Teaching Pronouns

Thursday, October 8, 2015
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Little ones seem to mix up pronouns pretty frequently. It's very common to have pronoun goals on my students' plan of care when they are young. With my daughter, everyone was a "she." It's something we worked on on a regular basis. Luckily with her, I was able to correct her he's, she's, and him's enough times that it finally stuck. But for some kids they need a little more. I often have parents ask me how they can work on using pronouns properly with their kids because they just aren't "getting it."
My answer: visuals. I love using visuals, manipulatives, and anything they can put their little hands on to understand the difference between a him and a her.
Before you can jump into working on pronouns, you need to make sure your child understands the difference between boys and girls. This seems like such a simple concept, but for some it's not. One of the easiest ways you can do this is by rounding up a bunch of dolls and action figures… whatever is in your toy box. (If you don't have any of these, use photos or cut out pictures of people from magazines) My daughter is obsessed with the Magic Clip Disney Princess dolls so I always have those handy. Have your child sort them into two piles, one for boys and one for girls. Once they have mastered sorting them, I like to use a sentence strip and have them produce the sentence, "____ is a girl" or "_____ is a boy." This works great with family photos!
Once you know they have mastered the boys vs. girls concept, you can introduce pronoun usage. One of my favorite toys to use with this is Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head 
Pull out two potato bodies and decide which one with be the boy and which one will be the girl. Take turns giving directions for dressing the spuds. For example, "He wants the blue hat." "She wants pink lips." or "Give the mustache to him." You can also use picture cards and have your child give them to him or her. Everyone loves the potato family so it's a fun way to work on this skill!
Once your child has mastered pronouns receptively, it's time to move on to expressive pronouns. This skill can be worked on with picture cards, toys, books, apps… anything with a picture of a person. Have your child describe what the person is doing in the picture, "He is playing in the park." "She is shopping." I like to use verb or emotion flash card apps with this skill.
There are so many ways to target pronouns, why not make it fun?!

Check out my Teacher Pay Teachers store here for tons of pronoun activities!

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