Spelling - Eliminating 'e'

Goals

To learn and practise the spelling rules associated with base words ending in 'e' when endings (suffixes) are added.

Lesson plan

The lesson is divided into a series of activities where students group words according to whether they drop or keep the final 'e' of the base word when a suffix is added. For each set of examples, students are asked to identify and make predictions about the patterns for this area of spelling.

Activity 1

Ask students to look at the set of examples and sort them into two different groups:

Then, after they have sorted the examples into two groups, ask them if they can see a pattern. When do we drop the e and when do we keep it? A clue is to look at the first letter of the suffixes (endings).

Activity 2

Ask students to look at the next set of examples and decide if they belong in the DROP 'E' or KEEP 'E' group.

Then, ask them the questions on the slide - how are the examples different from the previous examples, and do they fit the pattern identified above?

Activity 3

Now we'll look at another group of words. Students should again sort the examples into the DROP 'E' or KEEP 'E' groups.

Then ask students to investigate the pattern.

Activity 4

This is a more advanced activity.

In the next set of examples, students should again sort the examples into the DROP 'E' or KEEP 'E' groups.

Then ask students if the examples fit the pattern identified previously, and if not, what pattern can they see?

Activity 5

This is a more advanced activity.

We might predict that base words ending in -ge or -ce do drop the e before suffixes which start with e or i, as the e is not needed to mark a ‘soft g’ or ‘soft c’ (they are usually soft before an i as well as an e).

Ask students to check whether that prediction holds true for the next set of examples, by assigning each example to the correct group.

Summary

We have looked at the most important patterns with E-DROP when adding suffixes. We can sum them up like this:

There are a few exceptions (as with most English spelling rules!), but these points cover the main patterns.

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Spelling - Eliminating 'e': Activity 1

Sort the examples into two groups

DROP 'E'
KEEP 'E'
hope + -ing → hoping
arrive + -al → arrival
hope + -ful → hopeful
care + -ing → caring
care + -ful → careful
care + -less → careless
rude + -ness → rudeness
rude + -ly → rudely
captive + -ity → captivity
achieve + -able → achievable

Answers

When do we drop the e and when do we keep it?

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Spelling - Eliminating 'e': Activity 2

Sort the examples into two groups

DROP 'E'
KEEP 'E'
hope + -ed → hoped
nice + -est → nicest
rude + -est → rudest
bake + -er → baker
mine + -er → miner
mine + -ed → mined

Answers

(If they were in the KEEP 'E' group they would have a double e – final e of base + initial e of suffix - but they do not.)

How are these examples different from the examples we looked at before?

Do they fit the pattern identified in Activity 1?

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Spelling - Eliminating 'e': Activity 3

Sort the examples into two groups

DROP 'E'
KEEP 'E'
hoe + -ing → hoeing
shoe + -ing → shoeing
canoe + -ing → canoeing
agree + -ing → agreeing
agree + -able → agreeable
see + -ing → seeing

Answers

They are KEEP 'E' examples, even though each suffix starts with a vowel. Why? What is happening in these examples?

Usually, though, the e is dropped when the base word ends in ue, e.g. arguing, rescuing.

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Spelling - Eliminating 'e': Activity 4

Sort the examples into two groups

 

DROP 'E'
KEEP 'E'
notice + -able → noticeable
manage + -able → manageable
change + -able → changeable
service + -able → serviceable
advantage + -ous → advantageous
courage + -ous → courageous

 

Answers

Do these examples fit the patterns identified in Activities 1 and 2? 

Why do these examples behave differently? Do you notice any pattern?

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Spelling - Eliminating 'e': Activity 5

Sort the examples into two groups

DROP 'E'
KEEP 'E'
notice + -ing → noticing
notice + -ed → noticed
manage + -ing → managing
manage + -er → manager
change + -ing → changing
change + -ed → changed

Answers

Prediction: base words ending in -ge or -ce do drop the e before suffixes which start with e or i, as the e is not needed to mark a ‘soft g’ or ‘soft c’ (they are usually soft before an i as well as an e).

Was this predication true for these examples?

Yes it was!

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