Compound Words Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Compound Words Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples
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  • 0:03 What Are Compound Words?
  • 0:27 How Do Compound Words Work?
  • 1:17 Making Compound Words
  • 2:00 Identifying Compound Words
  • 2:46 Compound Words Are All…
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shelly Merrell

Shelly has a Master's of Education. Most recent professional experience is an educational diagnostician. Prior, she taught for 8 years.

In today's lesson, you'll learn about words known as compound words. You'll learn what they are and how they work. Then you'll take a look at some examples and practice what you've learned.

What Are Compound Words?

I saw a seashell down by the seashore.

What do seashell and seashore have in common? They are compound words.

Compound words are two smaller words put together to make a bigger word. This bigger compound word is special because it has its own meaning, or definition.

When we put sea and shell together, we get seashell.

When we put sea and shore together, we get seashore.

How Do Compound Words Work?

As we said, to make a compound word, we put two smaller words together. However, you should know that not all smaller words can be joined together to make compound words. The compound word has to be a real word that makes sense and has an actual meaning. For example, the smaller words dog and cat cannot be put together because 'dogcat' is not a real word.

Which of these words is a compound word?

  • glamorous
  • giraffe
  • cupcake

Glamorous is a long word and has three syllables, but it can't be broken into two separate words. So, that's not it.

What about giraffe? It is a medium-sized word and has two syllables. Can it be broken into two separate words? No, so that's not the compound word.

What about cupcake? Cup + cake = cupcake, so cupcake is the compound word!

Making Compound Words

Now we are going to put some smaller words to make a new word with its own meaning:

  • Water + melon = watermelon
  • Super + hero = superhero
  • Soft + ball = softball
  • Mail + box = mailbox

Now, let's take the compound word and decide which two smaller words were put together:

  • Snowboard = snow + board
  • Sunlight = sun + light
  • Birthday = birth + day
  • Tailgate = tail + gate

Now, think about these words: wildflower, zookeeper, and tiptoe. We can look at these compound words and separate them into two smaller words.

Identifying Compound Words

Let's find the 5 compound words in this sentence:

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