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Teaching Contractions
and Possessive with Books

Below are great kid's books for teaching contractions and possessives. This is a challenging topic! Kids seem to get what apostrophes are for, but then actually producing words with apostrophes...that's when things sometimes go south! Knowing which letters to remove, where to put the apostrophe, which words can be turned into contractions and which cannot... there's a lot to know.

We have found that repeated exposure to contractions really the best way tackle the confusion, and children's books are perfect for this! The books below are specifically about contractions and can be a great help, but be sure to also point out the contractions you come across when reading aloud other children's books from your classroom library.

Books for Teaching Contractions
and Possessives

If You Were a

(defines contractions and
provides lots of examples,
of the Word Fun series)
1st grade - 3rd grade

Greedy Apostrophe
A Cautionary Tale
(punctuation marks come
to life and 'do their jobs')
by Jan Carr

1st grade - 3rd grade

The Girl's Like Spaghetti
Why, You Can't Manage
Without Apostrophes!

(funny proof that apostrophes
make a big difference!)

by Lynne Truss

2nd grade - 4th grade

If You Were an

(covers possessive, contractions,
in o'clock... even clarifies
difference btwn its and it's)
1st grade - 3rd grade

I'm and Won't, They're
and Don't

What's a Contraction?  
(full of funny examples)
by Brian Cleary
1st grade - 5th grade

Alfie the Apostrophe
(punctuation marks hold
a talent show and each
mark plays its role)
by Moira Donohue
1st grade - 4th grade

And don't overlook these popular books
when teaching contractions:

If you are teaching about contractions in your classroom, be sure to check out your existing collection for children's books that happen to have a lot of contractions!  We like to read the books from the series Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (by Mo Willems) and the series If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (by Laura Numeroff) during story-time in the days after introducing contractions. Books from these two series are great for providing lots of practice seeing and understanding what has just been taught. And kids are so proud of themselves to finally be 'in' on the secret of what those little little squiggles mean!

Help!  We need more books to use when teaching about contractions.  Do you know of any that we missed? If so, please let us know. 

Enjoy the books!

Betsy, Cindy, and Virginia (the teachers/sisters behind this website)

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