Real-world Walkabouts: Contraction Matching

In January we began an initiative called Real-World Walkabouts, encouraging teachers to think about how they can incorporate physical activity into the school day while still teaching valuable education concepts.

We were really impressed with all the creative brainstorming from teachers and are looking forward to sharing their ideas with you over the next few months!

The first activity, Contraction Matching, was submitted by Suzannah Evans from Hygiene Elementary. Congratulations, Suzannah!


  • language arts


  • contractions
  • word recognition
  • word derivatives


  • 1-2


  • construction paper, 4” x 6” index cards, or contraction cards reproducible pages
  • scissors
  • markers
  • music and a way to play it


Before beginning the activity, create contraction and word cards pairs. Contraction cards
should include common contractions such as isn’t, don’t, aren’t, etc. If desired, use the
contraction cards reproducible pages. Word cards should include the matching words such
as is not, do not, are not, etc. Create one contraction card or word card for each student. Be
sure all matching card pairs are distributed during the activity.

  1. Give each student a contraction card or a word card. Tell students to hold their cards in front
    of them.
  2. Play music to create a musical chairs atmosphere.
  3. Tell students to move around the room to search for the student with the matching
    contraction card or word card. Instruct students to move around the room in a unique way
    such as dance, skip, hop, jump, or wiggle.
  4. Time is up when the song is complete or you stop the music.
  5. Check students’ matches, correct as needed, and have matched pairs read their
    contractions and words to the class.
  6. Have the matched pairs work together to come up with two sentences that include their
    contraction and words.
  7. Repeat the activity with different contractions and word cards if desired.