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The Suffix -ION: A FREE Morphology Lesson

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Mar 18

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Morphology is a powerful tool for teaching older students both decoding longer words and understanding new vocabulary words. We use the suffix -ion to change the meaning of a word. Adding the suffix -ion to a base word changes a verb into a noun. There are several ways to spell the -ion suffix to make the /shun/ or /zhun/ sound at the end of the word.



suffix ion example of meditation


Adding a suffix to a word may change the spelling of the word. Here are the rules for spelling words with the suffix -ion.


  1. if a base word ends in -ss or a consonant + t, add -ion

  2. if a base word ends in a t + silent e, drop the e and add -ion

  3. if a base word ends in -ne, -ve, or re, drop the e and add -ation (there are also some base words that we just add -ation, such as information

  4. sometimes we add -ition to base words, this is a less common pattern, and is based on word etymology

  5. if a base word ends in -d or -de, drop the -e and add -sion

  6. if a base word ends in -se (the /z/ sound), drop the -e and add -sion

  7. if a base word ends in a short vowel + t, drop the -t and add -ssion

  8. if a base word ends in a consonant + y, drop the -y and add -ication

  9. there are also words that don’t follow one of these patterns


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 -ION

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




Suffixes change both the spelling and meaning of words. I recommend following this routine to practice both spelling and meaning.


  1. You display a base word from the presentation.

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

  3. You display the words with the -ion suffix from the presentation (the next slide).

  4. Students check their spelling.

  5. Students say or write a sentence using the base word. Then, say or write a different sentence using the word with the suffix.


This lesson is designed to last two weeks. You also get 25 mixed review practice slides to use later in the year.


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 ion 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 suffix ion

#ion #morphology

Cate O'Donnell

3 min read

Mar 18

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0

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