Ideas to Teach Compound Words

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A compound word is a word that is formed when two separate words are joined together. These words make up a large part of our vernacular; having a firm understanding of them is important. If you are teaching compound words, incorporate engaging activities that grab the attention of your students to increase their comprehension of these words.

Compound Word Eggs

  • This activity requires students to break open eggs and create compound words with the words found inside the eggs. On pieces of scrap paper, write out the parts of a variety of compound words. For example, write "snow" on one piece of paper and "flake" on another. Place both inside a plastic egg. Provide students with the eggs and a piece of paper. Ask them to break the eggs open and put the individual words together to make a new compound word. After they figure out the compound word, have them write it down on the piece of paper and draw an illustration of the word, if possible.

Compound Word Match

  • Engage your students in a game of compound word match. On index cards, write out the individual words of compound words. Shuffle the cards and distribute them to your class. Students must search for the person who has the other half of the word. Upon finding the person who has the other half of the compound word, the pair stands together. Once all students have found their matches, go around the room and allow pairs to share their words.

Compound Word Fishing

  • Use a fishing game to reinforce knowledge of compound words. Cut out construction paper fish, punch a hole in each one and place a paper clip through the holes. On each fish, write the first or second part of a compound word. Make fishing poles by tying a piece of string to the end of a ruler and then tying a magnet to the end of the string. State either the first or second part of a compound word. Children then fish for the word that goes with the given word to create a compound word. For example, if you say "fly," the person whose turn it is would fish for the word "dragon." Award a point for each correct word that is caught; the person who earns the most points wins.

Compound Word Race

  • Students race to make compound words with this activity. Split your class into two teams and have each team form a single-file line. The first player on each line begins the game. State the first part of a compound word. The first player to correctly name the second part of the compound word wins the round and earns a point for his team. These two players move to the back of the line and the next two players on line have a chance to play. Continue playing the game in this fashion until all students have had a turn. The team to earn the most points wins.

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