Teaching Contractions

Contractions are a huge skill for second grade. We use contractions in our everyday speech. It’s the “shortcut” of our language. We want our students to be able to use contractions in their writing, so teaching contractions is a major focus for me. For some students, it’s a difficult skill to grasp. They’re often thinking “which letters do I take out?” and “where does the apostrophe go?”

When I’m teaching contractions, I like to spend some time just going over the concept of what contractions are. I explain to my students that contractions are taking two words, putting them together, taking out a letter (or letters) and making a shorter word. Then we add the apostrophe where we took out the letters.

I provide a ton of visual aids. Students need to see how contractions are formed in order to better grasp how the work. I include a lot of hands-on experience forming contractions before my students actually incorporate them into their writing.

Books on Contractions

There’s a book for just about everything, am I right? I’ve mentioned it before, but I love incorporating a read aloud into my lesson. Our carpet is a great place to gather and my students love a good book. Here are a few books I’ve found to be great for introducing contractions.

I’m and Won’t, They’re and Don’t: What’s a Contraction? By Brian P. Cleary

If You Were a Contraction by Tricia Speed Shaskan

Contractions at the Zoo by Kathleen Connors

Contraction Surgery

I do this activity every year and my students love it. My students get to pretend to be “surgeons” and they see a hands-on way to forming contractions. Each student is given two index cards with a word on each (do not, it is, we will, etc). This works even better if you are able to provide surgical masks and gloves so students can really get into character. Students use their surgical tools (scissors and a band-aid) to fix the word. My students love this!

Contractions! from Scratch Garden

Contraction Worksheets

I have this resource in my TpT store. They are no prep, so your students can get lots of practice with these printables.

In this 35 page resource, there are activities for matching, cut and paste, games, puzzles, sentences, ABC order, interactive notebook pages, and more! These are great for centers or stations, early or fast finishers, review, morning work, seat work, and more.

If you liked this post, go check out my similar posts on teaching place value or telling time. Happy teaching!

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