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Determine the Meaning of Greek and Latin Roots

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Basics on the topic Determine the Meaning of Greek and Latin Roots

Kala and Dee are at the observatory to check out the new exhibit about Mars. During the presentation, they come across some unfamiliar words. In this video, we will learn how to use Greek and Latin root words to help us determine the meaning and deepen our understanding of texts.

Transcript Determine the Meaning of Greek and Latin Roots

"Words with Greek and Latin origins." Kala and Dee are at the observatory to look at the new exhibit, Mars: The Red Planet. Welcome Astronomers, as you set out to explore the wonders of Mars. Mars is known as the Red Planet. It is smaller than Earth with a diameter of four thousand two hundred and seventeen miles. “What is a diameter?” "Let’s click here to find out more." The word diameter is made from the Greek and Latin root words dia and meter. The root dia means across or through, and meter is a root having to do with measurement. When we put them together to make the word diameter, we know that it is talking about the measurement across or through Mars. To make sure we understand, let’s re-read the sentence adding to the unfamiliar word with what we know about its meaning. Mars is known as the Red Planet. It is smaller than the Earth with a diameter, or measurement across, of four thousand two hundred and seventeen miles. Let’s think of some other words that have the roots, dia or meter in them. Other words with dia are dialogue, talking to someone across from you; and diagonal, which is a line drawn through a shape from opposite sides. Words with the root, meter, are thermometer, which measures temperature; and perimeter, the distance around the outside of a shape. In 1610 Galileo Galilei, an astronomer, made the first observation of Mars with a telescope. Do you see words that have Greek or Latin roots? Astronomer and telescope have roots. Astro is in the word, astronomer. Astro means connected to the stars, so an astronomer is a person who studies stars. Telescope has tele and scope. Tele means far away and scope means to see. A telescope is an instrument used to see far away. Now, re-read the sentence with our understanding of the meanings. In 1610 Galileo Galilei, an astronomer, or person who studied the stars, made the first observation of Mars with a telescope, an instrument to see far away. Let's think of other words that have these roots. Other words starting with astro are: asteroid, a small rocky object that orbits the sun; astronaut, a person who travels into space; and astronomical, everything in the universe beyond Earth's atmosphere. For tele, we have telephone, used to communicate at distances; television, used to watch things that happened far away; and teleport, to instantly travel to a far away place. Scope makes kaleidoscope, an instrument used to see beautiful colours; and microscope, an instrument to see something very small. The terrain of Mars is rocky with canyons and craters, and its atmosphere is too thin to stay warm. Terrain and atmosphere have Greek and Latin roots. What do you think these words mean? Terrain has ,terra, meaning land. Atmosphere has sphere, which means round or ball. Now, re-read the sentence with the meanings. The terrain, or land, of Mars is rocky with canyons and craters, and its atmosphere, or ball of air that surrounds it, is too thin to stay warm. Let's think of other words that have these roots. Words with terra are: terrariums, a bit like an aquarium, but with plants; and extraterrestrial, something that is out of this world. Words with sphere are hemisphere, half of the Earth; and biosphere, parts of Earth that can support life. Just imagine that one day, we too, can travel to Mars! While Kala and Dee look up to the night sky, let's review. Remember, roots are a piece of a word that helps give it meaning. Learning roots help us decode new, unfamiliar words when we see them in a text. "Let's see if we can find Mars with the telescope." "Ooohh, meteoroids!" "Make a wish!" "What did you wish for?" "What did you wish for?"

Determine the Meaning of Greek and Latin Roots exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Determine the Meaning of Greek and Latin Roots.
  • True or false?

    Hints

    Remember to choose ALL of the answers that are true.

    For example: diameter is a word with two roots. Dia means across/through and meter has to do with measurement. This tells us that the diameter is the measurement across/through something.

    There are two correct statements to select.

    Solution

    The correct answers are:

    • Roots are parts of the word that gives the word meaning.
    • Roots help us decode new unfamiliar words.

    The second and third statements are false.

    • The second statement is false because although roots give meaning to a new word, they do not define that word. They only help us understand it.
    • The third statement is false because while in this video the roots we learn tell us information about the planets using root words, that is not always the case.

  • Fill in the blanks.

    Hints

    All of the words in the blanks have Greek or Latin roots. Use the meanings you learned in the video of these roots to help pick the word that best fills in the blank.

    The word should go before the definition.

    • Example: The terrain, or land of Mars is rocky.

    Solution

    Kala and Dee looked through the telescope, an instrument used to see far away, and saw thousands of stars.

    • Here we know that Kala and Dee are using a device to help them see outer space, because tele means far and scope means seeing, so we know that the word is telescope, an instrument used to see far away.
    They thought about how cool it would be to be astronauts, or people who travel to space, and discover new things about the solar system.
    • Kala and Dee are thinking about people who discover space. We know that astro means star, so we know they are talking about the job of astronauts, or people who travel to space.
    Mars has a diameter, or measurement across of 4,217 miles.
    • We know that dia means around/across and meter means measurement, so we know that we are talking about 4,217 miles which is Mars diameter.
    Mars' atmosphere, or ball of air that surrounds it is made up of carbon dioxide, argon, nitrogen, and other gases.
    • Here, gases around Mars are being discussed. Because sphere refers to ball/round we know they are referring to the atmosphere or the ball of gases around Mars.

  • Match the root to an ending to form new words.

    Hints

    Use the root at the start of the word, which option can come after the root to form a new word?

    Read the words you've matched back to yourself to make sure that it makes sense. Keep in mind the meaning of the different roots you've been provided.

    • dia means across/through
    • astro means star
    • tele means far away
    • scope means to see
    Solution

    Dia as a root means across/through

    • diameter, the measurement across/through something
    • dialogue, speaking to someone across you

    Tele as a root means far away

    • telescope, to see far away
    • telephone, to speak to someone far away
    • television, to watch something happening far away
    Astro as a root means star
    • astronomer, person who studies stars
    • astronaut, person who travels to the stars

  • Connect the word to its meaning.

    Hints

    Remember the meanings of these Greek/Latin roots are:

    • Astro - star
    • Scope - to see
    • Terra - land
    • Sphere - ball/round
    • Dia - across/through
    • Meter - measurement

    The meaning of the word is not the same as the meaning of the root, but it can help you.

    Solution

    Asteroid contains the root astro which means star. So an asteroid is a rocky object that orbits the sun (the biggest star).

    Microscope contains the root scope which means to see. So a microscope is an instrument we use to see small objects.

    Extraterrestrial contains the root terra which means land. So extraterrestrial is something that is out of this world (or land).

    Hemisphere contains the root sphere which means ball/round. So hemisphere is half of the Earth, which is round.

    Dialogue contains the root dia which means across/through. So dialogue is a talking to someone across from you.

    Perimeter contains the root meter which means measurement. So perimeter is a measurement of the distance around the outside of an object.

  • Can you identify the words with Greek and Latin roots in these texts?

    Hints

    There is only 1 word with a Greek or Latin root and 1 word meaning in each sentence.

    Remember that the Greek/Latin roots in the words give hints about the words meaning.

    Some examples of Greek/Latin roots are: astro, meter, dia, scope

    Solution

    1) The astronaut, or a person who travels into space, dreamed of her next rocket launch. Astro means star, so astronaut is a person who travels into space (among the stars).

    2) Her dreams were filled with cosmos, or the universe, and planets. Cosm means universe/world, so cosmos are another way to describe the universe.

    3) She knew that if a meteoroid or a piece of rock that orbits the sun hit the Earth, it would destroy everything. Oid means like/form, so meteoroid is a rock-like object that orbits the sun.

    4) She wanted to learn more about supernovas, or very bright explosions of stars, and celestial bodies. Nova means new, so supernovas are explosions of stars that general new bright lights.

  • Greek and Latin roots.

    Hints

    The root cosm means universe.

    Astro is a root meaning star.

    Solution

    1) Astronaut has the Greek root astro meaning star.

    2) Cosmos has the Greek root cosm meaning world.

    3) Spaceship does not have Greek or Latin roots.

    4) Colourful does not have Greek or Latin roots.

    5) Terrarium has the Latin root terra meaning ground.

    6) Diameter has the Greek roots dia meaning across and meter meaning measure.

    7) Rainbow does not have Greek or Latin roots.