Keith Kelly provides a comprehensive lesson plan with both a language and content focus accompanied by an alphabetical list of root words used to form words commonly used in geography.

To download the accompanying lesson plan, please click on the link to the right of the screen.

The terms in the table are listed alphabetically for ease of reference but it’s a good idea to encourage learners to create their own connections and groupings related to content as well as form.

root wordmeaningexample
agri- field Agriculture is hampered by rocky mountainous land and by droughts in the summer months.
anti- against Anticyclones tend roughly to be oval in shape.
Anti-trade winds are warm because they blow from lower latitudes.
archae- primitive Archaeologists use aerial photographs to identify ancient settlements not visible at ground level.
auto- self The factory has become so heavily automated that it now employs only 50 workers.
bio- life Biomassis a renewable energy source from material from living, or recently living organisms.
-cide killing Developments in fertilizers and pesticides help to produce heavier and healthier crops.
Inputs of farms include artificial fertilizers and chemical herbicides and insecticides.
contra- against Places with different population structures show contrasting population pyramids.
Does the information given tend to confirm or contradict this statement?
eco- dwelling Rich nations form economic trading blocks so they are able to dominate world trade.
en- in Mudslides and debris from flash floods entombed the houses at the foot of the valley.
epi- above The earthquake is normally strongest at the epicentre which is the surface area directly above the focus.
extra- beyond Fibre-optic telephone lines provide extra-rapid internet services to the factory.
geo- the earth Study your atlas and the geological map of North America to complete the activity.
-graph, -graphic write Aerial photographs provide useful and interesting geographical information.
The Demographic Transition Model suggests that world population growth will eventually alter.
herbi- plant Herbicides are used in farming for killing weeds.
hydro- water As part of a hydroelectric scheme, a dam was built across the river valley.
inter- between International trade in coffee illustrates the exploitation of poor countries today.
Soil is produced by the interaction of factors including weathering, erosion, climate, vegetation and people.
iso- the same Widely-spaced isobars indicate light winds or calm conditions.
-itis inflammation Deaths from diseases like gastroenteritis have declined with improvements in public health.
-log, -logy study Meteorologists observe, measure, record and chart the weather in order to produce weather forecasts.
Modern technology has enabled modern fishing fleets to catch far too many fish.
mega- large Calcutta is alone among Asian megacities with a minus net migration figure.
meta- after Existing rocks can be changed into hard, metamorphic rocks such as marble.
micro- small Micro-organisms help to break down plant litter to form humus.
-morph form, shape Metamorphic rocks can be formed in a number of ways including tectonic processes.
opt- sight Superior, fibre-optic telephone lines provide extra-rapid internet services to the factory.
ped- foot, leg Traffic management makes the area more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists.
peri- around Many peripheral regions are unspoilt scenic areas.
photo- light Does this photograph suggest a high or low birth rate?
pro- forward Promontory forts were built on hilltops or knolls for greater protection.
Spits are sections of coastal land which protrude out from the shore.
quad- four The world’s population quadrupled in the twentieth century.
stat- stability The population grew slowly, became static and is now beginning to decline.
Aid programmes focus on health, education, the environment, human rights and the status of women.
sub- under The British government gave subsidies to the steel industry in order to fight rising unemployment in the Midlands.
The suburbs of Paris have grown steadily larger as residents left the high-rent city centre.
super- above You might be able to take part in a supervised field study of a local factory.
Some countries such as Spain have many supertrawlers in a huge fishing fleet.
syn-, sym- together with Weather maps are synoptic charts based on the weather information previously gathered.
Textiles, such as clothes, are made from cotton and synthetic materials.
Many features are shown on OS maps by means of symbols.
therm- heat Electricity demands led to large scale use of peat in thermal power stations in the Midlands.
tom- cut A tombolo is a narrow ridge of sand or shingle joining an offshore island to the mainland.
tox- poison Acid rain leaches out toxic metals from the soil and damages the fine root-hairs through which a tree takes up nutrients.
trans- across Travel and transport was carried out mainly on waterways.
Cologne is an important transhipment point for cargo brought from Rotterdam.
tri- three A catchment is the area drained by a river and its tributaries.
Deltas are triangular-shaped tracts of land which form at the mouths of rivers.
uni- one An air mass is a large body of air with uniform temperatures, pressure and humidity.


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