Sample Lesson: It’s Surgery Time!

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Candidate: Evelyn Flores                                                                 

Title: It’s Surgery Time!

Goal: Help students learn the importance of contractions.


  1. Students will be able to identify all the words that could be shortened.
  2. Students will learn the importance of an apostrophe and how to use an apostrophe to shorten words.

Intended Audience: 1st and 2nd grade Multisensory/ Phonics

New York State Learning Standards:

Standard 4:   Language for Social Interaction

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for social interaction. Students will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.

Prerequisite Knowledge:

  • Students should be familiar with the words that could be shortened.
  • Students should be familiar with an apostrophe.

Materials Needed:

  • Scissors
  • Paper Clips
  • Tape
  • Construction Paper
  • Markers
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Tray
  • Contraction Song
  • Smart Board
  • Contraction Game Board
  • Contraction handout
  • Brain Pop Jr. website


 Introduction: “Boys and Girls yesterday we spoke about the different words that can be shortened using an apostrophe. Today we will be practicing how to shorten words using apostrophes and making them into contractions”. 

1. Students should be seated on the rug in a circle. The teacher should have a tray with the following materials: scissors, words, paper clips, markers, gloves and masks; laid out on the mat.

2. The teacher will begin by telling students that we will be doing surgery on a couple of words. The teacher should choose a couple of students to be helpers.

3. The teacher will begin with the word “CAN NOT”. This word will be written on a construction strip of paper in large letters. It is important to leave enough space in between the letters i.e. C A N N O T, to make it easier when you cut the words out.

4. The teacher will show this word to the students and explain to them that there is a shorter word that can be used to say cannot.

5. The teacher should ask students to turn to the person next to them and think of the contraction for “cannot”.

6. The teacher will ask a couple of students to share their ideas. The teacher will record students’ answers on chart paper.

7. The teacher will proceed to conduct the surgery on the word. The teacher will cut the “no” from “cannot” and paper clip the “-t” onto the word. The teacher will then explain that we need to place the bandage (tape) onto the word and remind them that a scar will remain (apostrophe).

8. The teacher will then direct students back to their seats so they can watch the brain Pop Jr. video. The teacher will then explain to students that they will be working in different centers doing different activities on contractions. The teacher will model the activities from each center.

9. Students will be divided into groups. The following are the three groups: red (first graders), blue (Mrs. R’s 2nd grade) and yellow (Mrs. D’s 2nd grade) group.

10. The following is the breakdown of the three centers:

A.  Smart Board Center-> students will complete a number of interactive activities using the smart board application.

B. Contraction Strip Activity-> students will be given a list of contraction words. Students will be responsible for determining the two words that make up the contraction. Students will fold their construction paper strip into three sections. They will write the contraction word in the middle of the strip and on each end of the strip they will have to write the two words that make up the contraction. Students will create a sentence using the contraction. Students will write their sentence on a sentence strip.

C. Contraction Concentration-> Students will work in pairs. The goal of this game is for students to be able to recognize and match each word with its contraction. Write the list of contractions individually on index cards.  On another set of index cards, write the two words that make up each contraction.  For example, for “can’t” you will have two cards.  One will say, “can’t” on it and the other will say, “can not”.  Turn the cards face down and lay them out in rows on the floor or on the table.  Ask the student to turn over two cards at a time. The object is to find the correct two words that make up the correct contraction.  Once a match is made, ask the student to remove those cards from the rest of the game.  Groups will rotate from one center to the other. The ultimate goal is for all students to have an opportunity to participate in each center.

11.  In the case students finish ahead of time, a supplemental worksheet will be given to them to practice contractions.

12.  To end the activity, students will all receive the lyrics to the Contraction song and they will all sing along with the teacher.

Conclusion: “Boys and Girls, everyone did a wonderful job with all the contractions. Can anyone tell me why we use contractions?”


  • Visual aids are provided for all students.
  • Teacher will be walking around the room providing assistance.
  • Groups will be differentiated based on curriculum grade level.


  • Contraction strips will serve as a form of assessment.
  • Students will also be informally assessed during Think pair share time.
  • The teacher will also be walking around assessing students.

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