Contraction Action!






     Dear Visitors,

Many of you have asked for activities for contractions. I've looked at the California English Language Arts standards and have come to the conclusion that I'd better honor your requests. I'll need feedback on the new things I'm adding ( Are the directions clear, etc.? Do you have other suggestions or ideas for format? I will include worksheets, word cards for sorting, cloze activities, cut and paste matching, and context clues in an effort to address different grade levels and skills. Many of my university students have been talking about the focus on differentiated instruction, so that's what I'm going to try to do.

I plan to use a little cowgirl with a lasso to represent bringing two words together to create one new one. I've also written several songs and a little reading book to go with the study of contractions and the apostrophe.


Cherry Carl







Contraction Action
(Tune: The Hokey Pokey)
Cherry Carl

You pop some letters out!

To put apostrophes in!

You pop some letters out!

That's the way you must begin.

To do contraction action is as easy as can be!

Come on and dance with me! Oh, Yeah!


Note: Knowing where to put the apostrophe in contractions has always been a problem for many students. In my experience, young writers seems to have difficulty understanding this process and the apostrophe just lands anywhere within the word! Hopefully, this little ditty will help children internalize the rule. I visualize doing a circle or line dance with this song to reinforce the concept of replacing omitted letters with the apostrophe when making contractions. Another way to use this song as a line dance would be to provide large letter and apostrophe cards to a group of students. Call out a contraction, and students with the appropriate letter cards spell the two words that match that contraction. During the song, the correct letter(s) should "pop" out of line and the apostrophe should join the line-up in that letter's place. The two words then slide together to create the contraction.







(1 of 8)

Contraction Action Set 1

(I'm, it's, can't, didn't, don't, he's, she's and wasn't)




Contraction Action Set 2

(won't, isn't, doesn't hasn't, hadn't haven't, I've, I'll )


(1 of 7)

Contraction Action Set 3

(he'd,  she'd, you're, I'd, they're, we've, they've, we're)



(1 of 11)

Contraction Action Cards for Sorts


What Would You Like?
(An Apostrophe Book)

Big Book

This colorful book provides twenty pages of practice reading simple sentences with apostrophes. For a follow up activity, have your students find all of the contractions and record them and/or write out the two words that make up the contractions. They may also write and illustrate their own little books about their favorite foods and the favorites of their classmates, using as many contractions as they can. (Option: Assign a different contraction to each student for a class book about apostrophes.)


I've Lost My
Easter Egg!

Contraction Center



"Pop" Goes the Letter!

Contraction Action Song

Bones! Bones! Bones!

Center Activity


Happy Birthday!

Center Activity


I Can't Pick a Pumpkin!

Center Activity


Contractions Poems, Songs and Rhymes

(10 page collection)


"Not" Contractions Poster
Contraction Action
It's a Match!
Activity Set
Knowledge of Contractions





   Strategies for Strugglers

Hold "contraction races" between two students or teams. Call out two words and see who can call out the correct contraction first. Play it in reverse.

It's in the News: Give students a sheet of newspaper and a highlighter. Assign them the task of finding all contractions and/or word combos that could have been contractions.

Provide a pocket chart and sorting words. Allow children to time themselves for accuracy and speed in matching the contraction with the two correct words.








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