Keith Kelly provides a comprehensive lesson plan with both a language and content focus accompanied by an alphabetical list of root words used in forming words from the area of science.

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
aero- oxygen Friction from air is reduced with an aerodynamic shape.
agri- field The faeces excreted by chickens can be used as a fertilizer in agriculture.
amphi- both Reptiles, fish and amphibians are ectothermic or cold-blooded, because their body temperature is affected by the temperature of their surroundings.
-aemic blood Pregnant women, anaemic people and people with certain illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis B and malaria are not allowed to donate blood.
angi- container, vessel If the circulatory system in humans hardens, this will restrict the flow of blood to the heart muscles and result in severe chest pains called angina.
ante- before An ultrasound examination may be made on one or more antenatal checks.
anti- against Antioxidants stop the spoiling of food by oxidation in air.
Minor cuts and bruises should be cleaned with water or antiseptic, then covered with a sticking plaster.
arch- chief, principal Explain how blueprints of large architectural diagrams are made.
arthr- joint This product is used to treat allergies, arthritis and asthma and to alleviate nausea.
auto- self Shivering is an automatic response of the muscles which make rapid
rhythmic movements.
What is the difference between an autotroph and a heterotroph feeder?
bio- life Many washing powders contain what is called a bioactive enzyme, which helps in the cleaning and removal of stains from clothing.
bi- two The bimetallic thermometer also uses thermal expansion to
measure temperature.
Erythrocytes are shaped like a biconcave disc.
cardi- heart The pumping action of your heart is due to the regular and repetitive contractions and relaxations of the cardiac muscle.
carn- flesh, meat Animals that feed only on plants are herbivores and those that feed on other animals are carnivores.
chlor- green Leaf structure photosynthesis takes place in any part of the plant that is green, because that is where the chlorophyll is found.
chrom- colour To investivate the pigments in a dye using paper chromatography, your teacher will provide you with a strip of filter paper and a coloured dye solution.
-cide killing The chemical found in the spermicide is also believed to provide some form of protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
contra- against The use of contraceptives prevents unexpected pregnancies.
-cost rib The intercostal muscles participate in the act of breathing.
cysto- bladder A cystogram is an image taken of the bladder filled with a dye in order to look
for defects.
cyto- cell With the additional water made during respiration, this could harm your body by making the blood and the cytoplasm in the cells too dilute.
dendr- tree, branch Dendrons are extensions that link to other neurons, or to a receptor or effector (very short dendrons are called dendrites)
dent- tooth Regular six-month checks by the dentist will help to take care of your teeth.
-derm- skin The base of the glands are near to blood capillaries which allow easy diffusion of waste products from the blood into the epidermis.
di- two Most plants are dicotyledons, such as hibiscus, peas and beans.
dia- across The diaphragm blocks the entrance to the uterus, preventing sperm from reaching an ovum.
ecto- outside Ectothermic animals that live in water are in an environment where temperature changes very little.
-ectomy cutting out A vasectomy is carried out on a man and involves tying and cutting the sperm duct, therefore preventing the sperm travelling from the testes to the urethra.
endo- inside The endocrine system works together with the nervous system to regulate growth and development and to respond to changes both inside and outside of the body.
epi- above The epiglottis prevents swallowed food (bolus) from entering the windpipe.
extra- beyond Extrapolate the graph to deduce the expected population by the year 2003.
gam- mating Body cells replicate by mitosis while sex cells (gametes): replicate by meiosis.
geo- the earth Geothermal energy can be used to generate electricity.
-graph write Explain how the bird in the photograph got near the oil spill on the water and why it died.
hetero- different Animals can be described as consumers, or heterotrophs.
hydro- water This effect will be reinforced by the hydrotropism since the soil is likely to be more moist than the air and the root will grow toward the moist region.
hyper- excess Hypertension is known as high blood pressure.
hypo- below Seeds may show hypogeal germination or epigeal germination.
inter- between This equation states that energy (E): and mass (m): can be interconverted, so energy can be changed into mass and mass can be changed into energy.
intra- within Intrauterine device (IUD): This is a plastic or metal device that is inserted into the uterus of the woman by a doctor or nurse.
insul- island The islets of Langerhans in the pancreas produce the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels.
iso- the same Hypertonic or isotonic drinks are intended for rapid fluid replacement.
-itis an inflammation If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure and respiratory distress, which may lead to death.
-kary- nucleus All cells fall into one of the two major classifications of prokaryotes
and eukaryotes.
lign- wood Lignin (or lignen) is a complex chemical compound most commonly derived from wood, and an integral part of the secondary cell walls of plants and
some algae.
-log- study Soil formation results from chemical and physical weathering of rocks, along with biological action.
-lys- breakdown For example, if the effector is a muscle, this will result in paralysis of
the muscle.
mega- large Joules are very small units, so we generally express energy in the units kilojoules (kJ) or megajoules (mJ).
meta- after Thyroxin increases the overall metabolic rate as well as regulates growth and development of the individual.
micro- small In radiation, the energy is transferred by electromagnetic waves similar to light, microwaves, X-rays and radio waves.
neur- nerve You have several different neurotransmitters in your body.
-oid resembling The particles in a colloid do not separate out on standing, and they are too small to be seen separately.
omni- all Animals that feed on both living plant and animal material are omnivores.
-on a unit When an electrical impulse in a neuron reaches a synapse, it triggers the release of tiny amounts of a chemical substance.
opt- sight What might be the effect on a person who suffered damage to the optic nerve (the nerve that links the eye to the brain)?
-ose a carbohydrate Glucose in the urine is a clear indication that a person is suffering
from diabetes.
-osis a phenomenon If the thrombosis occurs in the coronary artery (coronary thrombosis) this can stop the heart beating and the person has a heart attack.
osmo- a push The kidneys also assist with osmoregulation by adjusting how much water is reabsorbed into the body from the urine in the kidney tubules.
oste- bone Bone deformities can occur, such as rickets in children and osteomalacia
in adults.
para- beside List three properties of a parallel circuit.
path- disease Blood leaking from cuts and grazes quickly clots to form a seal preventing the entry of pathogens.
peri- around Large nerves in the peripheral system may contain thousands of neurons, and there are millions in your brain.
phago- eating There are two types of white blood cells: phagocytes and lymphocytes.
phen- appearance The shadow is a phenomenon that proves that light travels in a straight line.
-phil- liking Hydrophilic means water-loving.
photo- light Oxygen can be considered a waste product of photosynthesis, while carbon dioxide is a waste product of respiration.
phyto- race, group Phytoplankton, though they are so tiny, are the start of most food chains in the seas and oceans.
-pod foot, leg Place the apparatus on a tripod and heat from below.
pro- forward Repeat the procedure three times for each type of thread and calculate
an average.
proto- first Many other unicellular organisms reproduce by binary fission, including protozoa such as Paramecium, which is found in fresh water, and Plasmodium which causes the disease malaria in humans.
-som- a body The blood fluke is a species of flatworm called Schistosoma which causes a disease known as bilharzia or schistosomiasis.
-sperm seed The zygote and endosperm are enclosed in the outer wall of the ovule, which hardens to form a protective seed coat called the testa.
-spir- breathe The reaction in which the energy is released from food is respiration.
The rate of transpiration is affected by temperature, wind, humidity and the surface area of leaves.
stat- stability If the baby is born premature, statistically the chance of survival is reduced.
stoma- mouth Plants keep their temperature optimum using the evaporation of water through the stomata of leaves during transpiration, which provides a cooling effect.
sub- under If you are measuring the temperature of a liquid, such as a cup of hot water, the bulb must be submerged below the surface of the liquid.
super- above If you try this experiment, you’ll need the supervision of your science teacher!
sym- together with In a single jaw, the teeth are arranged symmetrically.
tetra- four These include non-aqueous, organic solvents such as methylated spirits, acetone, alcohols, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and tetrachloroethane.
-therm- heat Ectothermic animals that live in water are in an environment where temperature changes very little.
thromb- clot If the thrombosis occurs in the coronary artery (coronary thrombosis): this can stop the heart beating and the person has a heart attack.
-tom- cut A vasectomy is carried out on a man and involves tying and cutting the sperm duct, therefore preventing the sperm travelling from the testes to the urethra.
tox- poison Lymphocytes are also able to convert toxins (poisons) released into the bloodstream by invading cells into less toxic substances.
-trans- across You have several different neurotransmitters in your body.
-troph feeding Heterotrophs get their food by feeding on other plant or animal material.
uni- one Unicellular organisms consist of only one cell, while multicellular organisms are made up of many cells.
vas- vessel The phloem and xylem run parallel to each other and their combined structure is called the vascular bundle.
ventr- belly, front of body The right ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, while the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
-vor- feeding Animals that feed only on plants are herbivores and those that feed on other animals are carnivores.
xyl- wood Percussion instruments, such as drums, xylophone and triangle, produce sounds by vibrating at the surface.
zoo- animal Both oysters and zooplankton eat phytoplankton, and both starfish and crabs
eat limpets.
-zyg- fused together The characteristics portrayed by an individual are due to the presence of a dominant gene or a homozygous recessive gene pair.
-zym- yeast The gastric juice contains an enzyme, pepsin, which breaks protein in the food into smaller units called polypeptides.


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Root words: Science: Lesson plan.



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