Two weeks ago we finished learning about contractions, and we were ready to move on to plural and possessive nouns. This can be tricky in Grade 2, especially when they can become confused about the different uses of apostrophes. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try Laura Candler’s “Plural or Possessive Nouns” pack, and I am so excited to tell you about the great results!
Setting up was easy because it’s already well organized. After printing the task cards and review sheets and gathering my whiteboards, we were ready to go. Everything else was projected right from the PDF, so there was no more prep to do!
Here’s what we did:
1. Laura suggests having each student stand up and showed something that belongs to them. For each example, we wrote a sentence using a possessive form. ie: “That is Ashley’s book.” This was also repeated with partners at their desks.
2. Next, we repeated the activity using objects to show that the rule is the same. ie: “The felt’s lid.” Once this was done, I felt confident that most students understood quite well.
3. Next, we projected some of Laura’s example questions and together tried to choose the right answer using the skills we had learned so far. Seeing the two choices underneath gave students the extra support needed to feel confident in their guesses at this early stage.
4. Next came the part my students LOVED! For more practice, we played a game called SHOWDOWN. I projected questions similar to the ones above and gave each student a white board to write their guess on. When all students were ready, I shouted, “Showdown!” and everyone held up their board to show their guess.
We did many examples and students wanted to do more! They even started asking to generate their own questions for the group; “Can I write a question on the board? I’ve got a GOOD one!”
I could immediately tell exactly who was understanding the concepts, and was quite thrilled that every single grade two student was correct in their answers! What a gift that was to me!
This photo above was the response to a student generated question: “The ______ are licking all over my face!”
5. Next, the class was so excited to try the Showdown game in small groups!
6. We also used the cards to match sentences to illustrations. My students did very well with this task, and I appreciated that it encouraged them to read the words very carefully. Having the words underlined on these cards really supported my beginning readers by directing their attention to the word in question.
Student comment: “There’s no apostrophe so it means lots of ducks.”
7. We finished our study with the Practice Pages and Quizzes. This was important to me in order to have some written output for assessment, even though I could see through all of the various activities that my students were grasping it better than I expected. These pages will go in student portfolios to use during parent conferences.
One clever little boy in my class who tends to participate somewhat reluctantly in most activities – even games – kept staring at the questions with such a serious expression. I could see by his Showdown answers that he understood, and so finally I asked him, “Do you feel like you understand about plurals and possessive nouns?”
“Yes.” he answered.
“And do you enjoy the Showdown game?”
“Yes.” he said again.
“Hmm…. so is there something that you’re still wondering about then?”
“Yes.” he said for the third time.
“Oh! Well would you like to share it with us?” I asked, anxious to know what was keeping him so intrigued.
“Yes.” he said, yet again.
“…So…. What is your question?”
He said, “I’ve been wondering what happens with the apostrophe when something belongs to a whole bunch of ducks, because then the ducks are plural AND something belongs to them too!”
Wow! Talk about inquisitive thinking for a child not even finished grade 2!
And what a natural way for me to extend their learning. Brilliant!
I told him I have just the thing for him to try next: Laura’s new Possessive Noun Showdown Pack!
A big thank you to Laura for this fantastic opportunity and for introducing me to the Showdown game! I can’t wait to try it again with more of her task cards.