I begin this lesson by explaining to students that today we will learn to differentiate between the homophones - its and it's. Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and different meanings. I write "its and it's" on the board and ask if anybody can explain the difference. A few students tell us that "it's" is the contraction for "it is." But none of the students can explain "its." So, I do. I tell them that "its" is the possessive pronoun that means "belonging to it," as in the example, "The dog chased its tail." Its in this sentence is referring to the tail belonging to the dog.
Next, we practice with sentence examples on a Powerpoint presentation (see attachment). I do examples 1-3 and explain my logic. We do examples 4-6 and explain our logic. Students do examples 7-10 and explain their logic. I like to use the instructional strategy of "I do, we do, you do" because it provides a gradual release of responsibility to learners.
For this portion of the lesson, we play a game called "two corners." In this game, I give each student two index cards. With a marker, they write the word "its" on one index card and the use of "its" on the back of the card (a possessive pronoun that means "belonging to it"). They write "it's" on the other index card and on the back of the card they write "a contraction meaning "it is." I hang a sheet of paper with the word "Its" in one corner of the room and I place another sheet of paper with the word "It's" on in the opposite corner of the room. (See attached sheets with words on them to print and use as corner labels.) Next, I have all students stand. I display a sentence (see It's and Its Game Powerpoint presentation) on the Smartboard and a ask students to hold up which word correctly complete the sentence and walk to the corner of the room with the appropriate sign. We check our answers by getting one student to explain the logic of his/her correct answer. We go through all ten slides. My students are engaged because of the movement, which is good for kinesthetic learners and the visual learners can use the Smartboard and words on the index cards.
To close the lesson, I have students to pretend they are a meteorologist and write a 1 paragraph description of the weather outside today using the words "its" and "it's" correctly. They are to underline the words "it's" and "its."