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How to Teach Added Endings


What are Added Endings?

An ending can be added to a base word to change the number or tense of that base word. For example, adding an -s to the word ‘cat’ turns the base word plural (cats). Adding an -ed to the base word walk makes the base past tense (walked). Added endings are an important skill for our students to master! Today, I’m sharing some ideas for teaching and reinforcing endings!

Introducing Added Endings

I like to follow this series of steps when introducing word parts to students for the first time:

  1. Begin by defining endings for your students. This works well in conjunction with lessons about parts of speech. As you teach about plural nouns, point out the word endings that are added and how to pronounce them. As you teach verb tenses, make sure students have a clear understanding of the different endings and how they change the tense of the base.
  2. Create an anchor chart with several examples, and words that use these endings.
  3. Review several base words and add different endings to the same base. How does the word talk change when you add an ‘s’ to the end. Is that different from talked? What about talking? Reviewing different endings with the same base word will enforce the meaning that each ending has.

Strategies for Teaching Word Endings

As you move through the school year, you will want to reinforce your students’ understanding of this skill. Use these teaching ideas!

added endings say a word aloud student points to added ending

Find the Ending

Say a word aloud. Give students letter tiles or cards with a variety of added endings on them. Students must point to the ending that matches the word you called out. An alternative way to play this game is to ask guiding questions to get students to select the correct word part. For example, you may ask: “What word ending do I need to add to this base to make the word past tense?”. Students should point to the ‘-ed’ card!

Roots and Endings

Give students a base word card. Call out an ending and ask students to write the new word. Then, call on students to define the word and explain how it changed.

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Phonics Passages

Seeing the skill in context is a great way to teach a new concept! Phonics passages provide students several opportunities to practice a skill authentically in their reading. As you introduce new endings, use passages that focus on one at a time. Throughout your unit, or as you want to spiral review, use passages that mix several together.

As in all reading tasks, comprehension is key! After reading and practicing the skill, be sure your students are also understanding what they read. My phonics passages include two quick comprehension checks at the end of every story. These passages give you the opportunity to assess a student’s success with the pattern, while also gauging comprehension and fluency at the same time!

You can grab my Added Ending Phonics Passages here or grab the bundle to have passages for all of the phonics skills you need to teach at once!

Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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