Pronoun Games for 3rd Grade

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching students to use pronouns appropriately can be tricky, and some students require a lot of practice. The games in this lesson will help you teach your third graders what pronouns are, and how to use them correctly when speaking and writing.

Why Pronoun Games?

Grammar is one of those subjects in teaching that students are likely to protest. As teachers, we understand the importance of grammar, or an understanding of how language works mechanically, in speaking, reading, and writing. Too often, though, students think of grammar as a chore, something they are forced to learn but do not really see a purpose for. Games can be a great way to make grammar engaging. In this lesson, you will learn some games for teaching your students pronouns, or words that can be used to replace nouns to make speaking and writing clearer and less repetitive.

Pronoun Treasure Hunt

One great way to help your students understand the relationship between nouns and pronouns is to set up a pronoun treasure hunt. This activity takes some preparation time, but it is worth it because of the fun your students will have while really working to make grammatical connections. To prepare for this game, write a set of sentences that use nouns. Write each sentence on a large note card or piece of paper. On a separate set of cards, write pronouns that can be used to match up with the nouns in the sentences. Each card should have one pronoun on it. Then, hide the sentence cards around your classroom or school, and give students the pronoun cards. Students can work in partnerships or teams, and each team gets three or four pronoun cards. Their job is to hunt for the card containing a sentence that could appropriately be modified using the pronoun they have. After students are finished hunting, bring them together to discuss what they found.

Pronoun Fix-Up

Sometimes, it is only by seeing the mess that ensues from inappropriate pronoun use that teaches students how important it is to use them properly. To prepare for this game, photocopy a story or passage that you think your students will like. Then, use correction fluid to get rid of ten or fifteen pronouns in the passage, and using a black pen, replace these with incorrect pronouns (ones that don't make sense and might even be ridiculous or totally alter the meaning of the story). Make copies of this story for your class and have them read it. Then, time them as they try to correct the mistaken pronouns according to what would make sense. The student who finishes correctly first is the winner.

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