Contraction Activities & Games

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Learning what contractions are and how they work can make a big difference in your students' ability to read and write. This lesson provides activities and games that will make contractions fun.

Activities and Games for Teaching Grammar

Are you trying to get your students to understand what contractions are and how to use them properly? This can really help students develop their reading fluency and comprehension. It will also help them become more efficient and accurate as speakers and writers. However, you probably know that many students chafe when it comes to grammar lessons; they have it in their mind that grammar is boring or irrelevant. One thing you can do to keep grammar engaging for all of your students is incorporate games and activities into your instruction. Games and activities appeal to students with diverse learning styles and give them agency over their learning. The games and activities in this lesson are oriented toward helping your students work successfully with contractions.

Games for Contractions

Even if your students are resistant to studying grammar, they will be excited to play games in the classroom. The games in this section make contractions fun and accessible for all learners.

Contraction Cards

To play this game, you will need a set of cards. You can enlist students to help make the cards if you think it would be a welcome challenge for them. One set of cards should have words that can be contracted, such as 'do not.' A corresponding set of cards should have the matching contractions, like 'don't.' The more cards you make, the more challenging the game will be.

Break your students into small groups and give each group a deck of cards. Each player should start with three to seven cards and the remaining ones should go in the middle. The goal is for each player to accumulate as many matching sets as possible. They play the same way as 'Go Fish.' Player A, who has 'she would,' might ask Player B, 'Do you have she'd?' If Player B does, he must give the card to Player A, who gets to set the pair down. If not, Player A should pick a new card from the pile. The game ends when all the cards are used up, and the winner is the one with the most matching sets.

Contraction Catch

This is a great game for your kinesthetic learners or anyone who needs to get their energy out and should be played outdoors or in the gym. You can play with your whole class at once, or you can let students play in groups. Give each group a ball or balloon. Their job is to keep the ball in the air, and no one may hold on to it for more than five seconds. When someone catches the ball, they should say a set of words, like 'he is,' say the corresponding contraction, 'he's,' and say a sentence using that contraction. Then they throw the ball. Students can run to avoid the ball or run to catch it, but they are working together to support each other in keeping the game moving.

Contraction Activities

These activities will help your students put their knowledge and understanding of contractions to use.

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