Tonnes of Termites

article by Kalina Eden Parker , photos by Alamy

Learning intention:

I am learning to analyse base words and how they change with suffixes so that I can expand my spelling and vocabulary knowledge.


Success criteria:

  • I can identify where verb choice makes an action more vivid
  • I can identify where adverb groups/phrases give more information
  • I can create my own sentences using strong verbs and adverb groups/phrases


Students read through the article in groups of four. Once they’ve finished, explain that each group will be creating a word poster displaying examples of the following from the text:

  •  compound words
  • adverbs
  • adjectives with comparative and superlative forms
  •  nominalisation


(Note that the tasks get progressively harder, allowing for varying student capabilities in each group.)


Students may need to research what these terms mean before beginning. Some useful links:

The NSW Education glossary

The NSW Education page on Adjectives (Comparative and Superlative)

The NSW Education page on Nominalisation


Explain that students must do more than write the examples down – they must give the base word, how the word is defined with the suffix and any spelling rules for the change. For those doing comparative/superlative, they must give all three words. For those doing compound words, students must show the two words the compound word is made up from.


Sample answers:

Compound words – teamwork, toothbrush, outside, hardworking, underground, passageways

Adverbs – correctly, happily, literally, thankfully, unfortunately, hard, deadly, immensely

Adjectives with comparative and superlative forms – cool/cooler/coolest, tall/taller/tallest, successful/more successful/most successful, impressive/more impressive/most impressive

Nominalisation – workaholic, worker, successful, storage


When complete, groups present their posters to the rest of the class.