Compound Word Puzzles

Mar 30, 2018

Activity for ages 6 to 8.

If there’s one thing that always intrigues my students, it’s puzzles. They love searching until they find the “just-right” piece and then watching the big picture come together.

That’s why I love to incorporate puzzles into our learning stations as often as possible. And these compound word puzzles are an easy way to bring some fun learning to your literacy centers!

Grab the fun freebie below and then make sure to snag a set of our free Diphthong Puzzles too.

Getting Ready

Prepping these puzzles was fairly easy.

I wanted the cards to be sturdy since I knew the kids would be manipulating them quite a bit so I began by printing each of the ten puzzles out on card stock.

Then I laminated them to ensure the pieces and the lamination would line up when the puzzles were being put together.

I cut the puzzles apart to make 10 compound word top puzzle pieces and 20 smaller word bottom pieces.

We were ready to play!

Compound Word Puzzles

To start, I placed only 10 of the smaller puzzle parts on the table.

I wanted my group to figure out which word parts went together to form a compound word, without seeing the compound words yet.

The students worked in pairs to combine the smaller parts to form an entire compound word.

Once they thought they had a match, they placed these puzzle pieces side by side.

Then, I brought out the compound word puzzle top pieces and had students complete their puzzle.

You could hear the students sounding out, “star….fish…..starfish!” The visual of the three puzzle pieces together helped emphasize the elements of a compound word.


For readers still struggling to master the concept, I chose to only give out five word sets at a time. Then I added more once they had mastered the skill.

I wanted a real challenge for my strongest readers, so I created an additional set of 10 compound word puzzles that have picture cues only for the compound word.

To complete this advanced version, my high readers looked for the correct word parts to form compound words, without using any visual clues.

Once the students had picked the two words they believed made the compound word, they were ecstatic to add the top piece and visually confirm that they were correct.

The ability to differentiate instruction with my students was a great way to use these puzzles again and again until the entire class grasped the concept of compound words.

Grab Your Download

Ready to build some puzzles and work on compound words?! Click the blue button below to grab your free copy and then click over to add another fun activity to your literacy center Sight Word Tic-Tac-Toe! 


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  1. Nomsa

    Hi Ashley
    I thank you for your puzzles.They are what I wanted all along.My class is going to enjoy using them.

    • Kimberleigh

      Hi Nomsa!
      Thank you so much for your kind words!
      I hope your class loves them as much as we do.

  2. Kinderdawne

    I can’t print this because it says a password is required. Is there a password?

    • Kimberleigh

      Hi KinderDawne!
      No password needed, it might be that your Adobe Reader Other needs to be updated before your computer can properly download the freebie.
      Just head here to download the Adobe Reader Other (it is free) and then try downloading the compound words again.
      I hope this helps!

  3. Julia Askey-Fernandes

    Thanks….all the way from South Africa x

    • Ashley

      You are very welcome, Julia!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador


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Hi, I’m Malia.

I love giving Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers easy-to-follow systems for getting EVERY student bigger results.

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