We practice compound nouns a lot, but how often do we talk about open compounds? My students tend to have trouble identifying open compounds as nouns. They like to label them as two separate nouns or, more often, as an adjective and a noun. I created these games to help them practice some of the more common open compounds. Since there is sometimes controversy over whether a compound noun should be closed, hyphenated, or open I let Merriam Webster’s Dictionary be the final determiner. If that dictionary listed the noun as a single entry and did not close or hyphenate it, I included it. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is 24 of the more common open compounds. The games helped with their vocabulary development, as well as their parts of speech recognition. First we used the sort cards, then we played Memory (available in my store or as a bundle). Our next activity is often dominoes, which allows them to practice matching the nouns to form a single com-pound noun. Here are the details for how to play Open Compounds Dominoes:
1. Print off the cards and cut them on the solid lines. I suggest laminating them for durability.
2. Divide the class into groups of 3-4. Each person should take 5 dominoes and the rest should be put in an upside down pile. The top card from the pile is turned over and put in the center of the playing area.
3. The first person checks to see if he/she has a card that goes with one of the two words on the card. If so, the card is played and the second person takes a turn. If not, the player draws a card from the stack. If it can be played, it is. If the card cannot be played, it is added to the player’s hand and play continues.
4. The winner is the first player to get rid of all of his/her cards.
Have the students work together in a group to line up all of the dominoes into one huge rectangle by matching the words to form open compounds.