Teachers are often looking for possessive noun practice for middle school students. It can be tricky to teach middle school students about possessive nouns because they're often confused with plural nouns.
Apostrophes make a critical difference between plural and possessive nouns. Read on for information about what possessive nouns are, links to possessive noun practice for middle school students, and a few exercises for middle school students to practice on their own.
A possessive noun shows possession of an object. These nouns are actually used as adjectives because they describe what possesses the noun.
It's easy to pick out a possessive noun in a sentence: They're nouns followed by an apostrophe and the letter "s."
Sometimes, if a noun already ends in an "s", it will just be followed by an apostrophe, with no additional "s." For example, the Jones' house.
It's also okay to use an additional "s" after a noun that ends in "s" in order to turn it into a possessive noun. Look at the following examples:
Jesus's followers are called Christians.
Jesus' followers are called Christians.
In truth, both versions are acceptable. However, you're more likely to see the second option than the first. Often, which version you choose will depend on personal choice. If you feel the word sounds awkward with the extra "s" after the apostrophe, you can leave it off.
Here are a few more examples that contain possessive nouns:
Susan's brother is a very nice man.
I like Lizzie's recipe for cupcakes - they are so tasty!
My sister's sneakers are really stinky.
Under the dim moonlight, I can see the tree's shadow on the ground.
Unlike your mom's lasagna, my vegan sister's lasagna contains no meat.
Now, can you tell what's wrong with the following nouns?
Andrews baseball hat is blue.
The suns rays are very warm.
This hamburgers bun is covered in sesame seeds.
These nouns are all supposed to be possessive nouns - but they're missing apostrophes between the end of the noun and the "s." This makes them look like plural nouns instead of possessive nouns.
Let's try this again. See if you can spot what's wrong with these sentences containing possessive nouns:
I like to eat chocolate's that have cherries in the middle.
Bagel's are very tasty with cream cheese on top.
I went to the movie's yesterday to see a thriller.
These are not possessive nouns. They're plural nouns. To correct the sentences, be sure to take out the apostrophe between the noun and the "s."
The best way to have middle school students practice their possessive nouns is to have them complete possessive noun worksheets. You can find a lot of these worksheets online, or you can make your own. Be sure to drop in some plural nouns with the possessive nouns to really test their knowledge.
Possessive noun practice including worksheets and quizzes are very helpful for middle school students, so try adding these games, worksheets, and quizzes into the mix:
YourDictionary has a possessive noun quiz that can be used to test students' knowledge.
Soft Schools.com offers a quiz about possessive nouns.