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Teachers and parents, you can have a lot of fun teaching compound words! VocabularySpellingCity has a wide variety of compound word resources from games and printable worksheets to group activities and ideas for teaching strategies. VocabularySpellingCity has teamed up with the Vocabulary Learning Fun website to bring you an integrated unit on compound words. The unit is comprised of an educational Compound Word Lesson Video and a Compound Word Lesson Plan which combines the learning materials and games on both sites with specific hints on leading class discussion. Click on the links above to explore these teaching resources for compound words, or scroll down the page for more classroom and individual activities for compound word study!
Want to find some lists of compound words?
VocabularySpellingCity has a simple way that you can find Compound Word lists. Use our Find A List page, type in compound words and you will see numerous pages of compound word lists! Next week, there will probably be more!
Did you know that there are three different types of compound words?
Closed form: Two words are joined together to create a new meaning. EXAMPLES: firefly, softball, redhead, keyboard, makeup, notebook.
Hyphenated form: The words are joined together by a hyphen. EXAMPLES: daughter-in-law, over-the-counter, six-year-old.
Open form: The words are open but when read together, a new meaning is formed. EXAMPLES: post office, real estate, full moon, half sister.
Compound words can be surprisingly fun for students to study. Don't miss this opportunity to really engage your students. One school has an annual Compound Word Day! Each student needs to come to school wearing at least fifty compound words! Sound impossible? I thought so too, but the proof is in the pudding. See the picture at the bottom of this page.
The average number of compound words in the first grade class was 75! Think hairpin, fireman, shoehorn, keyboard, horseshoe, popcorn, and raindrop. A great hands-on learning activity to help kids see how compound words are put together is with images. For example, for the word keyboard you can find a key and a board and, by placing them together, the word keyboard is created.
Classroom Compound Word Games
For a fun group classroom activity, you can split the class in half and have a compound word race. From each half, you pick a student and whisper a compound word to him or her. These students each get half the board to draw their compound word with their team shouting out their guesses. You can make this a relay race with each student getting a chance to draw at the board.
Compound words are words which are created from two words that, when joined together, create a new word. My favorite compound words include butterfly, daylight, breakfast and handshake. Compound words are typically introduced in First Grade. Learning about compound words is fun and it provides students a new way of looking at words. Studying compound words helps kids understand the language, builds an interest in words and will help prepare students to learn prefixes, suffixes, and word roots.
Compound Words at a glance:
1st Grade Compound Words: bedtime, bluebird, cowboy, cupcake, notepad, pigpen, popcorn, rainbow, starfish, sunset
2nd Grade Compound Words: barnyard, butterfly, daylight, drumstick, flagpole, jellyfish, mailbox, notebook, raincoat, suntan, bathroom, catfish, doghouse, eyeglasses, footprint, lipstick, outside, pineapple, rowboat, seashell, birthday, classmate, doorway, fireplace, homework, lovebird, peanut, ponytail, sailboat, snowfall
3rd Grade Compound Words: backyard, downtown, overcoat, railroad, sidewalk, stepladder, teaspoon, waterfall, workbench, baseball, earring, necktie, playpen, seafood, skyscraper, sunrise, thumbtack, windmill, yearbook, daydream, handshake, nightgown, racetrack, shoelace, spaceship, teardrop, textbook, toothbrush, windshield
4th Grade Compound Words: afternoon, dishwasher, fingerprint, grandmother, motorcycle, playground, suitcase, teammate, watermelon, yardstick, aircraft, downstairs, fisherman, horseback, necklace, saltwater, sunlight, thunderstorm, weekend, chalkboard, dragonfly, flashlight, keyboard, password, sandpaper, surfboard, toothpaste, worldwide
5th Grade Compound Words: boxcar, earthquake, firecracker, handwriting, homesick, lifeguard, newsletter, rattlesnake, skyline, swordfish, breakfast, endless, gingerbread, headphones, layout, newcomer, overdue, shipwreck, stepmother, tombstone
6th Grade Compound Words: broadcast, deadline, headache, mankind, meanwhile, overseas, sightseeing, straightforward, timetable, viewpoint, courthouse, guideline, landmark, marketplace, playwright, silverware, thoroughfare, trustworthy, undergraduate, weatherproof
7th Grade Compound Words: billboard, clockwise, greenhouse, greyhound, headquarters, heartbreak, jawbone, kingfisher, masterpiece, whirlpool
8th Grade Compound Words: citizenship, copywriter, counterclockwise, drawstring, darkroom, folklore, forearm, freshman, heirloom, roundabout
9th Grade Compound Words: knothole, offspring, outlying, rawhide, sharecropper, steeplechase, stouthearted, timberline, underestimate, underscore
10th Grade Compound Words: counterpart, driftwood, foreshadow, grindstone, henceforth, icebreaker, leeward, levelheaded, overwrought, threadbare
11th Grade Compound Words: buckskin, crackdown, fellowship, halfhearted, herewith, hindquarter, lackluster, layman, lovelorn, roughhew
12th Grade Compound Words: counterbalance, countersign, crestfallen, foreordain, fortnight, hairbreadth, hindsight, leeway, pigeonhole, roughshod
Compound Word Day 2009