Do your students struggle to remember the meanings of the suffixes -ness and -ment? Mine did until I came up with a simple memory trick for them.
Both -ness and -ment carry the same meaning; they mean “the state of”. The word “happiness”, for example, means the state of being happy, and the word “enjoyment” means the state of enjoying something. Introduce the prefixes and suffixes and discuss the meaning of them. If your students have difficulty remembering the meaning of these suffixes, here is a quick activity to try.
Make it Multisensory …
Print out a map of “the state of” Michigan. Michigan works perfectly for this activity because it has two peninsulas, one for each suffix. Free printable maps of Michigan are available using a quick internet search. Instruct the students to use creative bubble lettering to write “ness” in one peninsula and “ment” in the other peninsula of “the state of” Michigan. Remind students to verbalize the suffixes and their meanings as they complete this quick illustration.
Another little memory device for this activity is to point out that Michigan begins with the letter M as in “ment” and ends in the letter N as in “ness”. This, combined with the illustration, has helped my students quickly and confidently remember the meaning of these two suffixes.
Written by Tammi Brandon, M.Ed., CDP
Tammi Brandon is a Master Instructor and Education Consultant with Brainspring Educator Academy.
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