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Spotlight on Grammar Pronouns
Ages: 8-11   Grades: 3-6

Students make a good impression when they know which pronouns to use in speaking and in written language.  These lessons use simple sentence structure, vocabulary, and readability to help students learn easily.

Outcomes

  • Recognize and use correct grammar in speaking and writing
  • Boost reading comprehension
  • Use the correct pronoun in speaking and writing
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The effective lessons feature:

  • simple, clear explanations of pronoun concepts
  • appealing one-page lessons with plenty of practice activities 
  • step-by-step progression in difficulty to build success and motivation
  • a pretest/posttest

The activities begin with identifying pronouns and their referents.  Then students learn to distinguish and correctly use these pronoun types:

  • possessive (e.g., mine his, hers)
  • reflexive (e.g., myself, herself)
  • interrogative (e.g., who, whose)
  • demonstrative (e.g., these, those)
  • relative (e.g., which, that)
  • indefinite (e.g., all, neither, everyone)
  • subject (e.g., he, they)
  • object (me, it, them)

You may purchase Spotlight on Grammar Pronouns individually or as part of the 6-book Spotlight on Grammar set.  The 6-book set consists of:

Spotlight on Grammar Adjectives and Adverbs

Spotlight on Grammar Compound and Complex Sentences

Spotlight on Grammar Nouns

Spotlight on Grammar Pronouns

Spotlight on Grammar Simple Sentences

Spotlight on Grammar Verbs

 

Copyright © 2006

Components
40 pages, pretest/posttest, answer key
  • Students are unlikely to formulate and comprehend complex syntax unless such linguistic forms are included in their experiences and convey authentic, complex meanings (ASHA, 2001).
  • In contrast to spoken language, written language is a more concrete, permanent modality for working on sentence structure (ASHA, 2001).
  • Children with language disorders often struggle with expository text and produce shorter and grammatically simpler sentences (Nippold, Mansfield, & Billow, 2007).
  • Grammar instruction should be salient and functional for students to use these targeted forms in everyday conversations (Fey, Long, & Finestack, 2003).

Spotlight on Grammar Pronouns incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.

References

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2001). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to reading and writing in children and adolescents [Guidelines]. Retrieved November 25, 2009, from www.asha.org/docs/pdf/GL2001-00062.pdf

Fey, M.E., Long, S.H., & Finestack, L.H. (2003). Ten principles of grammar facilitation for children with specific language impairments. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 12, 3-15.

Nippold, M.A., Mansfield, T.C., & Billow, J.L. (2007). Peer conflict explanations in children, adolescents, and adults: Examining the development of complex syntax. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 16, 179-188.

Author(s)

Carolyn LoGiudice, Kate LaQuay

Biography

Carolyn LoGiudice, M.S., CCC-SLP, was a speech-language clinician in school, clinic, and private settings before joining LinguiSystems in 1984.  She has co-authored many materials with LinguiSystems, including The WORD Test 2, No-Glamour Vocabulary Cards, The Test of Semantic Skills (TOSS-P and TOSS-I), 100% Grammar, and 100% Punctuation.

Kate LaQuay, J.D., became part of LinguiSystems' extended family more than 20 years ago when her mother, Carolyn LoGiudice, joined the company.  Now a mother herself, Kate has co-authored several LinguiSystems products, including U.S. History A Reading Comprehension Book, U.S. Government A Reading Comprehension Game, and Spotlight on Vocabulary Levels 1 and 2.  Previously, she practiced law for six years in Los Angeles.

Introduction

By itself, "grammar" is not an engaging topic for students.  You won't hear them spontaneously discuss the function of an adjective vs. an adverb.  Students don't get excited about linking verbs.  Most adults outside the academic arena even shy away from grammar, especially now that our computers can check our grammar for reports or other writings.  Even so, effective speakers and writers need to understand and use grammar as a sharp tool to express their thoughts.  Grammar rules help us modify a message for a target audience.  We even break some rules on purpose to be more casual.

Some say the most practical reason to teach grammar in school is to help students score well on tests.  That practice, while pragmatic, ignores the lifelong benefits of solid grammar skills.  We make snap judgments when we meet people.  These impressions are based on communication style as much as appearance and background knowledge.  When all we know about someone is what that person has written, as in many emails, grammar and writing style are even more important.

How, then, do we entice students to master basic grammar well enough to apply it in their conversation and their writing?

  • First, teach the grammar concept or rule.  Highlight a specific grammar point.
  • Then, give your students practice, practice, practice.
  • Incorporate the grammar concept in both oral and written activities.
  • Spotlight the concept as your students encounter it in textbooks, Internet articles, school announcements, and classroom interaction.
  • Demonstrate both correct and incorrect use of the grammar concept.  Talk about the impact of the concept on a message's listener or reader.  Often a message is clearer when it is grammatically correct. Incorrect grammar can also distract from the meaning or desired effect of a message.

The goals of Spotlight on Grammar are:

  • to help students recognize and utilize correct grammar in their speaking and writing
  • to boost students' reading comprehension by understanding the role of grammar

All six books in Spotlight on Grammar concentrate on basic grammar concepts typically mastered by students in fifth grade.  Use the Pretest/Posttest to determine your students' specific strengths and weaknesses.  The activities within each book are sequenced by general complexity.  Sentence structure, vocabulary, and readability are kept simple to keep students' energies focused on the grammar concept vs. reading comprehension.

Spotlight on Grammar Pronouns presents information about various types of pronouns and the ways they are used.  Here are additional activities to supplement the worksheets in this book:

  • The more students hear and read correct grammar, the more their ears and brains will tune in to correct vs. incorrect grammar, including pronoun usage.  Have your students raise their hands when they hear pronouns in songs, poems, or short passages to spotlight correct pronoun usage.  When your students aren't sure which of two pronouns to use in a sentence, teach them to say the sentence out loud (or whispered) with each pronoun choice.  This strategy also affords a natural opportunity to address local/non-standard English vs. standard English and to talk about code switching as necessary for taking tests or other situations in which standard English is expected.
  • Number sticks or cards and give one to each student.  Call out random groups of numbers and have those students stand together.  Then ask a volunteer to refer to the entire group with a correct pronoun, using the pronoun in a complete sentence.  Where appropriate, have your students think of other pronouns that could also refer to each group and use these pronouns in sentences.
  • Type a short story (fables work well here) and leave out several pronouns.  Display the story on a board or an overhead.  Have your students decide which pronouns to fill in the blanks, explaining the clues that helped them select an appropriate pronoun for each instance.
  • Arrange your students in groups of two or three.  Have the groups identify something each member has in common, such as a favorite food or leisure activity.  Next, as a whole class, have each student take a turn using pronouns (no names) to share what the members of his small group have in common, e.g., "She and I both like skating."  (Remind students as necessary to refer to themselves last in constructions such as He and I or to her and me.)
  • Have your students nominate and vote for their favorite new pronoun to take the place of he or she and for him or her in sentences such as Each student should eat what ____ wants or what tastes good to _____.  This activity pinpoints the traditional usage as well as the current trend to ignore it in conversation—one of many examples of how language changes over time.
  • To practice relative pronouns, have your students give definitions telling the functions of objects or the jobs of workers, e.g., A microwave is an appliance that heats food, A pianist is someone who plays the piano.

We hope Spotlight on Grammar Pronouns is a big hit with you and your students!

Carolyn and Kate