Register Now


Compiled By: luv2teach77

Here's a collection of fun and creative ways to use next time you're covering contractions in your classroom.

Re: Contractions
Posted by: Michelle

Always explain that a contraction is a short way of writing two words together. Just like most of us have a short name (Bob or Sue) and a longer name (Robert or Susan) that mean the same thing, a contraction is a short way and a long way of writing the same thing. Write several word pairs on flash cards -- I am, you are, is not, etc. Have an equal number of apostrophes written on strips of flash cards. Have the student copy the two words on his paper. Then, have him take scissors and cut out the part omitted when writing the contraction and replace it with an apostrophe, then copy it beside the words he has already written. Some times the physical act of taking "he is" and cutting out the "i" and replacing it with an apostrophe is concrete enough to get through to kids who are having difficulty with this concept.

Posted by: Karen

I've made 2 truck-shaped words heading toward each other. When they crash, the 1st truck doesn't get a scratch but the truck on the right get squished and the letters that are squished form the scrap metal and become the apostrophe. I've done this with disposable flashcards and cut out and actually rolled the scrap metal into a curved apostrophe shape. Then kids can see where the letters are missing and they know where to put the apostrophe. I've also made permanent trucks with fancy letters so that the dot for the i in becomes the apostrophe in the air when you fold the 2 words together as in he+is. Same technique for the i in she+will. The o in not can pop off, fold in 1/2, and stick back on in is+not. I took me several tries to get things spaced so the apostrophe looks normally placed but now I have them on hand and the kids remember the contraction trucks.

contractions - understand the big word
Posted by: R. Been

This is just a small part of my lesson that I present, but it helps the students remember what the word contraction means.
I give the students a rubber band and they stretch it and release it. We talk about when the rubber band gets small it is contracting. So when we make a contraction it is making the words get smaller. Then we use the rubber band to frame words. First we put it around "can not" then we put it around "can't". Again the students see that to contract means to get smaller. We also relate the word to our muscles contracting.

Contraction Match-Up
Posted by: Amanda K.

My favorite activity for contractions, which I do between the direct teaching portion of the lesson and the worksheet portion of the lesson, is my Contraction Match-up game.

I make up two sets of index cards... one with the contractions written on them, and one with the original two words on them. I write the cards in different colors. For example, "what is" may be in green, while "what's" may be in purple. This way, I can tell the students that they are looking for a card of a different color from their own. Then, I pass the cards out to the students, and the students have to get up, walk around the room, and find their matching card and partner. Once partners have found each other, they have to sit down together. Then, I go around the room and ask the partners to tell me their two words, the contraction that was made from those two words, and the letters from the two words that are missing in the contraction.

The kids love this game. We play it 2-3 times before the worksheet portion, and then I save the cards to we can play the game again for sponge activities. It also makes a great center.

contraction snowmen bulletin board
Posted by: Sue W.

I used snowmen for a lesson and then for a bulletin board. I had a variety of cute faces with hats, scarves, etc, contractions on the "middle section" and the two word forms on the larger bottom sections. I laminated them to protect them and used them as part of a lesson as we put them up and then added a big envelope with a smaller version for the kids to manipulate and compare to the board. The kids got practice and it was a teaching board as well. Just remember, if you don't outline the snowballs they won't show up on a "snow" background so use some color.

Posted by: Janie

I saw this at a conference this summer. Take a long sentence strip or paper and write out a long version of a contraction. For example: is not. Then fold the paper in the middle so the omitted letter(s) are not seen and only "isnt" shows (not the "o"). Open and close the paper by refolding it and show the children that the word is shorter by leaving out some letters and longer when both full words are there. I hope I explained it clearly enough.

Posted by: colleen

I tell the kids that they are surgeons about to perform surgery. I give them a surgical mask and scissors and they take turns coming up to the easel to make two words into one. (I give them two words "I am" and they post the first word...cut off the "a" and place the second altered word to the left of the apostrophe that is already on the easel) They think it's a blast and end up with great learning.
Hope this makes sense.

Contractions with Surgery
Posted by: 3rdGradeTeacher

I plan to wear a surgical mask and gloves as I perform surgery on two words. I will cut them apart, then stich the new contraction back together with paperclips. Next, I will add a transparent tape "bandage" and write in the apostrophe. The apostrophe is the "scar" that the surgery leaves behind. I think my third graders will love it.

View Thread
Contraction Game
Posted by: Amanda K

When I teach contractions, I make sure I do a direct lesson on the board with the contractions I am teaching - for example, I teach the 're and the 've contractions together, and I make sure that the kids are familiar with these contractions. Then, I take 20 index cards, one for each students. I pair up the index cards, and with a colored marker on the first card, I write the contraction, such as "we've." On the second card, I write the whole phrase, "we have" with another colored marker. I do this with all 20 cards, then I mix the cards up and pass them out to the kids. I tell the kids that the ones with the red marker have the contractions, and the ones with the green marker have the two words, and they need to go around the room and find their partner.

Once they have found their partner, they need to sit down together, read the words, figure out which are the two words, which is the contraction, and what letter or letters does the apostrophe substitute. When all kids are seated, I go around the room and ask the teams for their contraction, for the two words, and for the missing letters. We play this a couple of times before doing our worksheet. If you have an odd number of kids, you can have a card, too... the kids love this.

I keep these cards on my desk, and the kids will even ask to play this at the end of the day for our fun activity. It gets them up and moving during a lesson, and they love it. It's also a great lesson to teach for a principal observation... my principal loved it when I did it for her.

cars & wheels and noodles
Posted by: Traci

Cars & wheels....this is a center activity. Make simple cars & cut out from construction paper & laminate. On each car...write the contraction (such as don't). The wheels will be do & not. It's basically a matching game with the cars and wheels.

Noodles...fold a large piece of construction paper into 8 equal parts. IN each part have students write a contraction..but use macaroni noodles for the contractions...and glue them on. This makes a cute in-classroom display.

Posted by: jbmom

This is my first time to add an attachment. I hope it works.

[Log In To See Attachments]

Posted by: maryteach

Each kid is one letter: A-R-E N-O-T. One kid is the apostrophe, standing off to the side. Then the apostrophe taps the O on the shoulder and replaces him. Then do C-A-N-N-O-T, etc. The kids could hold index cards, or if you wanted something a little longer, try cutting up sentence strips. Have them say, "Excuse me, O, but you're outta here" or something they'll like. This is engaging and kinesthetic and graphically illustrates where the missing letter goes, and what replaces it.

This is good for about second grade. They'll all want to do one. Grades above second, although I do several kinesthetic lang. arts lessons, I would probably just do a minilesson on the overhead.

View Thread
Posted by: Sarah Wegloski

One thing my first graders enjoyed and reacted positively to was kinesthetic games. I printed one letter on a piece of paper to allow the two words of a contraction to be spelled(such as I-A-M), and made an apostrophe. One student held up each letter for the rest of the class, and the apostrophe had to come in and change the two words into a contraction. The rest of the class could then give the thumbs up if the newly formed contraction was correct. I also printed word cards, having the two words on one card, and the contraction on another. I passed them out to the class, and had them mix, then freeze, and then match-the people with the two words card had to find their contraction, and vice versa, and then share with the class. Good luck!