One strategy we use to decode unknown words as readers is “chunking,” or finding pieces of the word we know. Compound words lend to this strategy perfectly, as they are two words put together to make a new one. These compound word puzzles are perfect for early readers who are working on that strategy or learning more about compound words. Pair them with our long vowel fluency passages for even more early reading fun!
Compound Word Puzzles
There are 8 puzzles in this set for compound words: fishbowl, doghouse, sunglasses, pancake, fireman, football, mailbox, and lipstick.
Preparing the puzzles is fairly simple – print, laminate, and cut apart on the lines. I store them in zip-top bags so that I can quickly grab them for a small group or kids can grab them during literacy time.
There are several ways to play, but since I was focusing on the strategy of chunking with my small group, I took the final pieces out and left the single words spread out on the table.
Together, we examined the complete word and looked for “chunks” within it. For example, when we looked at “football” we could see “foot” and “ball.”
We then searched for those pieces and completed the puzzle. We kept this routine until all 8 puzzles had been put together. My students grew more independent with the activity after a few guided puzzles.
You could also use other strategies like looking for patterns and matches in the words – there are several possibilities!
Grab Your Set
Ready to put together the compound word puzzles on your own? Grab your set by clicking the blue button below!
More Reading Fun
Looking for more reading ideas and inspiration? Here are some of our favorites!