In my experience over the years I have come across some terms which have similar yet totally different meanings. It is sometimes so easy to interchange these terms, but, as teachers we need to understand what we teach before we get down to teaching it. One such dilemma is the use of the terms 'base word' and 'root word'. Now don't get me wrong here, it's all the best that we are able to tell the difference, especially in the teaching of the higher grades. However, for the younger kids it may not be all that important to distinguish.
A base word refers to the part of a word that is an actual word that can stand alone. Prefixes and suffixes were added to them. The root of a word refers to that part of the base word that comes from another language. These cannot stand alone. As a matter of fact, the knowledge of the root of a word can help older kids with Spelling and Vocabulary.
Take a look at the visual below for an explanation using the word 'transport'.
If you are interested in some very handy posters and other materials to teach Base words and Root words check out this resource below.