Teaching apostrophes with lessons ready to teach

  • Published on June 14, 2019

lessons for teaching apostrophes

Do your children have difficulty spelling contractions or using apostrophes for possession correctly? If so, you are not alone. Many, and not only young children, do.

To support your teaching of this punctuation mark that many find tricky, I have produced an interactive resource that explains, demonstrates and provides practice in its correct use.

I have called the resource Apostrophes Please! to encourage young writers to get their writing right.

teaching apostrophes for contractions and possessive nouns

About Apostrophes Please!

Apostrophes Please! is an interactive resource, ready for use on the interactive whiteboard. It consists of enough material for a series of lessons teaching the correct use of apostrophes in both contractions and possessive nouns.

Like other readilearn resources, Apostrophes Please! recognises the value of teacher input and the importance of teacher-student discussion. It is not designed for children to use independently. While the activities have interactive features, there are no bells, whistles and gimmicks. It relies simply on effective teaching.

The resource provides flexibility for the teacher to choose activities which are relevant to student needs and teaching focus. All lessons and activities encourage explanation, stimulate discussion and provide opportunities for children to practise, explain and demonstrate what they have learned. There are nineteen interactive slides and over thirty slides in all.

Organisation of Apostrophes Please!

Contractions and possessive nouns are introduced separately.

Apostrophes Please Contractions menu
Apostrophes Please! Contractions menu
Apostrophes Please Possession menu
Apostrophes Please Possession menu

Both sections include three subsections, each consisting of a number of slides:

  • Learn — explanatory teaching slides introduce how apostrophes are used
  • Practice — interactive activities provide opportunities for teachers and students to discuss, demonstrate and explain how apostrophes are used
  • Check — a review of the use of apostrophes provides additional opportunities for practice, discussion and explanation to consolidate learning.
Apostrophes Please! Check menu
Apostrophes Please! Mixed menu

A third section, Mixed, can be used when both contractions and possessive nouns have been taught. It provides a review of both uses and opportunities for further practice.

Example slides and activities

teaching contractions
A contractions Learn slide – one of 6
Apostrophes Please! teaching contractions
A contractions Practise slide – one of 5
Apostrophes Please! teaching contractions
A contractions Practise slide – one of 5
Apostrophes Please Contractions check
A contractions Check slide – one of 4
Apostrophes Please teaching possession
A possession Learn slide – one of 5
Apostrophes Please! teaching possession
A possession Practise slide – one of 6
Apostrophes Please! teaching possession
A possession Practise slide – one of 6
Apostrophes Please! teaching possession
A possession Check slide – one of 4
teaching tricky apostrophes
Mixed – teaching tricky apostrophes – one of 5
Apostrophes Please! teaching apostrophes
Mixed – checking learning – one of 5
Available now!

Apostrophes Please! is available for individual purchase or free to subscribers.

teaching apostrophes for contractions and possessive nouns

Additional resource

Recently, as part of the Books on Tour PR & Marketing series, I interviewed Teena Raffa-Mulligan about her junior fiction book The Apostrophe Posse. If you missed it, you can read the interview here or download a printable copy of it here.

Author Spotlight Teena Raffa-Mulligan

The story tells the adventures of a posse of children who decide to clean up all the incorrectly used apostrophes in the town. Of course, their good intentions and careful planning aren’t always trouble-free. Great for reading when teaching apostrophes and the importance of spelling and punctuation to clear communication, it also provides opportunities for discussion about community, cooperation and consequences.

Perfect for reading aloud to the whole class or independent reading for your more advanced readers, it is sure to get your children excited about punctuation. You could even encourage them to form their own apostrophe posse and find incorrectly used or missing apostrophes in the school and neighbourhood.

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    Wonderful resource Norah! I’ll pass it on. This clarified something for me; I googled the word ‘its’ and thankfully that’s been dropped!

    Thanks so much for your support, Susan. However, I don’t understand what you mean by ‘its’ has been dropped. Could you explain, please?

    Oh, I see. Thanks for the clarification, Susan. I mistook your apostrophe for an inverted comma. 🙂 I’m not aware of there ever being an its’, but it would have been very confusing, as you say.

    When I was at school, Norah, we were not allowed to use contractions at all. Now I am an adult and using contraction when I write does not come naturally to me at all. When I had Through the Nethergate edited, Esther said I should use more contractions. Fortunately, not using them for my historical characters was fine or I would have had hundreds to change.

    I’m fascinated that you weren’t allowed to use contractions at school, Robbie. I don’t actually remember whether we were or not, but I’m certain we learned them. They are usually on spelling lists now. I realise they are not acceptable in formal and academic writing, but they do have a place in informal writing and in direct speech. It is interesting how standards change over time and that your editor suggested you use more contractions in your writing. Was that more in direct speech than in the supporting text?

    Thanks, Debby. Apostrophes are easy to get wrong. But they’re also easy to get right when you know the rules. Thanks for your positive comment. 💖

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