Correcting Vague Pronouns

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The lesson clarifies the proper use of pronouns, especially those with unclear and ambiguous antecedents.  Most students by this age can easily identify a pronoun, but sometimes when writing they may use a pronoun incorrectly, causing confusion for a reader.  It is recommended students have the opportunity for extensive practice identifying and correcting vague pronouns.

Correcting Vague Pronouns Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Adjective passages and copies of worksheets
  • Activity pages (2) about Correcting Vague Pronouns
  • Practice pages on Correcting Vague Pronouns
  • Homework page
  • Answer Key
  • Built for Grades 5-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson clarified the proper use of pronouns, especially those with unclear and ambiguous antecedents. The lesson provides examples of incorrect vague and correct precise pronouns. Then it gives several examples of common mistakes, how to spot them, and how to correct them. Several activities are included so students can practice correctly using the pronouns.

Sample Classroom Procedure/Teacher Resources:  

  1. Display the following sentence: We stopped at one or two book stores but did not see any worth buying.  Ask:  What is the problem with the sentence?
  2. Allow students to respond and discuss. (The pronoun any is unclear.  The sentence could mean they were looking to buy a book store.  Corrected Sentence: We stopped at one or two book stores but did not see any books worth buying.)  Ask students to correct the sentence.
  3. Allow for responses. Tell students they may add or remove words. Ensure that students understand the correction made to the sentence, and why.  Introduce Correcting Vague Pronouns.
  4. Distribute Correcting Vague Pronouns content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity pages. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Allow students sufficient time to create the incorrect sentences.  Remind pairs of students to vary the sentences.
  6. Once completed, pairs of students meet, exchange sentences, and correct the incorrect sentences. Allow sufficient time for completion.
  7. Pairs of students meet again to correct each other’s work. The teacher will settle disagreements.
  8. Distribute Practice pages. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  10. In closing, ask students: Why is it important to use pronouns correctly? What problems could be caused using vague pronouns when speaking or writing?
  11. Allow for responses and discussion. (Lack of communication; incorrect identification of a person, place, or thing; cause of arguments; etc.

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.1.D

None for Grade 5

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Additional information

Grade Level

5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Language Arts