Compound Words


In our Compound Words lesson plan, students learn how to recognize and use compound words in their writing. Students practice identifying compound words in example texts and adding compound words to their own writing.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to use the words from the activity to create a matching game for your students, turning all of the words upside down and having them take turn finding matches.

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What our Compound Words lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Compound Words engages students’ critical thinking and language awareness as students explore as many compound words as they can think of in an interactive activity. Students will learn the different types of compound words and will practice identifying them in the things they read. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to recognize and use compound words. This lesson is for students in 2nd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the orange box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, the supplies you will need are scissors and the handouts. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can find items to use for the opening of the lesson, gather the supplies, and copy the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One of the suggested additions to this lesson is to use the words from the activity to create a matching game for your students, turning all of the words upside down and having them take turn finding matches. You can also have students complete the homework assignment as an in-class activity and walk the students around the school or take them outside to find objects with compound words.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. It notes that students will likely enjoy finding and creating compound words. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Compound Words

The Compound Words lesson plan includes two pages of content. The lesson begins with two sentences that include several compound words. The lesson defines compound words as two smaller words that are combined to make new words with different meanings. We have many compound words in the English language, and it’s important to be able to recognize them. The lesson uses the word airport as an example. We create this word using two smaller words: air and port. When you join them together, they create the word airport and have a different meaning than the two smaller words on their own.

Three Kinds of Compound Words

Students will learn that there are three kinds of compound words: closed, open, and hyphenated. We write closed compound words as a single word. Examples include haircut, airport, milkman, rollerblade, waterway, and makeup. We write open compound words as separate words, but they have a new meaning when written together. Examples include high school, dining room, and school bus. Hyphenated compound words have a hyphen located between the words. Examples include well-known, merry-go-round, twenty-one, and first-rate.

The lesson then gives the example of the word treehouse. Treehouse is a compound word that we can write in multiple ways (as either treehouse or tree house). This is an example of a compound word that can be written as either an open or a closed compound word. There are many words like this in the English language. You can become familiar with them by reading and writing. The lesson ends with some examples of sentences that contain each type of compound word.


The Compound Words lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


For the activity worksheet, students will first cut out all of the words on the worksheet. They will then match them together to create as many open and closed compound words as they can. They will write down each word they create.


The practice worksheet asks students to circle the open and closed compound words in a given paragraph. They must also add the hyphens to any hyphenated compound words.


Students will complete the homework assignment at home. They will walk through their house and find and list at least 25 objects that contain a compound word. These can be either open or closed compound words. They can look inside of their refrigerator, the drawers in their room, the kitchen cabinets, and even take a walk around their neighborhood to find the objects.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes an answer key for the practice worksheet. No answer keys are provided for the activity worksheet or the homework assignment, as students’ answers will vary. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


2nd Grade


Language Arts, Video

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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Excellent for homeschool !!!

Love learn bright


Great material

I used this lesson to help a special needs student with compound words. He loved the lesson and learned! I do a lot of private tutoring and don't want to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, by having to make us separate lesson plans for each student, so this was a wonderful tool.

Angie M.

compound words

My summer students really enjoyed this activity. They said they felt much better about their ability to recognize and create compound words

Donna S.


Very easy to download and print. Thank you!

sara d.

It was really nice to

It was really nice to browse through everything and see what was all there. As a teacher who teaches multiple levels I will definitely be coming back