Lesson plan

Contraction Actions

Help your students spring into action with contractions! With this lesson, your students will create contractions from the words will, not, and have. With a focus on spelling and word structure, they will be empowered to use contractions.
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  • Students will be able to construct contractions using knowledge of words that represent the individual parts of a contraction.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the students to share some ways that words can be combined to form a single word (such as compound words, etc.).
  • Give students the opportunity to share in a brief class discussion.
  • Tell the students that they will be working on how to find the action in contractions — how to create contractions and use contractions in their writing.
(10 minutes)
  • Using the contraction forms of the words will, not, and have, show the students how you can eliminate part of these words and combine them to create a contraction.
  • Model the process of writing contractions with several sample words (e.g., I’ll, who’ll, can’t, don’t, I’ve, and you’ve).
  • Point out the location of the apostrophe in consideration of the entire word.
  • After you’ve shown the students how to form the contractions, select one of each type of contraction and use the two combined words to write a sentence on the board. (e.g.. I will go to the store to buy milk for the recipe.)
  • Circle the two words that can be used to form a contraction (e.g., I, will) and write the contraction above the two words.
  • Continue with the remainder of the contractions.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell the students that they are going to practice forming contractions with the individual word parts.
  • Divide students in pairs or groups of three.
  • Hang three separate pieces of chart paper around the room.
  • On each piece of chart paper, write one of the following words: will, not, have.
  • Distribute the partial contraction cards that contain one of the words found in the contraction so that every pair of students has a card.
  • Challenge the students to use their word, along with one of the words listed on the chart paper to write a corresponding contraction on their sticky note. Invite students to post their contraction on the correct piece of chart paper.
  • After all students have finished, direct the students’ attention to the various contractions that have been formed and posted on the chart paper.
  • Provide feedback, additions, and corrections (if needed) to the anchor charts.
  • Ask the students to complete the worksheet Crystal Clear Contractions.
  • If students need additional help locating the contractions, underline one or two of the corresponding words.


  • Challenge the students to locate contractions that contain similar words (e.g., you’ve and you’ll). What is the difference in meaning?


  • Provide a word bank for students who may need additional support in creating contractions. Have them match to corresponding words on the worksheet.
  • Use interactive whiteboard software for students to match two parts of a contraction and write the corresponding word.
(5 minutes)
  • Call out two separate words at a time that form a contraction (e.g., they, will).
  • Ask the students to write the corresponding contraction on their individual whiteboards and use it in a sentence.
  • Repeat with several other contractions (e.g., couldn’t, would’ve).
(5 minutes)
  • Go around the room and ask students to name a contraction, write it on an individual whiteboard, and use it in context. If desired, students can be grouped in pairs or small groups.
  • Invite students to share their observations about how to create contractions in a brief class discussion.

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