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The Suffix -ED: A FREE Morphology Lesson

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Nov 30, 2023




Morphology is a powerful tool for teaching older students both decoding longer words and understanding new vocabulary words. We use the suffix -ed to turn present-tense verbs into past tense verbs.

push – pushed

There are many spelling rules for adding the -ed suffix to verbs. There are also irregular past tense verbs that do not follow a pattern at all. This lesson will teach and practice all of the spellings of the past tense verbs.

suffix -ed example of kicked

In this lesson, you will teach students many things.

  1. suffixes come at the end of words

  2. suffixes change the meaning of a word

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

  4. we use the suffix -ed to turn present tense verbs into past tense verbs

  5. sometimes we have to change the spelling at the end of the base word to add the -ed suffix

  6. there are some irregular past tense verbs

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 Suffix -ED

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

This lesson teaches the function of the suffix, but it focuses on spelling because there are so many spelling rules for adding suffixes that begin with a vowel. At the beginning of each lesson, you will share the slide with the basic information and the chart that shows the different spelling patterns. Then, students will practice the spelling patterns using this routine:

  1. You display a verb from the presentation.

  2. Students write the verb with the -ed suffix in their writing notebooks or on a whiteboard.

  3. You display the verb with the suffix -ed from the presentation (the next slide).

  4. Students check their work and get immediate feedback.

This is a spiral review lesson. Each day, you will teach students one spelling pattern for the suffix -ed. Students will practice that pattern and review any past patterns. The complete lesson will take ten days. You also get mixed review for practice later in the year to keep your students fresh.

Here are the spelling patterns for adding the suffix to base words:

For most verbs, simply add "-ed":

play → played

work → worked

For verbs ending in "e", just add "d":

love → loved

bake → baked

For one-syllable verbs ending in a single vowel followed by a single consonant, double the final consonant before adding "-ed":

stop → stopped

plan → planned

For verbs ending in "y" preceded by a consonant, change the "y" to "i" and add "-ed":

cry → cried

carry → carried

For verbs ending in "y" preceded by a vowel, simply add "-ed":

play → played

enjoy → enjoyed

For two-syllable verbs where the stress is on the second syllable, double the final consonant before adding "-ed":

prefer → preferred

control → controlled

For verbs ending in a vowel followed by "w", "x", or "y", simply add "-ed" (do not double the consonant):

show → showed

mix → mixed

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

suffix ed 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 DIS- 


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 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  

suffix ed

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Nov 30, 2023




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