Building up your vocabulary is an important part of any kind of education. The deeper your understanding of words and how they work the easier it is for you to learn and consolidate new words as you encounter them. As a student’s vocabulary becomes more complex it becomes increasingly important for them to understand not just what a word means but how it works as part of language as a whole. Compound words are one of the first steps on a life-long vocabulary building journey.

  • Get students to use the words on the worksheet to come up with a list of alternate beginnings and endings to create other compound words. To make it a bit more interesting visually, you can have them create starbursts for each word.
  • The ‘ABC’ of Compound Words – create a list, individually or as a class, with compound words for every letter of the alphabet.
  • For younger students, a hands on cut and paste match up of the parts of compound words would provide a visualisation to get them thinking about how smaller words can be joined together to create compound words.
  • To reinforce their understanding of compound words give kids a list of compound words and get them to divide them into their parts. Learning how to take compound words apart is as important as knowing how to form them. Coming at it from the other direction can help consolidate an idea in a child’s brain.
  • For older students, compound words can be an opportunity to reinforce the parts of a sentence and how they can work together. Give kids a list of compound words and get them to categorize what type of compound word they are based on the parts of the sentence that the component parts belong to:
    • Noun-Noun Compounds (fireman, classroom)
    • Noun-Verb Compounds (housesitting, finger-painting)
    • Verb-Noun Compounds (spoilsport, breakfast)
    • Verb-Verb Compounds (go and do, up and leave)
    • Verb-Adverb Compounds (drop-out, fall-out)
    • Adverb-Verb Compounds (intake, backtrack)
    • Adjective-Noun Compounds (hardware, blackboard)
    • Adjective-Verb Compounds (blacklist, shortchange)
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