changing their color based on surroundings.
Words are sorta, kinda, a little bit like that, changing their spelling or pronunciation just a bit based on their sentence surroundings.
Here is an example.
- She didn’t have much hope last night.
- She was overwhelmed by a hopeless feeling.
- She wrung her hands hopelessly.
The noun hope changes to hopeless, becoming an adjective that describes a feeling. Then hopeless takes the suffix -ly to become an adverb that describes the manner in which she wrung her hands.
Introducing chameleon words
First we talk a bit about chameleons.
Then I tell students that sometimes words make me think of chameleons.
How? Well, words often change spelling and become a different part of speech based on their sentence surroundings.
1. I post three sentences using tall, taller, tallest. Students read the sentences aloud.
2. Students identify the chameleon word and its variations in the three sentences. I circle or underline these words.
3. We work with other chameleon words (honesty, dishonesty; distance, distant), always viewing them in sentences.
4. We classify each word as a part of speech and discussed changes in spelling, meaning, and use.
5. We list affixes (suffixes / prefixes).
Chameleon words globe, global, globalized, globalization
Chameleon words: truth, truthful, truthfully, truthfulness