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Lesson Plans Library 6-8 > Language Arts
Pendemonium: Star Words: Apostrophes and Double Negatives
Pendemonium: Star Words: Apostrophes and Double Negatives
Grade level: 6-8 Subject: Language Arts Duration: 1 class period
 



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Student Objectives
  • Identify apostrophes
  • Categorize the various uses of apostrophes
Materials
  • Star Words: Apostrophes and Double Negativesvideo
  • Paper, pencils, and markers
  • Encyclopedias
  • Print resources
Procedures
  1. After viewing the video, reinforce the video's concepts by introducing several books about apostrophes listed underPrint Resources.
  2. Discuss the placement of apostrophes in possessives and contractions. Draw attention to the changes within words when using contractions, pointing out how double negatives should be avoided.
  3. Discuss the importance of using apostrophes. To demonstrate, ask students to describe someone's clothing using words without apostrophes or to speak formally without using contractions.
  4. Quickly review the setting ofStar Words: Apostrophes and Double Negativesand the various places in outer space the four characters visited. Discuss some characteristics of various planets (e.g., Mercury is the closest to the sun, Jupiter is the largest planet, and Saturn has rings).
  5. Explain that students will create maps of the solar system and write simple sentences that describe each planet's characteristics. Draw a solar system on the board with each planet starting closest to the sun. Leave room inside or above each planet for two sentences.
  6. After distributing paper and markers or crayons, have students draw a map of the solar system that fills the page.
  7. Make a list on the board that includes several of each planet's characteristics. Try to think of at least two characteristics for each planet (e.g., Mercury is closest to the sun and is the hottest planet).
  8. If there is time, students may also research the characteristics of different planets using encyclopedias or other reference materials available in class.
  9. Have students write two sentences in or near each planet using apostrophes. One sentence should demonstrate possessives (e.g., Saturn's rings go all around the planet). The other sentence should demonstrate contractions (e.g., It's very cold on Pluto).
  10. When students have completed their solar systems, have them share their sentences and explain how they used apostrophes.
  11. Create a classroom bulletin board about apostrophes and display student solar systems.

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Assessment
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • 3 points: Students clearly identified the two uses of apostrophes presented in the lesson ? possessives and contractions; constructed a solar system with all of the planets in the correct order; clearly explained the characteristics of the planets using apostrophes correctly; avoided the use of double negatives
  • 2 points: Students identified the two uses of apostrophes presented in the lesson ? possessives and contractions; constructed a solar system with most of the planets in the correct order; explained some of the characteristics of the planets using apostrophes correctly; limited the use of double negatives
  • 1 point: Students were unable to identify the two types of apostrophes presented in the lesson ? possessives and contractions; constructed a solar system with few of the required planets; were unable to explain the characteristics of the planets using apostrophes; used frequent double negatives

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Vocabulary
apostrophe
Definition:a punctuation mark that shows ownership of an object or a contraction of two words
Context:Jenny'ssweaterisn'tas nice as the other one in the store.

contraction
Definition:the act of shortening words by combining two words and removing a letter or letters
Context:In a contraction, the wordsI ambecomeI'm.

double negative
Definition:a grammatically incorrect use of two negatives, which results in an unintentionally positive meaning of the sentence
Context:If we sayNancy didn't noteat the last cookie in the box, what we really mean is thatNancy dideat the last cookie in the box.

possessives or possessive nouns
Definition:nouns that show ownership
Context:To show that the bike belongs to Katherine, we call itKatherine's bike.

solar system
Definition:the collection of planets, stars, and other heavenly bodies that revolve around the sun
Context:The solar system is within the Milky Way galaxy.

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Print Resources
  • Jarnicki, Harold.No Boring Practice, Please! Punctuation and Capitalization. Teaching Resources, 2005. Engaging practice pages and easy-to-score quizzes help students learn and teachers assess. Includes crosswords, word searches, and other articles. Ages 9–12.
  • Learning Resources.Learning Resources Fold-Up Flashcards, Contractions. Learning Resources, 2005. Inventive fold-up flashcards show two words, then fold to show the combined contraction. All ages.
  • Usborne Books.Apostrophe, Colon, Hyphen. EDC Publishing, booklet edition, 1999. This intermediate children’s book explains various punctuation marks. Ages 9–12.

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Academic Standards
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL's Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K–12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks, visithttp://www.mcrel.org/compendium/browse.asp.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Language Arts: Viewing - Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media
  • Language Arts: Writing - Uses conventions of punctuation in written compositions (e.g. , uses apostrophes in contractions and possessive nouns)
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
The National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association have developed national standards to provide guidelines for teaching the English language arts. To view the standards online, go tohttp://www.ncte.org/about/over/standards/110846.htm.
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.
  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

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