Teaching Contractions: A Mini Lesson Plan for High School English
Confessions of a high school English teacher: I’d rather have a root canal than teach grammar to my students. Grammar has never been my favorite part of teaching or learning English, and my students have usually hated it as well. So instead of teaching lengthy lessons on grammatical topics, I like to sneak it in when my students aren’t looking. I try to start my lesson with a "mini lesson" or warm-up activity on grammar; it works out really well if I can somehow tie it in with the rest of my lesson, too. This mini lesson is an example of how I do that; it works well as an introduction to a lesson or a warm-up activity.
To teach this mini lesson, you will need the following:
- A copy of the Rufio song “In My Eyes” to play for your class.
- A copy of the lyrics to said Rufio song, with the contractions omitted (use this one)
Teaching the Lesson
Give your students a brief overview of contractions. Explain the differences between contractions and possessive pronouns. For example:
-You’re wearing a lovely dress today. Your dog is eating my homework.
- It’s hot outside today. The sun is shining in all its glory.
- I hate the Lowry twins. They’re always showing off their new clothes.
Let the students practice this skill using the lyrics to the song. As they listen to the song, have them fill in the blanks to the lyrics. It’s a quick and simple activity, but it will allow them the chance to practice this skill. Ask them to share their answers when they finish.
*NOTE: I should warn you that you may incite mockery when you play this song. After I play it, my students usually ask me how tight the band members’ pants are, how long I’ve been Emo, etc. I take their mockery in stride, because at least I know they’re paying attention. J