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Crash & Contract
Grade Level(s): 1-2
By: Kathy Buffington, 2/3 Intern

Learning how to make contractions.


Using old file folders or tag board make 3 cars for each contraction. On the first car write the first word, second on the second car, and contraction on the third. (ex. can - not - can't).


  1. Discuss the concept of a contraction.
  2. Choose three students at a time to come up and be a car. I have them stand in order with their cars.
  3. I tell them the first car is driving along sightseeing and runs into the second car. (Stay close to the students so they don't "crash" too hard into each other!)
  4. We talk about how cars get fixed when they have been in an accident and sometimes the car is a little different. That's when we introduce the contraction.
  5. I tell them the apostrophe shows where the change was made when the car was fixed.
  6. I give several other children a chance to "crash" cars and then I display the word cars next to their contraction on the board.
  7. I created a word search for the students to do afterwards. The word list contains words that form a contraction, and the puzzle contains the contraction that is formed.


It is a good idea to laminate the cars and put a small piece of magnetic tape on the back of each one to make them easy to display on the board.

Copyright 1999 by Kathy Buffington. All Rights Reserved.


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