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Activity and strategy

Teaching BRL Students English Contractions

Lesson to teach braille students English language contractions along with their sighted peers

In braille, we teach contractions. In the general education English classes they teach contractions. They aren’t the same thing, but yet they are. “Were not” becomes “weren’t” — isn’t that a shorter version of words like when we teach our students “brl” is “braille”? I try to let my students know that they will hear the word “contractions” all through their school career. But contracting contractions can be fun!

  • brailled index cards

they contraction cards

Right now, my first grader got his first introduction to the gen ed “contractions”.  How should I teach what is confusing even for his sighted peers?

  1. Matching Game

I decided to make a matching game of sorts. I brailled his contraction on one card and the word uncontracted on the other card. Once I completed all of the list (see below) brailled exactly the way the teacher had them listed (hence why some are capitalized and others aren’t), I then have him find the correct answer of the contraction out of two choices or the correct contraction of the words out of two choices.

  1. Put Together English Contractions with Student’s Learning Medium

If I need to reteach what the contraction is, such as “I’m” is “I am”, I do. But it is not my focus during the lesson, as this has been covered in class. For my student, it’s putting the two together in his learning medium and then allowing him time to practice brailling it.

  1. Student Brailles Out List of Contractions

A third activity of this would be for him to braille out this list. Each line containing the contraction with the contraction then spelled out following. This can be a study sheet for him as well as a practice sheet!


   I’m            It’s         I’ve       She’ll     We’d      you’ve
   weren’t     we’re     we’ve    that’s     they’d    they’re
   You’re      wasn’t   you’d      we’d     we’ll       they’ve


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