In working with my 2nd grader just recently on contractions again, I created some SIMPLE Contractions Puzzles.
Seriously. There are no bells and whistles with these. Just simple, easy-cut puzzles.
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**The free download can be found at the END of this post.
Introducing Contractions to Readers
Contractions can trip up some readers. It helps to take a closer, more intentional look at them to see exactly how they are made. With struggling readers in particular, introducing new concepts needs to include visuals and explicit instruction (putting it all there).
I like to start by writing a very common contraction, like can’t. I write can’t down for learners to see it. I ask them what looks kind of funny about the word? (the apostrophe) I tell them that it lets us know we’ve left out some letters.
Then I write can not under can’t and I tell them that can’t stands for can not. I use them in sentences: “I can’t wait to see my mom./I can not wait to see my mom,” to show learners that both mean the same thing.
We talk specifically about which letters were left out when can not was made into a contraction. We do this with a few more common contractions, with me leading most of the conversation.
Simple Contractions Puzzles
Once learners seem to understand how contractions work, use these SIMPLE contractions puzzles for some hands-on practice.
One way to use them is to first display the contraction part and ask learners to find the two words that complete the puzzle. (probably a little harder)
Another way to change it up is to start with the words and ask learners to find the contraction word that matches.
Challenge learners to use the contractions in sentences as well (just verbally).
I will say that these contractions puzzles aren’t exactly self-checking, since all their shapes are the same. You can color code them or draw simple color-coded dots on the back to make it easier for learners to check if they are using them independently.
Don’t stop with isolated practice! You can extend contractions learning through word hunts and other activities. Be sure to check out more of my free contraction printables.
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