Understanding and Using Common Abbreviations

Are you Understanding and Using Common Abbreviations ?

Before we begin ~ this Post is about Abbreviations NOT Acronyms….

Both Abbreviations and Acronyms are shortened forms of words or phrases.

An Abbreviation is a shortened form of a word ~ usually 2-4 letters ~ used to represent the whole word, such as Dr. for Doctor or tbsp. for tablespoon, while an Acronym contains a set of initial letters from a phrase that usually form another word such as ASAP for As Soon As Possible or LOL for Laugh Out Loud.

Why  Use Abbreviations ?

When talking and/or writing it takes less time to say or write the first initial of each word or an abbreviated form of the full word than to spell out every single word. This makes communication easier and faster. Several every day examples are:

  • Writing down directions to somewhere is easier to when using N, S, E or W on a St., Ln. or Blvd. instead of writing North, South, East or West on a Street, Lane, or Boulevard.
  • Words like tablespoon, teaspoon, Fahrenheit, pounds are hard to fit on a recipe card, so, using tbsp,tsp. F. and lb. will keep the measurements on the 3 X 5″ recipe card.
  • Large group words like Company and Association take up a lot of space on a sign, so using Co. and Assn. can save time and money.

When to Use Abbreviations ?

In writing, abbreviations are especially useful when you need to squeeze a lot of writing into a small space, like:

  • signs
  • posters
  • letters
  • envelopes
  • lists
  • notes
  • texts
  • recipes
  • diagrams
  • measurements
  • directions

You can, also, use abbreviations in place of long or cumbersome phrases to make your sentences easier and quicker to read:

 Without Abbreviations ~Drive North on Highway 357. Take the Green Street exit. Turn right on Maple Lane. Then, continue on Maple Lane until Poplar Boulevard.

With Abbreviations ~ Drive N. on Hwy 357. Take the Green St. exit. Turn rt. on Maple Ln. Then, cont. on Maple Ln. until Poplar Blvd.

So, I created 6 Activity Units for Understanding and Using Common Abbreviations during everyday communications when writing and talking.

Each Activity Unit contains eight similar Components.

Activity  Unit  Components

Here is a list of the Components included in each of the six Abbreviation Activity Units:

  • Construction  Instructions
  • Lesson Plan
  • Anchor  Chart Diagram
  • Pre -Test Forms with Answer Cards
  • Game Sort Mats with Storage Pocket & Game Pieces*
  • Response Sheets
  • Abbreviation  Sentences & Answer Sheet

*Game Pieces include the “long” word and its abbreviation.

Keeping reading for a brief description of each Activity  Unit.


This 37-page Activity Unit includes a general collection of Abbreviations seen in the different subject areas taught in the classroom: Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Geography, Science, and Math (Customary & Metric).

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product  access:



This 32-page Activity Unit includes Calendar (months & weekdays) Abbreviations, Time, and an annual, mini,  make-‘n-take Calendar.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product  access:


COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : Mini ~ Scopes  Measurements (Customary & Metric)

This 30-page Activity Unit includes Customary & Metric  Abbreviations for height, weight, distance, volume, and temperature. A Math problem-solving component is part of the Abbreviation Sentences.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product access:


COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : People (Individuals & Special Groups)

This 22-page Activity Unit includes a Abbreviations given to individuals as Common & Special Titles as well as Group Titles.

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COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : Short  Order Kitchen (Customary & Metric)

This 24-page Activity Unit includes Customary & Metric Abbreviations seen in Recipes as well as Food Amounts found in packaging. A Math problem-solving component is part of the Abbreviation Sentences.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product  access:


COMMON ABBREVIATIONS : Travel  Tidbits (Customary & Metric)

This 45-page Activity Unit includes Customary & Metric Abbreviations for In-Town Directions, USA’s 50 States, the 7 Continents, and Global Directions.  A Geography/Map component is part of the Abbreviation Sentences.

Click on the link below for TpT’s Product access:


A Few Last Words

Some of these Activity Units have “cross-over” Abbreviations. For example: Common Titles for Individuals are found in both Classroom Clips and People. Measurements can be found in Classroom Clips, Mini-Scopes, and Short-Order Kitchen. 

However, each specific Activity Unit offers more than a few Abbreviations regarding its Abbreviation subject area. Plus, the Game Sort Mats, Game Pieces, and Abbreviation Sentences are specific to its subject area as well.

Regardless of which Activity Units you decide to purchase for your teaching  purposes, I hope you and yours have fun while learning this valuable Literacy Skill.

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