Students learn how scientific terms are formed using Latin and Greek roots, prefixes and suffixes, and on that basis, learn to make an educated guess about the meaning of a word. Students are introduced to the role played by metaphor in language development.
Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.
All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standard Network (ASN), a project of JES & Co. (www.jesandco.org).
In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.
Click on the standard groupings to explore this hierarchy as it applies to this document.
- International Technology and Engineering Educators Association: Technology
- C. Various relationships exist between technology and other fields of study. (Grades 3 - 5)  ...show
- Students incorporate source materials into their speaking and writing (for example, interviews, news articles, encyclopedia information).
- Write and speak in the content areas using the technical vocabulary of the subject accurately.
- Read, respond to and discuss literature that represents points-of-view from places, people, and events that are familiar and unfamiliar.
- Understand that well-educated engineers are skilled at explaining technical concepts to audiences of all backgrounds
Getting to the Root
|Abstract:||Not concrete or practical; theoretical. Difficult to understand: an abstract concept.|
|Artifact:||An object produced or shaped by human craft, especially a tool, weapon or ornament of archaeological or historical interest.|
|Barometer:||An instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure, used especially in weather forecasting; something that registers or responds to changes. An indicator: Opinion polls serve as a barometer of the public mood. (A metaphorical usage.)|
|Decipher:||To read or interpret; solve; decode.|
|Derive:||To trace the origin or development of (a word).|
|Etymology:||The origin and historical development of a word or other element of language determining its basic components and changes in form and meaning; the study of etymology.|
|Figurative:||Based on or making use of figures of speech. Metaphorical: figurative language.|
|Literal:||Using the exact or primary meaning of a word or words. Word for word: a literal translation. Avoiding exaggeration or metaphor, factual: a literal description. Unimaginative: a literal mind.|
|Metaphor:||A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily refers to one thing is used to refer to another, thus making an implied comparison, as in "a sea of troubles" or "All the world's a stage" (Shakespeare).|
|Meteorology:||The science that deals with the phenomena of the atmosphere, especially weather and weather conditions.|
|Prefix:||An element added to the beginning of a word that affects its meaning.|
|Rebus:||A representation of words in the form of pictures or symbols, often presented as a puzzle.|
|Root:||The element that carries the main component of meaning in a word and provides the base for adding prefixes or suffixes.|
|Suffix:||An element added to the end of a word that affects its meaning.|
|Troposphere:||The lowest atmospheric layer, from 4 to 11 miles high (depending on latitude); the layer of the atmosphere at which weather occurs.|
Activity Embedded Assessment
- Wordplay and analysis of words into their roots, suffixes and prefixes may be a team activity.
- Links to games, puzzles and poems for all levels of ability are provided in the References section.
Albert, Toni. Ecoprints: A Complete Kit for Writing about Nature. Mechanicsburg, PA: Trickle Creek Books, 1997.
The American Heritage® College Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. [The best dictionary for word origins and word usage tips. Not just for college students!]
Baugh, Albert C. and Thomas Cable. A History of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NY: Prentice Hall, 2001. [For the teacher: A classic and well worth a read, but expensive! Save your money and get it at the library.]
Carroll, Colleen. How Artists See the Weather: Sun, Wind, Snow, Rain (How Artists See). New York, NY: Abbeville Press, 1996. [A beautiful accompaniment to lessons on figurative language.]
Dictionary.com. Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. Accessed July 17, 2004. [Source of vocabulary definitions, with some adaptation.] http://www.dictionary.com
Funk, Wilfred. Word Origins: An Exploration and History of Words and Language. New York, NY: Random House Value Publishers, 1992. [For the teacher: Another classic.]
Glossary of Meteorological Terms. NovaLynx Corporation. Accessed September 22, 2004. http://www.novalynx.com/glossary.html
Hands-On Spelling, Building Words, pg 220. Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary, Houghton Mifflin Company. Accessed September 22, 2004. http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/hmsv/6/handson/page220.html
Hands-On Spelling, Building Words, pg 196. Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary, Houghton Mifflin Company. Accessed September 22, 2004. http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/hmsv/8/handson/page196.html
Heart, Chess "Paxbear." Listmania! Children's books that play with language. Amazon.com. Accessed September 22, 2004. [Excellent list of age-appropriate wordplay books including some on word origins. http://www.amazon.com/lm/2J723K19G3NC1/ref=sr_5_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1066239605&sr=5-1
Lakoff, George and Johnson, Mark. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2003. [For the teacher: A real eye-opener and well worth a read.]
Language Arts and Weather Watch. Mrs. Oates Multiage Class at St. James All Grade, Special Projects Web Server, School District 3, Newfoundland, Canada. Accessed October 27, 2004. http://projects.sd3.k12.nf.ca/multiage/weather/teacher.html
Latin and Greek Word Elements, WordWise, Information Please. Copyright 2000-2004. Pearson Education, publishing as Fact Monster. Accessed September 22, 2004. http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0907017.html
Mark Seeley Weather Talk - Jargon. Updated September 15, 2004. The Minnesota Climatology Working Group. Accessed September 22, 2004. [For word lovers and weather buffs. Colorful discussion of weather terminology. Learn what Abraham's Tree, fulgurite, nowcasting, comma clouds and the gustiness factor mean and when to expect the ozone season. Written from a Minnesotan's point of view, but interesting at any latitude.] http://climate.umn.edu/cawap/mpr/jargon.htm
Moors, Tim. Basic Greek and Latin for Understanding Science and Medicine. Updated April 24, 2001. School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Accessed September 22, 2004. http://www.eet.unsw.edu.au/
NIEHS Kids' Pages. Updated June 8, 2004. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [NIEHS]. Accessed September 22, 2004. [Lots of games and activities, including word games (brainteasers).] http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/index.htm
Online Etymology Dictionary. Updated November 2001. Douglas Harper. Accessed November 2, 2004. http://www.etymonline.com
Poet's Corner, Subject Index – Weather. TheOtherPages.org. Accessed September 22, 2004. [Poems on weather by a number of well-known poets.] http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/SubjIdx/weather.html
Potter, John. Weather Word Search Puzzle. Updated April 24, 1998. John's Word Search Puzzles, The Potters. Accessed September 22, 2004. http://www.thepotters.com/puzzles/weather.html
Quinn, Arthur. Figures of Speech: Sixty Ways to Turn a Phrase. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1993. [For the teacher: A lively and funny introduction to the subject. Highly readable.]
Sinclair, Sharon. Water, Water Cycle and Weather Poems. Hawaii's Public Schools, Hawaii Department of Education. Accessed September 22, 2004. http://www.k12.hi.us/~shasincl/poems_prop_cycle_weather.html#thewatercycle
Templeton, Shane and Bear, Donald. Education Place. Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary. Houghton Mifflin Company. Accessed September 22, 2004. [More word building activities.] http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/hmsv/index.html
Watt, Fiona and F. Wilson. Weather and Climate (Science and Experiments Series). Tulsa, OK: E.D.C. Publishing, 1991.
Worcester, Tammy. Idioms / Figures of Speech. Tammy's Technology Tips for Teachers, ESSDACK (Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas), Hutchinson, KS. Accessed October 27, 2004. http://www.tammyworcester.com/
Yamnitz, Kyle. Lesson #21 Weather Thematic Unit. Lesson Bank, Teacher's Net. Accessed September 22, 2004. [Recommended resource for literacy activities based on the weather theme. Includes a detailed bibliography.] http://teachers.net/gazette/JAN02/lessons.html
Jane Evenson, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Denise Carlson
© 2004 by Regents of the University of Colorado.
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
Last modified: May 26, 2015