How to Teach Compound Nouns

A compound noun is a noun that is formed by combining two or more basic nouns such as blackboard, six-pack, wallpaper, etc. Their use is extremely common in the English language.

Compound nouns are taught to children in elementary school in order to expand their vocabulary and strengthen their grasp on the English language.

While teaching children about compound nouns, a teacher can, and in fact should, make the lesson more interesting by turning it into a fun activity, which will make it possible to easily educate children about the aforementioned nouns and keep them entertained at the same time. In addition, teaching the nouns using a method that is fun is bound to ensure that the children never forget the lesson.

Things Required:

– Index cards
– Pen


  • 1

    Before you put the fun activity related to compound nouns into action, you should ensure that the children already have a basic idea about compound nouns. This can be done by discussing the compound nouns with the children in a couple of classes prior to the class in which you will have the children participate in the fun activity.

  • 2

    Bring a few stacks of index cards with you to the fun activity class. Make sure you have a pen with you as well. Write down one half of the compound noun on one index card and write down the other half on another index card.

  • 3

    Continue writing down the two parts of compound nouns on separate index cards until you have split various compound nouns in half. Keep the number of students that you have in your class in mind while working on the index cards, so that each student ends up with at least one index card.

  • 4

    Shuffle the index cards and then distribute them among the students. Make sure that no child is left without one-half of a compound noun.

  • 5

    Once the distribution of index cards is complete, have the students work in groups to match the noun on their index card with a noun on someone else’s index card. Give the students around 15 minutes for this task.

  • 6

    After 15 minutes have elapsed, tell everyone to be quiet and then ask each group one by one about the nouns that they have combined together to form compound nouns. Some of the combinations will not really make any sense, but a lot of children will have combined two nouns to make meaningful compound nouns.

  • 7

    Get all the children to pair up correctly so that every two paired-up index cards make correct compound nouns. Make sure every child sees and understands every compound noun.

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