Reflexive pronouns are commonly used words, yet many students are not able to identify them or explain their use. Teaching about this part of speech will give your student an increased command of the English language and assist them as they complete higher level writing and grammar tasks throughout school.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Since this lesson covers a range from 1st to 3rd grade, you may need to introduce, briefly review, or extensively review other parts of speech and functions of nouns and pronouns.
- After your review bring your class to the carpet and ask for some volunteers to help with simple task around the classroom while the rest of the class watch. Make sure you include a variety of boys and girls. For each task, you will ask a question of the class or the volunteer, making sure to include reflexive pronouns himself, herself, yourself, ourselves, and myself (when you as the teacher complete a task). Example: Josh, can you get the big dictionary off of the shelf? If you think Josh can do it himself, give me a thumbs up.” “Should I tie your shoes today, or can you do it yourselves?” I think I’ll write our topic today on the board- don’t worry, I can do this myself.”
- Once all examples have been given and students have sat down, explain to students that “when we take a pronoun like my, our, her, him and refer back to it by adding self or selves, that it is called a reflexive pronoun. The reflexive pronoun refers back to the subject of the sentence, or sometimes we say that the subject and the object of the sentence is the same.”
- Draw a “magic mirror” on your anchor chart, leaving the inside blank, but drawing a fancy frame around the outside. Tell your students to think of reflex as similar to reflect. In the space around the mirror, on the outside, ask your students to provide examples of pronouns. Write them on the outside, and then ask what the reflexive pronoun is. For example, him would become himself. It would become itself. In the inside of the mirror space, write the reflexive pronoun, and draw a thin line that matches it to its outside counterpart.
- Have students read along on individual passages while you read along. Each time they see a reflexive pronoun, they will underline or circle it.
- Assign a reflexive pronoun hunt (activity page one) . Students need to use books in the classroom or online e-reading texts if you do not have a classroom library, to find at least ten reflexive pronouns and cite the location in the grid. Walk around the room as students work independently to complete this activity, checking for accuracy and assisting those who struggle.
- Assign activity page two, where students will create sentences using the reflexive pronouns in the word bank as inspiration.
- Students share word hunt results in small groups.
- Have students briefly review what a reflexive pronoun is and state some examples as a closing.
- The practice page and homework page can be assigned and collected as assessments after the first two activities and final review are completed.
Common Core State Standards:
Class Sessions (30 minutes):
2-3 class sessions, depending on ability level of students and amount of time allowed for student discussion, explanation, clarification, review, etc.
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