ALEX Lesson Plan


Dinosaurs: Prefixes and Suffixes

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Deborah Krueger
System: Huntsville City
School: McDonnell Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 16729


Dinosaurs: Prefixes and Suffixes


Scientists use prefixes and suffixes to name dinosaurs. In this lesson, students will use a variety of prefixes and suffixes to create their own dinosaur names. They will draw a picture of the new dinosaur, and then type, edit, and print a story using a word processor.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
1 ) Use input and output devices of technology systems.

Examples: input—recording devices, keyboards, touchscreens

-  output—printers

•  Demonstrating ergonomics relative to technology systems
•  Demonstrating correct keyboarding techniques
•  Demonstrating safe removal of storage media
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
2 ) Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.

•  Using navigational features commonly found in technology applications
•  Identifying digital file types
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
10 ) Use digital environments to collaborate and communicate.

Examples: publishing online journals, sharing presentations, contributing to online discussions, communicating with experts

•  Producing digital works collaboratively
Examples: developing shared writing projects and group multimedia projects

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
19 ) By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the Grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently. [RI.5.10]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
23 ) Write informative or explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. [W.5.2]

a. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. [W.5.2a]

b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic. [W.5.2b]

c. Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially). [W.5.2c]

d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. [W.5.2d]

e. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented. [W.5.2e]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
26 ) With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the first three Language standards in Grades K-5.) [W.5.5]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
39 ) Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.5.2]

a. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.* [L.5.2a]

b. Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence. [L.5.2b]

c. Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It's true, isn't it'), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve'). [L.5.2c]

d. Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works. [L.5.2d]

e. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. [L.5.2e]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
41 ) Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on Grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. [L.5.4]

a. Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase. [L.5.4a]

b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., photograph, photosynthesis). [L.5.4b]

c. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases. [L.5.4c]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will create a drawing of an imaginary dinosaur with a name that integrates assorted prefixes and suffixes. Students will write a story describing the life of the dinosaur, using a computer and scanner to publish their work.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will demonstrate vocabulary growth through the use of prefixes and suffixes.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Assorted books on dinosaurs, drawing paper, colored pencils or crayons, transparency and/or handout of prefixes and suffixes, sample dinosaur pictures, copies of handouts for students

Technology Resources Needed:

Computers with Internet access, LCD projector, scanner, AlphaSmarts


The students will need to know how prefixes and suffixes are used and have experience using word processing software and a scanner. The teacher will need to download, print, and duplicate the attached handouts and bookmarks the websites listed on the computers the students will be using.

1.)Ask students to tell what they know about dinosaurs. Then share with students some of the pictures in the dinosaur books, along with the meaning of the dinosaurs' names. Be sure to discuss how the parts of the name have something to do with the way the dinosaur looks.

2.)Explain to students how scientists use Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes to name new dinosaurs. Refer back to some of the dinosaurs that were in the books. Show students the attached prefixes and suffixes handout. Go over the different words and meanings and how these would equate to a part of a dinosaur (for example, "titano" in a dinosaur name would mean something gigantic; "pteryx" might refer to something with wings, and "nano" and "ped" would refer to nose and foot respectively).

3.)Explain to students that they are to think of a totally outrageous dinosaur. Using the list of prefixes and suffixes, they are to create and name an imaginary dinosaur. Give them an example: tri (three), oculo (eye), retro (backward), pteryx (wing). It could be called a TRIOCULORETROPTERYX, and it could be drawn with three eyes -one in the back of its head so that it could see as it was flying backwards. Explain that they will draw their new dinosaurs, and then write a story about how the dinosaurs survived, how they protected themselves, and what they ate. Any other details would also be appropriate.
(Region 15 Graphic Organizer: Event Map)
This site has several graphic organizers to choose from in order to write an expository story.

4.)To reinforce the use of prefixes and suffixes, write the name "Xenolalotitanopedpteryxraptor". Have students break down the parts of the name and locate the meanings on their handout. When they have described what they thought it might look like, show the picture of the dinosaur from the attachment labeled "dinosaur lesson." Let them see if it follows the meanings of the words. (Emphasize that prefixes will be toward the beginning of the name; suffixes toward the end of the name.)

5.)Allow time for students to visit various websites (see attachment for a list) to find information on how the dinosaurs lived, and how they used various parts of their bodies to move and capture prey. This information will help them create a dinosaur and write about it. Students may also record their interesting facts about dinosaurs on the attached "Dino Facts" handout.

6.)Give students time to come up with their dinosaur names and to draw their pictures. Once they have completed their pictures, they will use AlphaSmarts to begin a story about the dinosaur. Review the steps of the writing process using the website below.
(Writing Process)
This site teaches about the steps in the Writing process.

7.)When students finish their drafts, help them download and print them out for review. Students will then make final corrections/additions to their stories. Monitor use of proper keyboarding skills and the use of different aspects of the handheld. Be sure they save the word processing documents.

8.)Use a scanner and scan the pictures students have drawn. Be sure to save the scanned picture. Insert the image into the word processing documents containing their stories. Print out the finished products. Display the finished dinosaurs on a bulletin board under the heading "It's a Whatasaurus?"

**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies

The teacher will use a rubric to assess the drawings, stories, and computer use (see Rubistar.




Students can either work with a partner, or the teacher can work with a small group on the prefix-suffix meanings sheet.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.