Compound words are two (or more) root words combined to make a new word with a new meaning.
It usually is two (or more) words that does not have anything in common, but put together it makes a new word that means something.
This is a great hands on activity for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students.
For this activity I used Unifix blocks and a white board marker:
I wrote words on different color blocks, like "play" on purple and "room" on white blocks to illustrate that they are both complete word son their own (root words).
BUT, you can combine the two and make a new word: "playroom". This you call a compound word.
HINT: You can find a list of compound words here and you can write words on all the sides of the blocks too!
How to play:
- Add all the same color blocks together. Does this make any sense?
- Are these real words? "Cakeprint?", "Homeship"? No, it is a bit silly.
- Fix it up to make compound words that DO make sense! For example: "Cupcake" and "friendship" are words that make sense.
- Use every compound word in an oral or written sentence.
- Draw pictures of the newly formed compound words.
- Make up silly stories to explain meanings of words. For example: The cup and the cake went to school. It was time to play in the room, but the cake wanted to go home to do work...
Do you have any other clever ways of introducing compound words to children?
Be sure to check out these fun literacy activities too:
Nadia is South African mom to two littlies, a former preschool teacher and currently working as a reading therapist at a remedial school. She blogs over at Teach Me Mommy about easy and playful activities inspiring you to be your child's first teacher. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.