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Lesson Plans
Compound Word Hearts
1st–2nd Grade


  • Students will define “compound words.”
  • Students will identify word parts in compound words and combine words to form compound words.
Materials Materials Needed

Make a copy of the heart templates on construction paper. Cut out six hearts and write one of the following words on each heart: sail, up, card, stairs, board, and boat. Make more copies of the templates so you have one copy for each pair of students in your class.

Procedure Procedure

  1. Explain to students that a compound word is made up of two words that are joined together. Sometimes the two words keep their meanings when they are joined together. For example, a backpack is a pack that you wear on your back. Sometimes the two words mean something different when they are joined together. For example, a butterfly is an insect—it has nothing to do with butter!
  2. Write the words baseball, mailbox, and cupcake on a sheet of chart paper or the class chalkboard. Invite student volunteers to circle the two words that make up each compound word.
  3. Loop a piece of tape onto the back of each of the six heart cutouts that you prepared for the lesson. Stick the hearts in random order on the chalkboard or chart paper.
  4. Invite students to choose two hearts that can be combined to make a compound word. (Students should create the following compound words: sailboat, upstairs, and cardboard.)
Guided Practice Guided Practice
  1. Tell students you would like them to practice making their own compound words.
  2. Pair each student with a partner and give each pair a copy of the heart templates.
  3. Have each partner cut out six hearts. Challenge students to think of three compound words. Have them write each word part on one heart. (For example, one partner might write rain/bow, sun/shine and apple/sauce on his six hearts while the other might write pan/cake, fire/fighter and rail/road on hers.)
  4. Have each pair combine their cards and turn them facedown to play a compound word matching game. Partners will take turns flipping over two cards at a time. If the two words make a compound word, the student keeps the cards. If not, the student returns the cards (facedown) and play continues. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins!

View the 1st–2nd grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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