Compound Adjectives Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach your students about compound adjectives with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that defines the term and gives examples, showing the application in text and speech. Apply concepts to a game and activity, and take a quiz to test understanding.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define compound adjective
  • identify compound adjectives in print
  • write and use compound adjectives appropriately


1 - 1.5 hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Hyphen
  • Compound adjectives

Curriculum Standards


Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).

Warm Up and Preparation

  • Review what an adjective is and the role it plays in speech. Use these adjectives flashcards for hands-on practice.
  • After review, ask the question 'Would you rather be open-minded or would you rather be open minded?'
  • Divide students into partners and ask them to see if they can determine how each has a different meaning.
  • Come back together as a whole group and see if any students identified the difference. Say each half of the sentence slowly, emphasizing how they're different.
  • Title chart paper 'Compound Adjectives.'


  • Now distribute the lesson What Are Compound Adjectives? - Definition & Examples.
  • Read the first section 'Compound Adjectives' together.
  • Define compound adjective and discuss how the hyphen changes the meaning of sentences.
  • Read through the remainder of the lesson together, recording examples of compound adjectives on the anchor chart.
  • Give each student an index card and have them write an original compound adjective on it.
  • Fold all index cards and collect.
  • Divide students into teams and explain that you will play 'Win, Lose or Draw' using the compound adjectives.
    • Each team will take turns picking a card and having one player on the team draw on the board. All students must participate by taking their turn to draw.
  • After each compound adjective is guessed, record it on your anchor chart.
  • After play, review by re-reading the 'Lesson Summary' together, then take the lesson quiz.

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