Lesson Plan

Contraction Action

Give your students a chance to create contractions and play with macaroni with this fun-filled reading lesson. Early learners will have a blast using flash cards to identify ways word combinations.
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First and second grade learners get in on the contraction action in this playful punctuation lesson plan. First, children learn that a contraction is a shortened form of two words (e.g. “do not” becomes the contraction “don’t”), and apostrophes take the place of the omitted letter. This word structure concept is then reinforced through a contraction word card matching game and guided practice turning two words into contractions, using elbow macaroni to stand in for apostrophes.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify and make different contractions.


(10 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that a contraction is a shortened form of two words.
  • Write the words "do not" on the board. Skip a space and explain to the students that you are going to change these two words into contractions.
  • Tell them to always keep the first word. Write it.
  • Now be sure they are watching as you show them how to change the second word to finish the contraction.
  • Bring attention to the apostrophe to show that you omitted, or left out, a letter.
  • Read the new word: don't.
  • Make more contractions using is, not, will, are, and have.
  • Point out that will not is the only time the first word will change when you change those words into contractions.