Compound Word Puzzles

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For early readers, one strategy used to decode unknown words 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 free Compound Word Puzzles are perfect for early readers who are working on building fluency and other important literacy skills like decoding!

*Pair with our Fluency Passages for Early Readers BUNDLE!

These free Compound Word Puzzles are perfect for early readers to build fluency and practice putting words together to make new ones!

Compound Word Puzzles

There are 8 puzzles in this set for the compound words: fishbowl, doghouse, sunglasses, pancake, fireman, football, mailbox, and lipstick. 

Preparing the puzzles is fairly simple! Just print them on cardstock for extra durability, laminate for reuse, and cut them apart on the lines. I store them in zip-top bags so that I can easily grab them for a small group or I can quickly add them to our literacy centers.

The doghouse puzzle includes 3 pieces that are dog, house, and doghouse.

How to Play

There are several ways to play, but since I was focusing on the strategy of “chunking” with my small groups, 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 going with this strategy until all 8 puzzles had been put together. My students grew more independent with the activity after a few guided examples.

RELATED RESOURCE: Editable Sight Word Centers and Activities

For each puzzle, students will match the two words that make up the complete compound word.

You could also use other strategies like looking for patterns and matches in the words – there are so many possibilities!

Grab Your FREE Set

Ready to put together the compound word puzzles with your students? Get your free set by clicking the large, yellow download button at the end of the post!

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Compound Word Puzzles


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