“-tion” Suffix Lesson Plan
- Students will learn to recognize and spell sets of words with /shun/ suffixes.
- Students will become familiar with common t-i-o-n, s-i-o-n, s-s-i-o-n, and c-i-a-n words.
Many multi-syllable words in the English language end with a suffix that has the sound of /shun/. The spelling of this suffix takes several different forms that we can group into four word families: the t-i-o-n family, the s-i-o-n family, the s-s-i-o-n family, and the c-i-a-n family. The most common spelling of the suffix /shun/ is t-i-o-n as in the words vacation, nation, reaction, and attraction. Other words end with the same /shun/ sound but use a different spelling of that suffix. Words such as mansion, tension, and expansion use the spelling s-i-o-n for the /shun/ sound. Words such as mission, fission, and session use the spelling s-s-i-o-n; and words such as physician, musician, and magician use the spelling c-i-a-n. Students need practice in knowing which spelling of the suffix /shun/ they should use in their writing, and the choice is not always obvious. The song Extension Tension helps students become familiar with families or groups of words that all spell the /shun/ suffix the same way. By having a bank of such examples in their heads, students are more likely to choose the correct spelling of these words in their personal writing. For example, students who have learned the song know that the words physician and optician use the c-i-a-n spelling. With this background, writers are more likely to infer the correct spelling of the suffix for the words beautician, pediatrician, or mortician. Students familiar with the family of words in the song that end in s-s-i-o-n (e.g., session, confession) will be more likely to choose the correct letters for other words in that family like impression and expression. By using the Mini-Chart templates and the instrumental track on the Sing Your Way Through Phonics CD, students can expand and build up their mental bank of words in each of the four common word families. [Note: Many s-i-o-n suffixes begin with the /zh/ sound as in the word confusion. See the song When S is Sweet as Sugar in the Sing Your Way Through Phonics Volume 3 CD for other examples of this spelling and pronunciation.]