Multisensory Activity: Meaning of Suffixes -ness & -ment

Multisensory Activity: Meaning of Suffixes -ness & -ment

Posted by Tammi Brandon on 13th Jun 2024

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.

What is the Meaning of Suffixes -ness & -ment?

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.

Teaching Students the Meaning of Suffixes -ness & -ment

Teaching suffixes like "-ness" and "-ment" using a multisensory activity holds significant advantages. This approach enhances understanding by engaging multiple senses, ensuring students see, hear, and interact with the material in various ways. Not only does it improve retention through diverse sensory experiences, but it also caters to different learning styles, accommodating visual, auditory, and tactile preferences. This method fosters engagement and interest, making learning more enjoyable and motivating. By grounding these suffixes in real-life examples, educators enable students to comprehend and apply them more effectively in different contexts. When introducing new prefixes and suffixes, discuss their meaning. If your students have difficulty remembering the meaning, try a quick multisensory activity, such as this, to link the affix to its meaning.

Multisensory Activity for Suffixes -ness & -ment.

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". Explore additional words containing these suffixes while holding up each peninsula. Students hold up the peninsula containing “-ness” when they hear it in words like “kindness” or “likeness.” Students hold up the peninsula containing “-ment” when they hear words like “measurement” and “agreement.” 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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