Teaching Contractions

This week our spelling pattern in 3rd and 4th grade was contractions.  I use a Third Grade Word Study product from The Teaching Duo- it has three levels of words for me to choose from. My 3rd graders did contractions with me last year, and had way more of a recollection than my 4th graders! I was stumped about how to review without making it tedious, and my amazing teaching partner gave me two great ideas.

After I introduced the spelling list (I use Spelling City and the "teach me" feature), we read this book:

Alfie the Apostrophe
I had my students sit with their spelling lists in front of them while we read the story.  For every contraction they heard on their list, they made a tally mark next to the word.  At the end of the book we added them up and compared which contraction was used most often.  I think "let's" won.  That was a great way to tie in some math vocabulary, too!

The next day we reviewed our words by making "apostrophe hands," which was another idea from my fabulous partner. I drew an apostrophe on each student's hand, which they were overjoyed about.  Then I called out two words and they had to write them on their whiteboards and make the contraction with their "apostrophe hands."  In hindsight, putting the apostrophe on a finger would have been better, but this worked just fine! 

Next up, I had lots of great reactions from my Halloween Emergent Reader, so I decided to make another one about the first Thanksgiving.  Please leave feedback if you download it!

Last, my newest product which I made for my 1st grade class.  Our reader this week was called "Animals Eat Plants," and I thought it was just the silliest book in the world.  I decided to bring a little more science into it and teach about the forest habitat.  It's very similar to my Seasons, Clothing, and Weather unit if you are familiar with that!

I'm also excited about my Diary of a Pilgrim mini-book.  My students are so excited to start reading it tomorrow, and I am too.  They capital L loved my Diary of a Witch book, so I know this will be a hit. 


  1. I love the apostrophe hands! What a great kinesthetic way to enforce the concept. I am sure the kids loved it! I really enjoyed your Pilgrim book. I can't wait to check out your first Thanksgiving book. Thanks for sharing!

    Eclectic Educating

  2. I think your Diary of a Pilgrim book would be so interesting to use. I'm going to go check out your Thanksgiving book now. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  3. WOW! The Diary of a Pilgrim book looks like so much fun! Would love to win that! Thank you so very much for giving!!

  4. Both the pilgrim mini book and the forest animals look good! I would love to win either. cheryllhoff@yahoo.com

  5. LOVE the idea of an apostrophe hand (or finger)!!!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  6. I love the idea of the apostrophe hands! I am pinning your emergent reader for you. If I were to win, either one would be great!
    Conversations in Literacy


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