Shoresh detectives

“What pattern of שלוש אותיות (shalosh otiot, three letters) do you see in each of these words? Give a thumbs up when you have an idea.”

At first, the fourth graders, who encountered the concept of three-letter שורשים (shorashim, roots) structuring Hebrew words last year, took the lead in identifying and circling the sequence of letters in each word.


But the third graders quickly got the  hang of it, too. “I see it! Can I come circle the next one?”



“Wait! I think I know the category! That one is about ‘rulers.'”

“That one means ‘small’!”

At the end of our easel talk, we gathered ideas about what we thought שורשים (shorashim, roots) were, so far. Here’s our list:


-The root of a word– the main meaning. For example, מ.ל.כ. has to do with rulers or kings

-When multiple words meet together at the same root

-Usually has 3 letters (so far)

-The key to unlocking new words.




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