#4 Word Detectives!

Kids love secret codes. They love playing detective and investigating things for themselves. In order to encourage children to become logophiles (word lovers), we’re going to unlock the meanings of words using a very special secret code – etymology!

Etymology is the study of the true meaning of words. From personal experience, I think it’s really important to develop an inquisitiveness around the origins of words. Creating a curiosity around words and language from a young age can have a huge impact! Understanding the original meaning of words can really help us to better understand the English language. Etymology reveals patterns of meaning in related words and helps us to build our vocabulary. When we come across a new word, we may even be able to use our deduction skills to break it down and try to work out what it means by using our knowledge of etymology… Cool, huh?

Do YOU think you have what it takes to solve the mystery? Put your detective hat on, grab your magnifying glass and find out…

top secret

TOP TIP! To make this task even more engaging and exciting, parents and teachers may wish to prepare the resources in advance and simply give children a TOP SECRET envelope containing some simple instructions, the clues and word matching cards! The resources can be downloaded below (you will need to cut out the meanings and words cards):


1) Study the Clues

Did you know that two thirds of the English language is rooted in either Greek or Latin? Etymology (the study of the true meaning of words) can be used to uncover the hidden origins of words and unravel the mysteries of what these words mean by breaking them down into smaller chunks. Today we are going to focus on words with Greek Roots. You will need to use the clues below to help you match the words to their original meaning. Spend some time reading over the clues…

Screenshot 2020-03-24 at 12.53.26

2) Match words to their meanings

Be a detective and use the clues to pair each word with its meaning! You will need to print out all of the Words and all of their Meanings and cut them up into individual cards. Shuffle them up and then start to decipher which words link with which meanings! You may want to print out the Clues too!

[original resource can be found here]

3) Check your answers using a dictionary

Use a dictionary to look up any words you’re not sure of to see if you were right!

👍  Remember to Share and Connect…

Don’t forget to share your learning! I’m sure your family would love for you to reveal what you’ve discovered… They may even put their detective hats on too and help you solve the mystery! Please do share photos of your amazing detective work with us too! You can either do this in the comments box below or post a photo on social media (you can find me on Facebook and Twitter) using the hashtag #literacywithmissp

Happy Hunting!

Miss P x





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