1st Grade - Reading Compound Words And Contractions

Reading compound words and contractions
Read compound words and contractions.
The students will be able to identify and read compound words and contractions. Compound words are words that are created by combing to separate words together to form a new one. For example, if you combine the words butter and fly, you get a new compound word, butterfly. Contractions are two words that are combined together to create one shorter word that means the same thing. For example, the words should not can be combined to the word shouldn't.

Sample Problems


If you combine the words “will not,” what contraction will you make? (won't)


The contraction haven't is the combination of what two words? (have not)


The word pancake is a compound word. What two words is it made up of? (pan cake)


If you combine the words rain and bow, what new word will you form? (rainbow)


The word didn't is created by combining what two words? (did not)

Learning Tips


Compound word picture book: Have your child make a compound word book by cutting out pictures from magazines (such as a pan, fly, cake, butter). Next have the children glue two pictures side by side, such as a pan and a cake. Your child should write the name of each object under each picture. After they have identified what is picture is, they can combine the two words to make a new compound word. They should write the newly created word and draw a matching picture. For example, the words pan and cake can be combined to make the word pancake. For sample word lists, please see the following website-




Compound Word flip book: With this activity, you can cut a piece of construction paper the long way. This cut will give you two long rectangular pieces of paper to work with. Take hold of the two sides of one rectangle. Fold the sides in towards each other. When you complete the fold, it should remind you of opening up a box. You will have your child make a compound word flip book with this paper. You can you the websites listed below to find examples of compound words.



Using words from the above websites have your child pick a word and create a “flip book” for the word. Using the folded paper from above, have your child break the compound word apart into the two separate words. For example, if your child chose the word “butterfly,” they would first break the word apart into two separate words (butter and fly). Next, they will find pictures of the two separate words. Using our sample word; butterfly, your child will need to find a picture of butter and a picture of a fly. On the left outside flap they will need to glue the picture of the butter and write the word butter underneath. On the right flap your child will need to glue the picture of a fly and write the corresponding word under the picture. On the inside have your child show a picture of the new compound word that has been created (butterfly). Follow the same procedure of attaching the picture and writing the word.


When reading to your child or when having them read to you, point out contractions in the text or ask them if they can locate a contraction on a certain page. You can also modify this activity by asking the students to make a contraction out of two words when sharing a story together.


Compound Word Puzzle: Using a list of compound words (see websites below), create compound word flashcards. Next, have your child cut the compound word in half and divide it into two words. Next, have your child mix up the cards and place the individual words face up on the table. Have them match words two form a new compound word.


Give your child a magazine or a portion of the newspaper and two different color highlighters. Ask them to highlight all of the compound words in one color and all of the contractions in another color.

Extra Help Problems


What contraction is formed if the words “I” and “am” are combined? (I’m)


What two words make the contraction “you’re?” (you are)


The words “we “and “have” can be combined to form __________? (we’ve)


They” and “would” can be combined to make __________? (they’d)


Don’t” is formed from what two words? (do not)


The words “air” and “plane” can come together to form a new compound word. What is it? (airplane)


What is it called when you take two separate words and bring them together to form one new word? (compound word)


Solve the following riddle. What is it called when your ear hurts? (earache)


What two words can you find in the compound word “earache?” (ear and ache)


I used a broom and _______ to clean up the mess. Fill in the missing compound word to complete the sentence. (dustpan)


This is another name for a barn, where animals on a farm live. What is a ___________? (farmhouse)


Fill in the missing compound word. A boat with a sail is called a _________ (sailboat).


We will go to the store. Find two words in this sentence that can be combined to form as contraction. Underline the words. (we, will)


Write we will in contraction form. (we’ll)


You would like that movie. Circle the two words that can be combined to form a contraction. (you, would)


Write “you would” in contraction form. (you’d)


Shouldn’t is the combination of what two words? (should not)


Change the following words into contractions.

I will (I’ll)

We have (we’ve)

Has not (hasn’t)

They would (they’d)


Why do we use contractions? (They shorten words but do not change their meaning.)


Solve the riddle. This can be delivered to your house. It usually comes early in the morning. Your mom and dad read it to find out what is happening in the world. What is it? (newspaper)


Break this compound word into two separate words (news, paper)


The dog was very protective of his house. He is called a _________. Fill in the missing word in the sentence from the choices below.

(big dog, watchdog, loud dog)


Find the missing compound word. What game is played with a small white ball, a bat, and bases? (baseball)


I friend that is in your class at school is called a _________. (classmate)


Were not can be combined to make what contraction? (weren’t)


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