Using subject pronouns is key to forming sentences and making the English language flow naturally. This is why one of the absolute first ESL grammar skills that newcomers need to learn is subject pronouns. However, teaching subject pronouns does not need to be boring!
It is so important to involve students in a variety of activities when teaching any grammar skill. This ensures that students get the necessary repetition of a skill while also getting chances to apply it in ways that meet their learning style needs.
Below are steps you can take for teaching subject pronouns with students:
INTRODUCE SUBJECT PRONOUNS:
Explain to students that a subject pronoun takes the place of the name of the person (proper noun) or thing that is being described.
One way to explain this to ELs is that the noun is like the main teacher of a classroom, and the pronoun is like the substitute that takes their place when the teacher is absent. You could also explain it using the metaphor that a noun is like a lead soccer player and a subject pronoun is the sub player that takes their place when they are on the bench.
Use visuals to show students examples of the 7 personal subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, they, we). Provide students with tools to study these visuals until they have internalized them. This could mean using study tool such as printable or digital flashcards or a lift-the-flap foldable.
To get students interacting with the subject pronouns, students can also practice in a simple hands-on matching game, similar to Memory or Concentration, with a partner or small group.
Once they have the subject pronouns down, teachers can lead whole class practice activities and provide independent worksheets for students to really internalize the skill.
One whole class activity could be having students generate nouns and names and then sorting them together to which subject pronoun they belong.
Provide activities and worksheets that require repetition of the grammar skill, but use varying formats to keep students engaged. This free subject pronouns pack is filled with visuals and practice activities for newcomer and beginner ELLs.
ACTIVITIES IN THE SUBJECT PRONOUNS FREEBIE:
- Cut & Paste: Students cut out a visual of each subject pronoun and glue it above its correct written term.
- Matching: Students match the subject pronouns and then sentences containing subject pronouns to their accompanying visuals.
- Fill-Ins: Students use a word bank to complete fill-in in the blank sentences with the necessary subject pronoun. Every fill-in comes with an accompany visual to ensure students are able to comprehend what they are writing.
- Let’s Write: Students circle the answer to a question and then write the answer in a sentence below.
- Let’s Read: Students read a comic strip style text including subject pronouns. Then, they highlight where the subject pronouns are found in context.
All activities included come in both a printable PDF and digital Google Slides version.
The teaching subject pronouns pack is part of the Personal Subject Pronouns Unit.
For more grammar resources, check out the entire bundle of ESL Grammar Units for newcomers and beginner ELs as well as the Complete Newcomer ESL Curriculum.