Puzzling Endings

Scripture: Revelation 1

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn that the book of Revelation is a record of John’s vision about the end of time.
  • Students will learn how common ending suffixes of words can often be used to help them segment words that are hard to read or understand.

Guiding Questions:

  • How do common endings/suffixes help us read and understand unknown words?
  • How is time important in Revelation?

Materials: index cards or cardstock pre-cut into puzzle pieces (Each index card can make 2 pieces. You will need to write root words and suffixes on them. See procedure for details), copies of Revelation 1:1-8, markers/crayons/highlighters to mark the reading passage

Procedure: Explain to students that in some ways, Revelation is a mysterious book because it is written using symbols that we do not always understand. Some things are certain: It was a vision from God to John. It tells of the end times. Jesus will return to judge the earth and those who are saved will go to Heaven with him. Even though not everyone who studies Revelation agrees on what some of the details mean, it is an interesting book that teaches us a lot about God. It teaches us about past history and points to future events. There is past tense and future tense in the book. The verbs in this book tell whether what is written about happened long ago or has not happened yet.

Teach students that words can be segmented into parts that make them easier to read. There are some ending parts called suffixes that have specific meanings and are easy to recognize. “-s,” “-ing” and “-ed” are endings that tell when something happened. These endings are found on verbs. Verbs are action words. The ending “s” means it does happen, “-ed” means it happened in the past, “ing” means it is happening now. Give students index cards shaped like puzzle pieces. To make it easier, write all the root words on the concave pieces and all the suffixes on the convex pieces. You will need one of each root word, but multiple of each type of suffix. The root words should all be able to attach onto the suffix words. Divide students into partners. Give each partner a set of cards. Students then mix the cards up and spread them in front of themselves. Each partner takes turn choosing a root word and a suffix to put together. Then have the students use the word in a sentence. Once a pair has been made, the student can keep that pair and the next partner goes. More advanced students can write the word on a piece of paper, dry erase board, or sentence strip. Students with more familiarity with root words, can be introduced to the difference between “-es” and “s”. Use “-es” at the end of words ending in z, s, sh, ch, and x.

Root word examples: want, plan, wash, pick, walk, wish, bless, talk, mix, stir, paint,
Suffix Examples: ing, ed, s, es

To apply the lesson and practice it in context, make copies of a part of Revelation such as Revelation 1:1-8. Have students highlight the root words in yellow and the suffix in green (or any two colors.) Let them use this strategy to help them sound out the words. Once students have found all the words with suffixes and read them, read the whole passage to them aloud.

Additional Questions:

  • What are some other verbs that you can add these endings to?
  • What other parts of the Bible refer to the past, present, and future?

Supplemental Activity: Have students choose a section of scripture that they like and are familiar with to look for root words with a partner.