Apostrophes & Possessives Lesson Plan for High School

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is an apostrophe and how is it used in speaking and writing? This lesson plan provides a knowledge base for students with the help of a video lesson. An activity provides a fun way to demonstrate understanding.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain what an apostrophe is
  • list the uses of apostrophes
  • use apostrophes to form contractions and show possession
  • discuss common mistakes related to the use of apostrophes


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.


  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated video lesson
  • Photocopies of assorted song lyrics
  • Highlighters in yellow and orange


  • Begin by asking the students to take turns explaining what an apostrophe is, writing key points on the board as they make them.
  • Play the video lesson Apostrophe: Use & Examples, pausing it at :17.
    • Who can provide examples of when an apostrophe is needed?
  • Play the video lesson again. Pause it this time at 1:38.
  • Write the following phrases on the board for the class: 'will not', 'must not' and 'shall not'.
    • Let's practice using apostrophes and contractions with these words. Who would like to share their answers?
    • How can we use apostrophes to show possession?
  • Play the video lesson again. Pause it at 4:45.
    • Now let's practice with apostrophes to show possession.
    • Have students volunteer to show their examples.
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class.
    • How many of you have made the errors presented in the 'Common Mistakes' section of the video lesson?
  • Pass out the worksheet to the class now, one copy per student.
  • Instruct the students to work independently to complete the worksheet.
  • When all students have finished the worksheet, have them follow along on their own papers as you review each question and answer.

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