Working With Closed Compound Words

Activity 1
Working with closed compound words

To become familiar with the practice of combining two words to make one word.

Baby’s rattle
Plastic model of a snake
Picture of a rattlesnake
Prepared labels for the following: rattle, snake, rattlesnake.
Prepared headings for the following: Root, Root, Compound.
Additional prepared cards with root words that can be combined to form a compound words.
Language arts journals and pencils

Most Montessori teachers introduce closed compounds in Year 1. (Hyphenated compounds can be introduced in Year 3 or Year 4.)

Invite a small group of students together around the mat.

Announce to the students that today they will learn how two words put together can make a new word.

Place the rattle in the snake on the mat (who is the rental on the students left in the snake on the right).

Present the label with the word “snake” to one student, and the label with the word “rattle” to another.

Invite both students to read the word on their label aloud, and placed a little beneath the corresponding objects on the mat.

Slowly move the objects together until they touch.

Slowly move the labels together until they touch.

Invite a student to read the two words together: rattlesnake.

Point to the object and ask the students whether or not they demonstrate a rattlesnake.

Move the snake and the rattle apart, and place the picture of the rattlesnake between them.

Move the two root words apart and put down the new root word: rattlesnake (printed in red).

Announce that the word rattlesnake is a compound words, a word that is made of two or more small words put together.

Place the heading Compound, above the word “rattlesnake” at the top of the mat.

Place the two headings, Root, above the labels “rattle” and “snake”.

Present the mixed set of root word cards and place them randomly on the mat.

Invite the students to look for two words that could form a compound word. Example: butter…fly. Make a new column for the compound word.

Encourage students to write five or more compound words in their journals.

Play a game of memory that involves creating compound words. Have at least five pairs of words that can combine to make compound words. Examples: cup/board, arm/chair, ham/string, and more. Place the cards facedown on a map. Take turns turning over two cards. If they form a compound word, set them aside and take another turn. If they do not form a compound word, return them to their face down position and allow another student to take a turn.

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