Professor Barbara Juhasz, Akila Raoul ’16, and Micaela Kaye ’16 took a field trip to the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center last December as a part of Professor Juhasz’s Eye Movement and Reading Lab to explore compound words and how they are created with first- fifth grade students in the after-school program at Green Street. The following is a reflection from Micaela Kaye ’16 about the project.
Professor Barbara Juhasz, Akila Raoul ’16, and Micaela Kaye ’16 took a fieldtrip to the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center last December as a part of Professor Juhasz’s Eye Movement and Reading Lab to explore compound words and how they are created with first through fifth grade students in the after-school program at Green Street.
We talked about how two separate words, like sun and flower, can come together to create a compound word with a new meaning. The Green Street students also learned how there are different families of compound words, grouped by either a common first or second lexeme (a lexeme is a unit of the compound word).
Each child was given a word that could either be the first or second lexeme in a compound word and decorated it using markers and stickers. The lexemes given to the students were all part of different compound word families. Once the children were done personalizing their lexeme, they then came together to find their compound word families. They enjoyed finding their families and were eager to match all of the lexemes to words that could fit.
Once each student found their compound word family, they took turns announcing the whole word their two lexemes made together to the class and saw how some compound word families (like “air” including airport, airplane) are small whereas others are big (like “sun”, including sunflower, Sunday, sunset, sunshine, sunrise, sunburn, etc.), similar to human families.
We also talked with the students about the manner in which compound words are created and how new ones are created quite often! Given a list of five words, the students created their own compound words, defined it, and drew a picture of what the new compound word would look like. The Green Street students enjoyed being able to design a totally new compound word and think about how two separate words would come together to mean something entirely different.
Some students also took time to do a word search finding as many compound words as they could. It was fun to see how many new compound words the students were exposed to during the afternoon.
It was a fun afternoon of compound word discovery and arts and crafts for the Green Street students. In just two hours, they learned about how compound words are made and highlighted how many compound words we encounter every day!