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Pronoun in Subject Position (I)
Slash lv. 2
 
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A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase. It can function independently ( e.g., ‘me’ or in place of a NP referring to someone or something present (e.g., I, you ) or to someone or something elsewhere (e.g., she, it, this). Personal pronouns (I, we, you, he, she, it, they) are generally developed in the earliest stages of language.

Strategy

Teacher actions are highlighted

  • Prepare written directions, for example: Put a book on the table; Sit down on a chair; Erase the board; Drink some water.

  • Give a sentence strip to a student (Emma). Emma reads and does what the sentence says.

    • Students sign/ say and write what Emma did, e.g. Emma put a book on the table.

    • Ask Emma to read the sentence.

    • Show  that Emma needs to change the first word. She is talking about herself.  She doesn’t say her name. She says 'I'.

    • Put a line through the word Emma

      • Write 'I' above 'Emma". Have Emma read the sentence again using I.

  • Tell the students: Watch what I do, e.g. throw a paper in the basket.

    • Ask the students for a sentence telling what you did.

      • Ms. Julie threw a paper in the basket.

      • Write the sentence on the board.

    • Ask: How should I write the sentence? 

    • Ask: Why did I say/sign 'I' instead of  'Ms. Julie'.

    • Student discuss when and why the pronoun 'I'  is used instead of a name.

 
Advancing the Strategy
  • Give each student 3 sentences; each sentence tells about a characteristic of the student, e.g., Samuel has black hair. Samuel is tall. Samuel has brown eyes.

    • Students rewrite sentences that tell about themselves, changing the name to the pronoun I.

    • Each student reads her/his original sentences, then reads the rewritten sentences, and tells why the pronoun I was used.

  • Have the students read a story that frequently includes the pronoun I. Each time they read the pronoun I, have them identify who is talking.

  • Remind the students to use the pronoun I correctly when writing.

  • Incorporate the pronoun I into all other activities during the school day and emphasize its use.