Contractions With Is

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SWBAT read and write contractions with "is" as well as the two words that comprise the contraction.

Big Idea

Learning contractions help us to decode better. The better we decode the more fluent we get!

Teacher Background Knowledge and Preparation

Today we are working on contractions. I know that contractions aren't even addressed in the standards until 2nd grade.  However, life doesn't exist in a vacuum. I want my students to be able to read as fluently as possible when they leave me at the end of the year.  My students will be experiencing contractions in their reading this year, so I am addressing it.

I won't say that I never use worksheets, but I really love my students to be active in their learning, so I avoid worksheets when I can.  Today students will be making some Dinah Zyke inspired Visual Kinesthetic Vocabulary Cards (VKVs).  I know Dinah Zyke likes for students to make everything.  However, I don't want students spending so much time measuring and making the cards, that instructional time is lost.  I've created a template, contraction VKV template.pdf, for you to copy for your students.  I've also included a video that shows you how to create the VKVs: How To Make a VKV.MOV.  Finally, I've included some pictures of what the VKVs should look like.  These examples are from a previous lesson.  You can view them here: Contractions 1.JPG and here Contractions 2.JPG.

I have three different contraction lessons in this unit, and they all consist of students making the VKVs.  I like to introduce the different contractions using the VKVs because students will have to write the two words that comprise each contraction and then make the contraction itself by using the apostrophe. Then students will read the two words first, then they will read the contraction.  They will read these words as fluently as possible.  These tasks address standards L2.2c, L2.3, and RF1.4.

For this lesson you will need the Smartboard Contractions Galore.notebook or Activboard Contractions Galore.flipchart lesson called "Contractions Galore."  You will also need to make enough copies of the VKV template so each student can make 8 contraction VKV's.  You will also need enough 12x18 construction paper (any color) for your students to mount their VKV's on.  Finally, you will want to make enough copies of the title headers Contractions With Is Headers.pdf so each student can put a header at the top of their construction paper.

Guided Practice (We Do)

20 minutes

The first time I taught contractions this year I taught them with "am, not, and will."  The lesson was so long, and we didn't get the independent work done all in one lesson.  So for this lesson I decided we would just concentration on contractions where the second word was "is."

I partnered my students up and let them decide who was Person 1 and who was Person 2.  After they had made their decision, I called them to the carpet in front of the Smartboard. I said, "Today, we are going to learn more contractions.  The contractions that we are going to learn today have the word 'is' as the second word.  Let me give you an example.  I can say this sentence the long way: 'She is going to the movies.'  Now I will say it using the contraction. 'She's going to the movies.'  Did everyone hear how I took the words she and is and turned that into the contraction 'she's?'  Today we are going to continue to speak, read, and write our contractions just like we did in our other contraction lesson.  Let's get started." 

I turned to the section with the slides for the contractions with "is"as the second word.  We practiced those slides together, discussing which letter gets taken out in the word is to make the contraction. We did this by using a Thinking Map called a Brace Map.  A brace map is always used to go from whole to part.  By practicing on the Smartboard with our brace maps, students can write the two words that comprise the contraction.  After writing the two words, I also had partners practice speaking a complete sentence, using the contraction in the sentence.

Once we had practiced, it was time for the students to go back to their seats and make their VKV's.

Making Our VKV's

20 minutes

I put a pile of VKV templates in the center of each table.  This way, if students cut something wrong, there would be more paper available for them.  Then I passed out a 12x18 piece of construction paper for each student. 

It had been a while since we had made VKVs so I decided to model the first one for them.  We did the contraction for 'it is.'  We talked about how we write the first word is in the large portion of the card.  Since we take the letter 'i' out of the word is, than that gets written in the section under the 2nd tab and then the letter 's' gets written under the 3rd tab.  Then I reminded them how we cut the card.  I know this sounds confusing, so I have a video here of the students making the VKVs: Making VKV is.MOV.  This should give you a better idea of how to use and cut the templates. 

We did the words it is together and turned it into the contraction it's. Then I put the following words on the board and set them to work:

  • he is
  • that is
  • there is
  • she is
  • who is
  • what is
  • here is


5 minutes

As a closure activity I had the students get together with their partner and read each other their VKVs.  I wanted them to build automaticity with this repetition.  True to my style, the closure was short and sweet, and I thought it was a great way to end the lesson.  It was very loud as all the children were reading, so I pulled someone aside and did a video with her so you can see what my class did.  Just view the video here: Reading VKVs with Is.mp4.