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The Prefix TRI-: A FREE Morphology Lesson

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Mar 17

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Morphology is a powerful tool for teaching older students both decoding longer words and understanding new vocabulary words. We use prefixes to change the meaning of a word. Adding the prefix tri- changes the meaning of the word. The prefix tri- means three.



prefix tri example of tricycle


Luckily, we can add prefixes to base words without changing the spelling of the base word.

In this lesson, you will teach students many things.


  1. prefixes come at the beginning of words

  2. they change the meaning of a word

  3. they are not words, but they are units of meaning

  4. we use the prefix tri- to mean three

  5. we can use the prefix tri- to create nouns, adjectives, and verbs, but they are usually nouns


It is helpful for students to know the parts of speech as they work on morphology. If your students need to work on parts of speech, I highly recommend this writing program. It teaches writing complete sentences based on parts of speech. If you need to, you can even use these two programs at the same time.



writing complete sentences


Teaching the Prefix Tri-

To teach your students about the prefix tri-, display the presentation below. You can access the presentation from this website for free. You can also purchase the slideshow for use at school.




Since prefixes do not change the spelling of the base words, I recommend focusing on the meaning of the words by having students write or say sentences.


  1. You display the vocabulary word with the prefix.

  2. Students discuss the meaning of the word and how it can be used in partners or small groups.

  3. You display the definition of the word. Some of the definitions include picture support.

  4. Students reflect on their understanding in partners or small groups. They should also discuss how the definition of the word makes sense with the meaning of the prefix.

  5. At the end of the presentations, have students choose one or two words and write example sentences that use context clues to show the meaning of the word.


This lesson is designed to last three days. You also get 15 mixed review practice slides to use later in the year.



Check out this list of words with the prefix. You can use this list to build your own activities for your classroom. You can also get a printable .pdf.


prefix tri word list


More Morphology Practice

Do you love this lesson? You can access all of the morphology lessons for FREE on this website! You can also purchase the presentations!


Base Words

The Suffixes -S and -ES

The Suffix -ING

The Suffix -ER for Comparative Adjectives

The Suffix -EST for Superlative Adjectives

The Suffix -ER for Someone Who

The Suffix -ED for Past Tense Verbs

The Prefix UN- MEANING OPPOSITE OR NOT

The Prefix RE- MEANING AGAIN

The Prefix DIS- 

THE Suffixes -ER and -OR MEANING A PERSON WHO

The Prefix IN- Meaning Not

The Suffix -FUL Meaning Full Of

The Suffix -LESS Meaning Without

The Suffix -Y Meaning What Something is Like

The Suffix -LY Meaning How an Action is Done

The Prefix UNDER

The Prefix OVER

The Prefix NON

The Prefix PRE

The Prefixes BI/DI

The Prefix TRI

The Prefix QUAD

The Prefix OCT

THE SUFFIX ION

THE SUFFIX NESS

The Prefix SEMI

The Prefix SUPER

The Prefix MULTI

The Prefix POLY

The Prefix TELE

The Prefix MID

The Prefix MIS

The Prefix INTER

The Prefix DECA/DECI

The Prefix KILO

The Prefix SUB

The Prefix MILLI/MILLE  




the prefix tri

#morphology #tri

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Mar 17

0

0

0

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