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Home » Blog » Writing & Language » Grammar » Compound Words for 2nd Graders: Tips & Tricks

Compound Words for 2nd Graders: Tips & Tricks

Grammar, Literacy

Written by: Katie Palmer

Hey, teacher friends! We are back with another grammar skill post, and this time we are featuring compound words for 2nd graders. This skill is actually pretty fun for kids, and one they can easily grasp. Keep reading for a definition, chart, resource ideas and free samples on compound words for 2nd graders.

What are compound words?

To put it simply, compound words are two smaller words put together to make a bigger word. These new words have a different meaning than when they were two separate small words. I tell my students compound words are like puzzle pieces: they are separate pieces but can also fit together to make a new word!

The two smaller words have separate meanings on their own.
Then, when put together, they have a whole new meaning!

Another way to explain compound words to students is to hold up your two fists shoulder width apart. Hold up one fist higher and say, “sun”. Then, hold up the other fist and say, “glasses”. Then, put your two fists together and say, “sunglasses”. This is a great visual for students.

Compound Word Chart

So what are good compound word examples in 2nd grade? Check out the chart below for ideas. If you want, project it as an anchor chart (or even project and trace it for an easy-to-make anchor chart).

compound words chart to show how two smaller words make a new word with a new meaning when pushed together (i.e. sail + boat = sailboat)

Resources for Teaching Compound Words in 2nd Grade

After introducing the anchor chart, it is important to continue practicing the skill. Below are some teacher favorite resources that students will find engaging AND learn from!

1) Videos & Songs

Introducing Compound Words-Grammar Songs by Melissa

This video is a great supplement to your whole group grammar lesson.

It’s Fun to Make Two Words One: Versions 1 & 2 Jack Hartmann

These videos provide practice in reading the small words and a visual of them being put together to form the new word.

2) Independent Practice Resources

Compound Words Toothy

As you know, students LOVE Toothy! (If you don’t know about Toothy yet, check out this post: 5 Reasons Toothy is a Game Changer in the Classroom.

Once you are all caught up on all things Toothy, download the compound words Toothy game set below!

compound word toothy game

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Students will love using the pictures to create compound words!

Compound Word Flashcards

Here is a teaching idea to quickly create compound words flashcards: print off our LLL compound words anchor chart from above. Cut it apart. Set aside the compound words, keeping only the small word cards. Place enough cards, one for each student, into a bucket and have each student draw one out. When the teachers says, “Go!” they have to find their compound word partner as quick as possible. This is a fun activity and students are sure to get the giggles when they make ridiculous words on the way to finding their correct partner!

Word Meanings Toothy Games

Yes, another Toothy resource because this game is oh so fun! Build upon your students’ understanding of compound words, by venturing into word meanings~

  • Root Words
  • Prefixes
  • Suffixes
  • Synonyms & Antonyms
  • Shades of Meaning
  • Context Clues

Toothy makes the perfect independent practice activity to follow your grammar lessons all year long. We’ve got a Toothy set for all 2nd and 3rd grade grammar skills!

Grab a free sample of one of our word meanings games below.

word meanings toothy games for practicing compound words, synonyms and antonyms, root words, prefixes, suffixes, shades of meaning and context clues

2 Ways to Get This Resource

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

3) Compound Word Generator

Tired of the same old compound words? Try this Compound Word Generator, from, which gives you a new compound word with each click.

How to Teach Other 2nd Grade Grammar Skills

Check out our growing library of grammar posts for tips and tricks on teacher other 2nd grade grammar skills.

Tell us your favorite activities for teaching and practicing compound words in the comments! Happy teaching!


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