Deleting Syllables

Grade Levels: K - 2


Students will identify part of a compound word. Students will name one word of a compound word when the other word is taken away.


Picture cards that could be part of a compound word


  1. Seat students at a table.

  2. Say, "Let's clap the syllables for snowman. Snow . . . man. How many syllables do you hear? That's right, snowman has two parts or syllables. In fact, snowman is made up of two words. What are they?"

  3. Ask, "If I take 'snow' away from snowman, what word is left? If I take 'man' away from snowman, what word is left?

  4. Say, "Let's clap out the syllables for football. Foot . . . ball. How many syllables do you hear? What two words do you hear?"

  5. Ask, "If I take 'foot' away from football what word is left? If I take 'ball' away from football, what word is left?"

  6. Say, "I'm going to say some more words. When I take one part of the word away, you will have a chance to name the other word. We will check your answer with a picture card."

  7. Continue, "[Student's name], you will be first. If we have the word doghouse, and we take the word 'house' away, what will we have left?"

  8. Give support if necessary by having the group identify the two words in doghouse, then repeat the question.

  9. Say, "Let's see if you figured out the word. Turn over the top card. Does the picture match the word that you guessed? If we have a doghouse, and we take away 'house,' we have a 'dog'"!

  10. Continue around the table. "If we have the word ______, and we take away _______, what will we have left?"

  11. Pause for student response. Say, "Let's turn over the next card. Does the picture match the word you guessed?"

  12. Use words from the following list or develop your own list:

    popcorn, bluebird, raincoat, seashell, teapot, coathook, starfish, beehive, bedroom, skydive, bookcase, starlight, doorbell, moonbeam, seagull, birdseed, meatball, dishwasher, blackbird, cupcake, Sunday, upstairs.

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