Lesson Plan:

Compound Charades

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August 17, 2015
by Molly Stahl
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August 17, 2015
by Molly Stahl

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to decipher the meanings of basic compound words.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Write the title of the book Thumbtacks, Earwax, Lipstick, Dipstick on the board.
  • Ask for a volunteer to read the words.
  • Ask students to look for patterns or similarities between the words. Give them each 30 seconds to discuss with a partner or group.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Have students share their discussion. Guide with the following questions: How many syllables does each word have? Can you break the words apart at the syllables? What do you notice now? Can the two parts stand alone? Are they words by themselves?
  • Once students notice there are two words in each of the longer words, say “When we put two smaller words together to make a larger word, we call this a compound word. Let’s read a book with more examples of compound words."
  • After reading Thumbtacks, Earwax, Lipstick, Dipstick: What is a Compound Word?, call on volunteers to share other examples.
  • Write them on the board, and invite students individually to show what two words make up the larger word.
  • If a student gives a non-example, explain: “Only if the two words are both real words by themselves can it be called a compound word. For example, return would not be a compound word because re- is not a word by itself.”

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Say, “Now that you know about how compound words work, we are going to do some acting out.”
  • Explain that you will pick two students to act out a compound word. They will each be acting out one of the words so it is your job to put them together to make the new word.
  • Review the rules of charades (no talking, motions only).
  • Choose two volunteers. Give them each an index card with a word.
  • Either allow students to call out guesses or choose students to guess until they reveal the compound word. Let the winners now be the new actors.
  • Continue for all remaining index cards.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Say, “We have discussed many examples of compound words and practiced putting words together through motions. Now, you are going to combine words to make compounds and illustrate them.”
  • Distribute the Make Compound Words worksheet to each student.
  • Allow students time to work independently while circulating the room to assist students where needed.



  • Enrichment: Have advanced students also complete the Compound Word Puzzle worksheet.
  • Support: Give struggling students one-on-one assistance as they work on the different worksheets.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Distribute the Identify Compound Words worksheet and read aloud the directions.
  • Collect the worksheets as students finish.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Ask each student for an example of a compound word and the two smaller words within.

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