Contraction Action with a Thanksgiving Read Aloud


It's around this time of the year that our second graders are introduced (or reintroduced) to contractions.  They really love contraction word work when they are given a variety of fun ways to practice.

Thanksgiving Read Aloud 

My favorite way to kick off our action with contractions is with a read-aloud of Franklin's Thanksgiving.  Franklin's Thanksgiving is a delightful story about friendship and being thankful for friends.  It leaves a message for young readers about the value of kindness.  Definitely an added bonus!
The first time I read the story, it's for pure enjoyment, but usually leads to a discussion about being thankful for our friends. Depending on time and my particular group of students, we write about friends we are thankful for and ways we show our appreciation for them.  Here you can download this free set of Thanksgiving writing templates we use.

Contraction Lesson

Now, back to how I use the text for our contractions study. Either later in the day or the next day, I present a mini-lesson on contractions.  I discuss with them and demonstrate how we shorten two words by putting them together into one word to form a contraction.  We discuss the apostrophe that takes the place of the omitted letters in the second word and practice using n't, 'm, 's, 're, 'll, and 'd.
Together we brainstorm and make an anchor chart with contractions made from the second word being "not, am, is, are, will, and had." It's amazing how excited my kiddos get and how successful they feel during this lesson!


My pumped up contraction experts are now ready to listen for every contraction they hear as I do a second read-aloud of Franklin's Thanksgiving.  More excitement ensues as they frantically raise their hands for every contraction that's read.

Paired Reading and Contraction Hunt

After I finish reading, I pair them up for a paired reading and to record every contraction they find in their notebooks. Franklin's Thanksgiving is perfect for this assignment, not only because it is a seasonal book, but because it is full of contractions! Here's an example from one of my contraction detectives.

I LOVE pairing up students to work cooperatively on a mission like this. They take turns reading page by page and tend to stay much more focused when looking and listening with a set goal in mind.

Contraction Foldable

I created a contraction foldable  the kiddos can use for some extra practice at a literacy center or as a post-lesson activity.  

They can color the Thanksgiving turkey and write their name on one side.........

...... and cut along the dotted lines and write the contraction that each two-words make on the inside.

This FREE Thanksgiving foldable provides teachers with a fun way to review contractions in whatever way they choose.

November is a great month to review contractions, as well as many other important skills before Thanksgiving break. I especially like having this Thanksgiving-themed Contractions I Have Who Has game and these November Math and Literacy No Prep Printables on hand for quick and easy, yet meaningful, reviews. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy my free foldable!

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24 comments

  1. What a wonderful post, Anita! I love your blog design too. So fresh and fun! Thanks for the great freebie!

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    1. Thank you so much, Carla! Glad you like them!

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  2. Thank you for the contraction printables. I plan on using these with my first graders.
    First Grade Schoolhouse

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    1. You're welcome, Mona! I'm sure they will enjoy them, especially with the Franklin read aloud.

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  3. How cute is this! What a fun way to work with contractions!
    Christine Maxwell Hand to Heart

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    1. Awww...thank you, Christine! I love using texts for teaching lessons like this.

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  4. My children love Franklin ~ so I know they'll love this! Thank you!

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    1. I know! Aren't the Franklin books the best? I'm sure they will enjoy it!

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  5. Thanks for sharing these ideas, Anita. Franklin books have a special sweetness!
    Linda at Primary Inspiration

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  6. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! The contraction freebie is so cute! I love your new blog design! So bright & crisp! Great photos too! ;)
    Peggy @ Primary Flourish

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    1. Awww...thanks, Peggy! You've taught me a lot!! :)

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  7. Thank you for sharing this great activity! I am excited about the giveaway as well:)

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    1. You're welcome! Isn't it an awesome Giveaway!? Can't wait to see who wins.

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  8. What a great post and freebie! Thank you for sharing! :)
    Brinca Into Bilingual!

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  9. Thanks for your post! I taught kindergarten and never had to teach about contractions but your idea would have been a great teaching tool!

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I'm sure kindergartners would still love a Franklin read-aloud with a discussion (and perhaps a simple writing activity) about friends and kindness. :)

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  10. What a great and fun way to teach contractions! Thanks!

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