EL Support Lesson

Constructing Words

In this fun puzzle themed lesson plan, ELs will get a chance to practise identifying and reading compound words. This can be used as a stand alone or support lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theReading Puzzling WordsLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theReading Puzzling WordsLesson plan.

Students will be able to identify and read the parts of a compound word.


Students will be able to read grade level compound words with multi-syllables using visual and written supports.

(3 minutes)
Teach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceTake Apart the Compound WordVocabulary Cards: Constructing WordsGlossary: Constructing Words
  • Display pieces from a familiar puzzle to the class, ask the students to identify what it is.
  • Access prior knowledge by having students turn and talk to a peer to answer the question, "What do we do with a puzzle?"
  • Provide students with the sentence starter to support their pair share discussion, "I think a puzzle is ____."
(5 minutes)
  • Have students share out their ideas and define a puzzle as something with more than one piece that fits together to make something new, and that is usually used in the classroom (to put the pieces together to make a new picture).
  • Explain to students that today they will learn about special words, called compound words. Compound words are like puzzles, because they take two words and put them together to make a new word.
  • Display the vocabulary words with student-friendly definitions and visuals.
(5 minutes)
  • Point to your foot and ask students to name the body part.
  • Display the image (or physical object of the ball) and ask students to name the image.
  • Repeat the two words together and have the students say each word aloud (foot + ball).
  • Ask the students what the new word is, "football" write the new word on the board.
  • Explain that when we put two words together to make a new word, it is called a compound word.
  • Repeat the same activity as above using images you have collected (butterfly, ladybug, rattle snake, etc.).
(15 minutes)
  • Display the Take Apart the Compound Word worksheet and read the directions aloud to the class.
  • Demonstrate how to complete the worksheet by looking for the words "butter" and "fly" and cutting them out to make the new word, "butterfly" on the worksheet.
  • Go over each of the words on the worksheet to ensure that students understand their meaning, point to the pictures as you do. Define any new words as needed.
  • Explain that students will now get to practise making their own compound words using the worksheet.


  • Pair students together to complete the worksheet.
  • Provide students with additional compound words and accompanying images to practise with.


  • Have students come up with additional compound words.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out an index card to each student.
  • Have students choose two words that come together to make a compound word as their exit ticket. They can use a compound word from their worksheet or they can think of a new word. They should draw a picture or write one of the words on each side of the index card.
(2 minutes)
  • Ask students to share their exit ticket with the compound word parts with the class.

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