  2. Be sure to keep a consistent order when referring to the objects discussed.
  3. Use signal words to add a flow.
  4. In some cases, it is more practical to write about the similarities first ( compare) and then use another paragraph to discuss the differences ( contrast)

Below you will see two pictures of flowers to use in a simple compare/contrast. I have also included a few sample sentences to get you started.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           .DSC_0134DSC_0168

Both of the pictures are ……….of common garden flowers that are yellow in colour.

Here is an example of a table for noting contrasting details before writing.

Flower 1                                            Flower 2

Colour                                        Bright Yellow                                   Mustard Yellow

Petals                                     ~ 8 full petals                                   Many tiny spiky petals

Centre of flower                        Small Dark Yellow                          Large Yellow and Brown

Topic Sentence Paragraph 1 ? The flowers in my garden are beautiful and seem to share some similar features.

Topic Sentence Paragraph 2 ? Although I thought that my flowers were similar, upon closer examination, I noticed that there were some striking differences between them.

Concluding  Sentence ? Even though both of  my flowers are known as “common” garden variety flowers, they have an amazing complexity.

Signal words to use ? On the other hand, in contrast, alike, similar, same as, different etc

Try writing your own compare/contrast !

Writing Prompt:Confined by Glass

Confined by Glass
Confined by Glass

Writing Prompt: This is a picture of Jellyfish in one of the large aquariums at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Jellyfish are fascinating creatures. Find out more about the Jellyfish. You may begin your search at this link: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/BC/ID/2385680278/?page=15 Record your learning by writing a descriptive 5 paragraph essay about the Jellyfish.

Writing Promp:A Work of Ice

A Work of Ice

Writing Prompt : Confined by Cold
Think about the picture to get some inspiration for your response. You may also know some novels that can provide you with some text to self connections for your response. For example, consider this quote from Chapter 1 in the novel “White Fang” by Jack London:

“It is not the way of the Wild to like movement. Life is an offence to it, for life is movement; and the Wild aims always to destroy movement. It freezes the water to prevent it running to the sea; it drives the sap out of the trees till they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly of all does the Wild harry and crush into submission man- man who is the most restless of life, ever in revolt against the dictum that all movement must in the end come to the cessation of movement.”