A compound word is a word that is formed from two or even more smaller words. These words combine to form a new word. An example would be the word airplane which is a blend of the words air and plane. The new word that is formed will have usually have a similar or related meaning to the singular words, but under some circumstance they will mean something completely different. An example of this is the word: backlog. This word means to have a series of unfinished work which differs a good deal from the word parts. A common misconception of these types of words is that they need combined in way so that they look like a single word. That is only one form of compound word and is referred to as the closed format. They can take on two other forms. The open format is when a space exists between the words that are present. The occurs when an adjective is used with a noun to form a new noun (example: living room). The hyphenated form comes into play when a compound adjective is located just before the noun it modifies (example: long-term).
The following collection of activity sheets will introduce your students to types of words. Students will practice identifying and constructing words by finding them in the given sentences, building them from a given collection of words within a word bank, choosing whether a word pair is compound or not, and more. Answer keys have been provided for instructors. If these do not fit within your curriculum, these sheets may be used as extra credit assignments. Fun Contest Idea: Have your students list as many different words as they can, and give a prize to the students with the longest list.