1. Poems allow contractions to be taught in context rather than as an isolated skill.
2. Poems are often short, making them an ideal teaching text in a targeted mini-lesson.
3. Poems demonstrate how contractions affect tone in writing.
4. Poems demonstrate how contractions make language more informal or more personal.
5. Poems often feature more than one contraction.
(You'll see...they're everywhere!)
What kids should know about contractions:
Contractions are two words that have been "contracted" (or shortened) into one.
I have becomes I've
can not becomes can't
she is becomes she's
2. An apostrophe takes the place of the missing letters in a contraction.
he would becomes he'd (Wow...look at all those missing letters!)
3. Contractions make oral and written language more informal.
Enchanted Learning has a very helpful list of contractions organized by type of contraction (be, will, would, have, had).
Listed below is just a small sample from my big collection (over 60 poems) of Poems for Teaching Contractions.
It’s raining, it’s pouring,
The old man is snoring,
He went to bed
And bumped his head
And couldn’t get up in the morning.
-Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme
I’ve got a dog
as thin as a rail,
He’s got fleas all over his tail;
Every time his tail goes flop,
The fleas on the bottom all hop to the top.
(don't, I'm, it's)
In good looks I am not a star.
There are others more lovely by far.
But my face - I don't mind it,
Because I'm behind it--
It's the people in front that I jar.
by Gelett Burgess
(I'd, I'm, it's, I'll)
I’d rather have Fingers than Toes;
I’d rather have Ears than a Nose;
And as for my Hair,
I’m glad it’s all there,
I’ll be awfully sad when it goes!
(it's, you're, you'll)
The night is different from the day--
It's darker in the night;
How can you ever hope to play
When it's no longer light?
When bedtime comes, it's time for you
To stop, for when you're yawning,
You should be dreaming what you'll do
When it's tomorrow morning.
(don't, we've, haven't, he's, we're)
The sea is so lonely
Now winter is here,
I wish we could only
Go down to the pier,
And say to him kindly, "Don't think, Mr. Sea,
We've forgotten you quite, for we haven't, not we!
"Last summer we scurried
All sudden, I know,
From the beach. Don't be worried!
We hated to go!"
I should like to go clear to the end of the pier,
For he's lonesome; and tell him, "We're coming next year!
Because there are so many types of contractions, this is a larger poetry collection. All of the above poems and more (over 60 poems!) are included in Poems for Teaching Contractions.