Multisensory Monday- Greek & Latin Roots (hydro/aqua)

Multisensory Monday- Greek & Latin Roots (hydro/aqua)

Posted by Tammi Brandon on 13th Jun 2024

We've all heard words like "aqueduct" and "hydrogen" and maybe even words such as "hydrocephalus" and "aquarellist". But, do you know how these words are all related? They hail from Greek (hydro) and Latin (aqua) and mean "water".

Hydro, The Word for Water in Greek

The word part "hydro" traces its roots back to ancient Greek. It stems from the Greek word "hudōr" (ὕδωρ), which means "water." “Hydro” has been a fundamental part of the Greek language. It has contributed to numerous words related to water in various fields, including science, technology, and medicine.

Examples of Words Containing “Hydro”

  • Hydrology: The study of water, especially its movement, distribution, and properties on Earth.
  • Hydrate: To supply water or restore fluid to something, often used in the context of maintaining proper body hydration.
  • Dehydrate: The process of removing water or becoming dried out.

Aqua, The Word for Water in Latin

In ancient Rome, "aqua" was significant. “Aqua” referred to water in various contexts, including everyday use, public works, and literature. The Latin term "aqua" has been integrated into several modern Romance languages and numerous English words.

Examples of Words Containing "Aqua"

  • Aquarium: A container with water where aquatic plants and animals live.
  • Aquatic: Relating to water; living or growing in, on, or near water.
  • Aquifer: An underground layer of rock or soil that holds water.

Teaching Words With Greek & Latin Roots

In Brainspring's Structures® curriculum, the roots hydro/hydra and aqua are taught in Module 2. There are several phonics skills that may be taught (or re-taught) when it comes time to teach this lesson. For instance, Y making the long I sound may be reviewed; qu making the /kw/ sound could be re-taught; the concept of Open syllables could be taught or reviewed; and the schwa is another area that could be focused on. Additionally, the meaning of hydro/hydra and aqua can be taught using a multisensory activity.


DOWNLOAD the FREE Template here and provide a copy to your students. The students will either cut out the water droplets at the bottom of the page or may use blue construction paper and cut out water droplets. These water droplets and a cutout of the water spigot should be glued to a sheet of paper.  During dictation, students should write each word in a separate water droplet.

This activity reinforces the meaning of the root words hydro/hydra and aqua!

Tammi Brandon, M.Ed., CDP

Tammi Brandon is a Master Instructor and Education Consultant with Brainspring Educator Academy.

Brainspring’s Educator Academy helps teachers bring Orton-Gillingham based multisensory instruction to the classroom.

Our nationally accredited Phonics First® and Structures® programs help transform struggling readers into skilled learners with an effective, fun, multisensory approach.

For more information please visit or call 1-8007323211