How to Teach Pronouns to Elementary Students

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Elementary school aged children are required to understand the concept of pronouns. Pronouns are words that replace nouns to make sentences shorter, simpler and neater. Examples of pronouns are 'him,' 'her,' 'it,' 'we,' and 'them.' Students need an engaging introduction to pronouns to fully understand what they are and to be able to apply them in their daily writing.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry erase board
  • Chart paper
  • Dry erase marker

Guided Lesson

  • Display the poem "Pronouns" from "A Child's Garden of Grammar" by Tom Disch on an overhead projector or on chart paper. This poem gives examples and a definition of pronouns. If the poem is not available, use another text that contains a definition of pronouns.

  • Place students in small groups. Allow them time to come up with a beat or tune that could go with the poem or the definition of pronouns that you showed them. Then ask them to perform the poem. For example, students could come up with a rap or chant.

  • Assist students in creating a class definition of the word "pronoun" using what they learnt from the poem. The definition should be along the lines of: "Pronouns replace nouns and make sentences simpler, shorter and neater."

  • Create a list of pronouns on the board or chart paper with the students.

  • Invite some students try to tell a story without pronouns. If the class hears a pronoun, have them put their hands on their head. This helps students to understand that pronouns are used in everyday conversation.

  • Create a paragraph as a class about a camping trip. Try not to use pronouns. Then go back and replace all the nouns with pronouns.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before completing this lesson, students should be familiar with nouns.

References

  • "A Child's Garden of Grammar"; Tom Disch; 2002
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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