In 2016 I tried a new lesson, Snowy Pronoun People, and it was a big hit. My students and I have done it a few times since, and it’s always a lot of fun. Today I’d like to give you a quick overview of some of the pronoun activities my students and I do, and describe the craftivity in more detail.
English language learners often struggle with pronouns, so we practice with them a lot. I always give them a copy of my pronoun quick reference chart. The chart lists the subject, object, and possessive form of each pronoun, and includes a picture to help them visualize it. The chart is a great reference tool, and students often refer to it, or the poster-size version I put in my classroom, often.
Our standard subject pronoun practice activities include a cut-and-paste vocabulary chart, sort cards (words on one card, picture on another), task cards that require students to fill in the missing pronoun (and practice family vocabulary), and a sentence cover (students cover up the underlined noun with the correct pronoun). These activities are the same basic vocabulary activities we often do in my classroom. By keeping the activity the same, it allows students to focus on the vocabulary, and not the directions. I am teaching online this year, so I created a digital version of the subject pronoun practice. The activities are similar: a drag and drop matching activity (pictured to the left), task cards that require the students to drag and drop the correct pronoun in the box, and a sentence cover (drag and drop again).
While my students enjoy the subject pronoun practice activities, they always have the most fun with the snowpeople craftivity. The results make for a fun winter classroom display, and the creativity of students always amazes me.
The goal of the activity is to crate a snowperson that represents a pronoun. For example, if a student is assigned the pronoun she, the student would create a snowwoman, rather than a snowman. Depending on how much time we have, I assign each student between one and three pronouns. The students then design and create an artistic representation of the assigned pronoun as a snowperson. Each snowperson must represent the assigned pronoun (I should look like the person who made it), and it must include the subject, object, and possessive forms of the pronoun somewhere. Some students choose to draw, others cut and paste, and still others choose to make a three dimensional project. The entire assignment is very open ended, and the rubric is very simple. Probably the most creative representations are the students who are assigned it. I’ve had students create snow-dragons, snow-dogs, and even snow-pencils!
I have to be honest, this is one of the activities I really miss doing with students now that I teach at the college level. It’s versatile, and I used it with high schoolers, as well as lower elementary students. Due to the short list of requirements (it must represent the pronoun and include all three forms), students are only limited by their creativity and available supplies. It’s a fun way to celebrate winter and practice pronouns with beginning level students. Happy teaching, everyone!