Morphology is fun to teach! We can increase our own knowledge and awareness right along with our students with these well-designed lessons.
“Why teach morphology?” Morphological Awareness is surfacing as a very important reading component. Research emerges almost weekly to support its place in our instruction. Let’s pay attention to this news in much the same way we did when phonological awareness surfaced those many years ago: Learn everything about it, what it means, and how to teach it!
“How do I teach morphology?” Most teachers have a good sense of what morphology is and what morphemes are, but they don’t know how to teach it or why. If we do not understand something or feel confident in our knowledge of a topic, we will not teach it. This is why I tell teachers, “Morphology is something you can learn right along with your students, and the more you teach it the more confident you will feel and the more you will include morphology in your vocabulary and spelling lessons.”
“What’s the Research?”
- Makes a powerful contribution to word reading abilities.
- Explains 4 to 15 percent of students’ reading abilities as measured by literacy assessments.
- Impacts reading comprehension positively.
- Improves spelling and written compositions.
- Positively impacts students’ literacy skills when taught during intervention.
• Uniquely predicts reading and writing skills even when other linguistic awareness skills are considered.
In some cases, morphological awareness is the sole or strongest predictor for reading and spelling ability.
Apel, K., & Dieham, E. (2014). Morphological awareness intervention for kindergarteners and first and second grade students from low SES homes: A small efficacy study. Journal of Learning
Disabilities, 47, 65-75.
Lane, H.B., Gutlohn, L., & van Dijk, W. (2019). Morpheme frequency in academic words: Identifying high utility morphemes for instruction. Literacy Research and Instruction, 58(3), 184-209
Goodwin, A.P., & Ahn, S. (2013). A meta-analysis of morphological interventions in English: Effects on literacy outcomes for school-age children. Scientific Studies of Reading, 17(4), 257-285.