Pronouns are an important part of a sentence – and an important part of your grammar lesson. Learning about pronouns can be straightforward and engaging at the same time. The following pronoun activities are perfect for a primary school teacher just introducing his or her class to pronouns.
Once students understand that pronouns replace nouns in a sentence, have them try it in a visual activity. All you need is some Velcro or magnet tape and a few sentence strips.
- Write several simple sentences on strips of paper. For example: “Jane went outside.” Leave one sentence strip blank.
- Place Velcro or magnet tape underneath the subjects in the sentences.
- Cut up the blank sentence strip and write several subject pronouns (I, she, he, it, they, we).
- Place Velcro or magnet tape under the pronoun strips (toward the bottom).
- In class, invite volunteers to read the sentence aloud and choose the correct subject pronoun.
This activity demonstrates that pronouns are simply noun replacements. To make the game more challenging, include object nouns in the sentence (for example, “Jane bought a dog”) and object pronouns for students to choose from.
Another idea for a pronoun activity that you could infuse within your lesson plan is to use timed worksheets. Usually when children see a worksheet, they dread it. But what if you made it fun?
- Download the printable worksheet below.
- Turn the rows of students into teams.
- Give students two minutes to match all of the pronouns listed on the worksheet.
- The first team that can do it right can win a prize, extra credit or a class privilege.
If students need an extra challenge, have them list as many nouns as they can along with their corresponding pronouns. Give extra points if they can list both the subject and object pronouns for each noun! Add more exercises with these pronoun worksheets for practice and review.
Fairy tales are great for pronoun lessons for several reasons. First, they often include a lot of characters, which are good opportunities for spotting pronouns in the text. And second, they’re engaging and familiar stories for students of all reading levels.
- Split the class into two teams: the Subject Team and the Object Team.
- Have students make small signs. The Subject Team’s sign should say “she,” and the other team’s sign should say “her.”
- Assign one student to be the scorekeeper at the whiteboard.
- Read a fairy tale, such as “Cinderella” or “The Frog Prince,” to your class.
- As you read, have students hold up the “she” side when they hear you read “she,” and “her” when you read the word “her.” The scorekeeper makes a tally mark each time.
- Calculate the points for each team. Which one had the most points?
You can do this activity with any story and any subject/object pronoun combination. Challenge students by creating more teams and have them listen for different pronouns. When they’re done, see how well they understand the different types of pronouns.
All you need is a beach ball, a list of sentences, some music, and a little elbow room for this game. Clear out the desks or have students play from their seats if you’d prefer.
- Start playing a song.
- Have students pass the beach ball around the room. They can hand it, toss it or even spike it to each other.
- Stop the music and read a sentence. Depending on the class’s skill level, the sentence should include a pronoun (beginner level) or noun (advanced level).
- The student holding the ball identifies either the pronoun in the sentence or restates the sentence with a pronoun replacement.
- That student gets to stay in if they get it right, but they’re out if they get it wrong.
- Keep playing until the game is down to two people, or until so many students get them correct that you are sure they understand the skill.
This is a great game to play outdoors or when students need to get some energy out. You can make it more challenging by including sentences with possessive pronouns or plural pronouns.
If your class loves PowerPoint presentations, you can use their interest in your grammar activity!
Simply set up a presentation ahead of time that you can use at the end of a lesson as a review game.
- Create a PowerPoint presentation, or slideshow, in which each odd-numbered slide features a sentence with at least one noun.
- On the even-numbered slides, add the sentence again, but replace the nouns with the correct pronouns.
- Split the class into two teams and invite one volunteer from each team to come to the front of the class.
- Present the slideshow to your class.
- When they see the first sentence, volunteers raise their hands or hit a buzzer.
- Call on the one who had the answer first.
- They restate the sentence, replacing the nouns with pronouns.
- Click to the next slide to see if they were right.
- If they were, reward that team with one point per pronoun.
For an easier version of the game, replace the sentence on the odd-numbered slides with one noun only. The next even-numbered slide can have just the pronoun that would replace it. This activity is great review for an upcoming pronoun quiz.
This dice game is a great activity for individual students, teams or even as a whole-class lesson. Just make sure you have two dice per roller (it’s helpful if the dice look different from each other).
- On the board, make two columns labeled “Subjects” and “Objects,” each numbered 1-6.
- Have students copy it onto their own piece of paper.
- Tell students to write down any nouns they want in each column (12 total).
- Have them roll both dice. The first one corresponds to the Subjects column, and the second one corresponds to the Objects column.
- They write a sentence using the correct subject noun and correct object noun from each column. (For example: if they roll a 2 and a 6, they might match the words “Maria” and “my phone.” The sentence could be “Maria handed me my phone.”
- Students then replace the nouns with the correct pronouns (For example: “She handed it to me.”)
Beginners and English language learners might need a pre-made list of nouns to play the game. Make sure to add nouns that can be replaced with “we” as well as names and objects. Add demonstrative pronouns for older or more advanced students.
Nothing beats an old-fashioned memory game! Students match the pronoun with the sentence where it best fits in the classic matching card game.
- Before playing the game, print the memory cards in the document below (one set per each group of 3-4 students).
- Split the class into small groups.
- Cut the cards out or have teams cut them out.
- Have students mix up and turn over all of the cards.
- One at a time, students turn over two cards to try and match the pronoun with the noun to which it corresponds.
- When they make a match, they keep the cards and earn one point.
- The game continues until all the matches are found. (Some cards work with more than one match.)
Pronoun Memory GameClick to View & Download
You can assign one set of cards per student home for extra practice. Have them play with parents, siblings or even against themselves! It’s just one possible pronoun game that students can play for review.
Teaching students about pronouns can be both fun for you and your students. Before you know it, they will be begging you to teach them more about grammar. Keep it simple and fun with these pronoun activities, and add a lesson about possessives with these possessive pronoun worksheets. You can also review more complex concepts with indefinite pronouns worksheets.