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  Apostrophes - possession
Updated 07 March 2003, 11.40
The Queen in Romford, Essex
Learning aims
  • Use apostrophes to show possession

  • Punctuate nouns to show possession
Introduction
Read through the story Boy's letter tempts Queen to his town.

Draw attention to the examples of possessive apostrophes in the text:

  • Boy's letter tempts Queen to his town
  • his town's Golden Jubilee Celebrations
  • George's reply to his letter
  • Romford's market
  • the stallholders' cockney rhyming slang

Explain that we use an apostrophe s ('s) to show something is owned by or belongs to somebody or something.

  • the toy belonging to the baby = the baby's toy
When there is more than one owner, add the apostrophe after the s.
  • the dogs' tails
If the owners do not end in s, add 's
  • the children's game
Some academics state that this use of the apostrophe originates from Old English when:

George's reply would have been said as George (his) reply

The apostrophe takes the place of the missing letters.

Main activity
Children pair-up a person and an object from the list below using possessive apostrophes. For example, Paul's computer.

  • Neil............football
  • Clare..........book
  • Kieran..............plaster
  • Graham.......video
  • Tim............mobile phone
  • Sanjay..........joke
  • Claudine.....diary
  • Cristina.......photo
  • Shelley.......game
Extension activity
Children give each of the owners below a possession. They must check to see if the owner is singular or plural. For example, the girls' playground.
  • teachers
  • Matthew
  • ladies
  • winner
  • policemen
  • boys
  • vicars
  • gardeners
  • butcher
  • people
Plenary
Recap on the main teaching points and clarify any confusion the class have.
For all links and resources click at top right.


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