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Introduce compound words

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Activity Type: Introduce
Activity Form: Standard
Grade: 1
Group Size: Small Group, Whole Class
Length: 8 minutes
Materials: Compound word index cards (print them here)
Goal: Given a written compound word, the student can say the word ( bedbug -> "bedbug" ).
Items: bedbug, sandbox, windmill, cowboy, softball

What to do

  1. Write the word bedbug on the board or use an index card (here). Here's a weird word. It's weird because it's made up from two shorter words glued together. Here's the first word. Cover up bug. Sound it out with me: beeed. Now say it fast: bed. Here's the second word. Cover up bed. Sound it out with me: buuug. Now say it fast: bug. Uncover bed. Bed...bug. Point to each part of the word as you say it. Now put the two words together: bed...bug; bedbug!
  2. What's a bedbug? That's right, a bug that you find in your bed, if you're not lucky. So the word bedbug is made up of two shorter words: bed and bug. And its meaning is made up from those two shorter words also: it's a bug in your bed!
  3. Let's try another word made up from two shorter words. We'll read the two shorter words, then put them together. Show students the word sandbox. Cover up box. What word is this? Students: sand. Good. Now cover up sand. What word is this? Students: box. Now uncover the whole word. So put them together and what have you got? Students: sandbox. Right!
  4. Repeat with windmill, cowboy, and softball. For at least one of these, explain how the compound word meaning derives from the two shorter words--for example, softball is like baseball, but the ball is softer.
  5. Watch for students who are not joining in, and give them an individual turn. If they continue to struggle, make a note in an Activity Log.

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