A contraction is a shortened form of two words, often a pronoun and a verb (I + am = I’m) or a verb and the word not (is + not = isn’t), where an apostrophe takes the place of the missing letter or letters.
First grade students learn that a verb and the word “not” can be put together to make a new word called a contraction, in which an apostrophe takes the place of the letter “o” in “not”. Word study for Grades 1 and 2 focuses on contractions that simply combine the two words with an apostrophe in place of the missing “o”. Irregular contractions, such as will + not = won’t and can + not = can’t, are introduced in Grade 3.
All contractions are typically taught together after first grade. The focus in second grade is on pronoun contractions. (I + will = I’ll, you + will = you’ll, I + am = I’m, etc.) Students learn that an apostrophe takes the place of the missing letter or letters to become a contraction. In third grade, students learn to differentiate between some common contractions and their homophones (they’re/their/there, you’re/your).
Common Core State Standards Related to Contractions
Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
Compare formal and informal uses of English.
Have, Has, and Had Contractions: I’ve, you’ve, we’ve, they’ve
Am, Is and Are Contractions: I’m, you’re, he’s, she’s, it’s, we’re, they’re, that’s, who’s
Would and Will Contractions: I’ll, you’ll, he’ll, she’ll, it’ll, we’ll, they’ll, that’ll, who’ll, I’d, you’d, he’d, she’d, it’d, we’d, they’d, that’d
Words Confused with Contractions: its, it’s, their, there, they’re, who’s, whose, your, you’re, were, we’re, where’s
Forms of Nouns: aunt, aunts, aunt’s, aunts’, boy, boys, boy’s, boys’, lady, ladies, lady’s, ladies’, doctor, doctors, doctor’s, doctors’, uncle, uncles, uncle’s, uncles’, friend, friends, friend’s, friends’, bird, birds, bird’s, birds’, farmer, farmers, farmer’s, farmers’
VocabularySpellingCity.com provides word lists, printables, and interactive games and activities that give students the opportunity to use an apostrophe to form contractions.
Try Aim2Spell with the Grade 2 Contractions and Possessives list.