Overview of Contractions

There are three sections in this resource:

Overview of Contractions
Video Demonstration
Teaching Tips

The estimated time to complete this resource is 10 minutes.

You may download and print the following documents by clicking the links below.

Lesson Plan
Lesson Materials
Word List
Video Transcript

Combining two words into one word forms a contraction. The apostrophe takes the place of one or more letters, so the contraction is quicker to read and write.

For example: the words you and are combine to form the contraction you're.

Teaching contractions will help students identify and apply contractions in reading and writing activities.

Video Demonstration

This video demonstrates how to teach students to read and form contractions.

Click play on the video when you're ready to begin.


Teaching Tips

When teaching contractions:

  • Read a sentence that does not contain a contraction (e.g., I did not understand.).
  • Write the two words from the sentence that can be made into a contraction (did, not).
  • Have students read the words.
  • Repeat the sentence, this time with the contraction (I didn’t understand.).
  • Have students identify the contraction in the sentence (didn’t).
  • Write and read the contraction.
  • Have students read the contraction and identify the letter(s) that the apostrophe replaced.

Introduce contractions in families, such as not contractions (e.g., don’t, isn’t, doesn’t).

Make sure students can read the sight words that are used in contractions.

Explicitly teach won’t as an exception that means will not.

Some contractions have homophones.  Write the word whose on the board and contrast it with who’s.  Explain the difference between the homophones and ask the students for sentences that contain the correct homophone.  Do the same with the words its and it’s.

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