Lesson: Common Contractions

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Lesson Objective

Focusing on the writing trait conventions, wonderful writers will be able to edit their persuasive essays for common contraction errors.

Lesson Plan


W.4.5.11. Edit individually or in groups for appropriate grade-level conventions, within the following feature: Usage: (Standard inflections, Agreement, Word meaning, Conventions).

W.4.5.14 Publish/share according to purpose and audience

Learning Objective: Focusing on the writing trait conventions, wonderful writers will be able to edit their persuasive essays for common contraction errors.


Duration: 90 minutes



  • Writing Drafts
  • Worksheets
  • Publication Paper
  • Pencils



  • Do Now
  • Hook
  • Instruction: Conventions
  • Guided Practice: Editing with Contractions
  • Homework Return
  • Independent Writing: Application to Revisions
  • Closure


Main Idea: Students will be formally introduced to the last writing trait which is conventions. Conventions include the features of usage, mechanics, and sentence formation. Students will learn how to edit their papers by focusing on contractions. After they have finished editing their papers, they will advance to the last step of the writing process is publishing. At this point, writers are taken through all the steps of the writing process, and they will end up with a writing piece that they like. After revising and editing, writers will be invited to produce a more polished draft for final placement in their writing portfolio.


Do Now (15 minutes): Multiple Choice Questions: Types of Writing


Hook (3 minutes): Instructor write the word “I” on the board. What did I just write on the board? (The letter “I”.) What

Mini-Lesson (10 minutes): Today, we will be editing our work in order to prepare for publishing.  You have feedback on your revisions. Please use the feedback to make your corrections. As we’ve learned previously, publishing a paper is as simple as recopying your work into a clean piece of paper, or as involved as creating your own book. Publishing is a way to share your story with others who will want to read it. We are going to learn more about the last writing trait. Conventions include spelling, punctuation, grammar, capitalization and paragraphing.  Proper use of conventions will make your essay easy for others to read. We are going to learn how to use contractions correctly. Instruction writes the write on the board and breaks down the word:

Step 1: Introduction to new word

  1. Instructor will write the word on the board and then say the word.
  2. Walk away from the board.
  3. Ask students to say the word.

–         Ask several students to repeat the word.

–         In unison, ask students to say the word.

  1. Orally break the word into syllables.

–         Ask all students to “whale talk” the word.

–         Ask a student how many syllables the word has.

–         Ask all students to “stomp” each syllable on the table.

–         Ask individual students:  What is the (first, last, middle, second, third) syllable?

  1. Ask all students to say the word.


Step 2: Tie Pronunciation to the Word’s Spelling

  1. Walk back to the word on the board.
  2. Ask students to read the word.
  3. Ask how many syllables the word has.

–         How many vowels do you see?

–         Are they together or apart?

–         Do you see a silent -e?

  1. Guide students to match orally pronounced syllables to written syllables.

–         Break the word into syllables in boxes drawn on the board.

  1. Ask all students to orally spell each syllable:

–         Ask individual students to orally spell each syllable.

–         Erase the spelling of the word.


Ask a few students to orally spell the word. Challenge some students to spell the word backwards.

Step 3: Discuss the Word’s Meaning/Provide a Student Friendly Definition: Instructor states the definition.


A contraction is a word that is made up of two words put together.  To contract means to squeeze together. Isn’t  is a contraction because you put together Is + Not. When we make a contraction we take out a letter or two and replace it with an apostrophe.  Which letter did we take out in the word isn’t? _____


Here are some other common contractions (Written on the board):

  • We + are = we’re
  • I + am= I’m
  • You + are+ you’re
  • Let + us= Let’s
  • Does +not= doesn’t
  • Had +not = hadn’t
  • Can + not= can’t


There are some contractions that change spelling as well. The contraction won’t is really Will + not

Notice, if you are combing a word with “is”, you will have an apostrophe followed by a “s”. If you combine not, you will have a “n” after the base word, an apostrophe, then a “t”.  The same with “are”. You drop the “a” and add the “re” following the apostrophe.

Let’s take a look at our worksheet to create contractions and to separate contractions. Remember that since the word contract means to squeeze together, it seems only logical that a contraction is two words made shorter by placing an apostrophe where letters have been omitted. Instructor passes out worksheet. We are going to look at common contractions.

Guided Practice (10 minutes): Class will complete the next three examples together on the board. After students have provided the correct answer, instructor asks students to do the next example by themselves. Teacher will come around to check answer. Once students have received their check mark, they will go on to do the rest of the examples. Students will continue to work on their sheet. Students will be given 7 minutes to complete the sheet. Class will review answers. .

Independent Writing: (45 minutes of writing): Instructor returns revisions.  Here, I want you to apply what you’ve learned about contractions into your writing. I want you to continue to make corrections to your paper until you are confident to publish. If you have contractions within your letter, please make sure you have these contractions within your essay correctly. They are many errors that we make when we do not use contractions correctly. Because this is a personal letter, you can use contractions so do not be afraid to use them within your writing. Therefore, use them and use them well.

Your essay is due tomorrow. I will score you for the six writing traits that are located on the walls. Instructor shows writing rubric. Please get your parents signature on your essay. Work for 15 minutes. After your 15 minutes, please ask questions about your work.

Closure: Put away your essay and complete your publication on Tuesday homework. As expected, your use of contractions will be scored within your essay.



















Lesson Resources

Common Contractions  


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