In English grammar, a contraction is a shortened form of two or more words into one word by omission of a sound or letter. In a contraction, an apostrophe takes the place of the missing letters. So, “cannot” becomes “can’t” and “do not” becomes “don’t.” We use them all the time in writing and everyday speech. You know this, and I know this, so why don’t our students know this? Maybe it’s because of infuriating rule breakers like “won’t” for “will not.” Whatever it is, it’s likely students could use some reinforcement on the topic. These contractions videos for kids can help!
Contractions! by Scratch Garden
I was way more entertained by the train smashing the letters than a 41-year-old woman has any right to be, and I suspect your students will be too. The computerized voice is a little weird, but the animation makes it worth it.
Sing along with Blazer Fresh as students learn how to be a Contraction Connoisseur in English grammar! Did I watch this on repeat? Yes, yes I did.
If You Were a Contraction
Tune in to this read-aloud of the book If You Were a Contraction by Trisha Speed Shaskan. “If you were a contraction, your best friend would be the apostrophe.”
Contractions: 2 Words Smushed Together To Make 1 New Word
Mrs. Frink teaches a lesson about contractions using flash cards. Lots of repetition, and it includes an “I can” statement. I like the language of “smushed” together and the way she turns over the letter card and there’s an apostrophe.
Contractions With BrainPOP Jr.
I’m a sucker for a good BrainPOP video. This one is front-loaded with a lot of explanation about contractions, from why we use them to what an apostrophe is.
The Contractions Song
Set to Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” this one’s a real banger.
What Are Contractions?
I like the natural cadence and expression of the host here, so I’ll forgive the fact that her animated mouth doesn’t match the voice-over. This one is great for older students because it’s a little less silly than some of the others.
Another good option for older students, this video illustrates the concept of contractions by crossing out letters and replacing them with an apostrophe.
Contractions With Jack Hartmann
Is Jack a grade A nerd? Yes. Will kids still like it? Also probably yes. The rap is pretty catchy, and there’s a great part where Jack gives the two words and students get to respond with the contraction.
Contractions for Kids
This video with Ashley and Robot Mia is a no-frills option for teaching contractions, but the narration is quite strong.
A Contraction Has an Apostrophe
This is a fun educational tune from Miss Jenny. It also works backwards, starting with the contraction and telling what it means.
I’m and Won’t, They’re and Don’t: What’s a Contraction?
Another nice read-aloud! This book is by Brian P. Cleary, and the illustrations are really delightful. This is one of the few videos that addresses contractions that are made of more than two words.
Another fun one for call-and-response, e.g., “When I say ‘you are,’ you say, ‘you’re.'”
This is a little too cute for its own good, but littles will like it, and it has a LOT of examples. (I’d probably break it up.)
Contractions Kids Freeze Dance
Here’s a fun, movement-based option. When the host starts the beat, students start to dance. At the sound of the ding, they have to freeze. He puts two words up and they have to say the contraction after the countdown.