How to use etymological information can improve understanding in reading and aid spelling

Morphology and etymology go hand in hand and when joined together with orthographical mapping, they become a powerful trio in the learning of spellings. 

We are asked when should we introduce this kind of talk around spelling?  We need to introduce suffixes during the teaching of phonics and so need to introduce the correct phrase – suffix here.  However, talking about prefixes and roots will be dependent on the children in your class.
A base word is a type of root word. A base word must make sense on its own in the English language like ‘help’.
Etymology is the study of the history of the form of words. This includes looking at the origin of words and the evolution of their meaning over time. 
Previously, we have discussed breaking down words into chunks in order to aid spelling.  We can separate sounds which can become clumsy in longer words like ‘pedestrian’ or ‘photograph’ –  so, break into syllables before adding in the sound buttons if needed.  In our new scheme, we use the sound buttons when needed.  

Knowing that both ‘photo’ and ‘graph’ have Greek origins, helps us remember that the /f/ sound is spelled ‘ph’.  The further knowledge dive into the Greek ‘Phi’ changing from a hard /p/ sound to /ph/ when transcribed by the Romans many be interesting to teachers (some of us!) but isn’t knowledge that would help children.  

Other words with Greek origins:






Over 60% of all words in English have Latin or Greek roots. This number rises further for polysyllabic words and those words in the science and technology lexicon.   Sharing a number of these affixes and roots can aid memorisation in terms of vocabulary and word meaning.  This helps children spell words like aeroplane , aerial etc because they remember the letter string from ‘aero.’
Words beginning in ‘tw’ mean ‘two’, such as: twice, twin, twenty (two tens), twelve (ten and a two), twelfth.
Linking meanings can also aid spellings if we look at the word triceratops.  ‘Tri’ is three,  ‘cer’ is horn and ‘ops’ is face = Three horned face.   Connecting the ‘cer’ in each word aids memorisation of the ‘c’ rather than ‘s’ aids the spelling of ‘cer’.
Dinosaurs can help us further will spellings

How do we use etymology in Spelling Shed lessons?