Tag Archives: compound words

Compounds, Contractions, & Possessives=Fun and Games

Confusion is common for kids facing a new lesson, or a more complicated skill. My daughter immediately begins saying she doesn’t understand. Geez! She hasn’t even given me a chance to explain the lesson before that look comes over her face. I know she wants to shut me out without giving it a try. If I am not careful, frustration is next and then you know what happens after frustration hits…yep, she gives up!

Do your kids ever get confused when working with contractions and possessives? Sometimes kids confuse contractions with compound words where the words are joined together to form new words.


Possessive words can confuse kids because many times they look similar to contractions. Because of the easy confusion, it is always a good idea to include both in various spelling lessons in order to teach the difference between the two.

Look at these examples:

Possessive using an apostrophe:
The dog’s collar is new. (singular, one dog)
The dogs’ collars are new.(plural possessive)

Possessive without an apostrophe:
 Its collar is new.
 Her necklace is new.

 Contraction of two words such as:
it and is; is and not; I and would
 It’s a new collar.
The collar isn’t new.
 I’d like a new collar.


If your children are a little more cooperative than my sweet girl, head off any frustration they might experience by letting  them play online games to help learn to correctly use contractions, compounds,  and possessives. Fun seems to squelch frustration pretty quickly, and you win because they learn an important skill without shedding a tear.


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Compound Fun

I am so excited! I stumbled across the most fantastic site for learning compound words. I know you are going to LOVE it. VocabularySpellingCity teamed up with Vocabulary Fun to bring you an integrated unit on compound words. The unit includes a Compound Word Lesson Video and a Compound Word Lesson Plan (PDF). The compound word page on VocabularySpellingCity also talks about a school that hosts a Compound Word dress-up day. Sounds like lots of fun, doesn’t it? They included a picture so you get the whole idea. I think it’s an incredibly fun way for kids to learn.  They also include several hands-on activities for teaching about compound words, not to mention all the online educational games they offer on the two sites–this is a winning combination. I noticed the words begin at a first grade level and go up through high school. Oh, and did I mention that both sites are FREE!!! I must say though, VocabularySpellingCity does offer a premium membership that is worth checking out. I think it’s about $25 for a whole year. Can’t beat that.



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