Pronouns can be difficult for preschoolers to learn. Confusion between such words as "me" and "I" are all too common in young speakers of the English language. However, teaching children to use these and other pronouns properly can begin at the preschool level. Using a variety of fun activities, teach your students to speak about themselves and others properly. Because preschoolers are so young, keep it simple and use activities that utilize creativity and speaking.
Most preschoolers love a good story. Use this to teach pronouns. Write a short story on the board. Use a starting sentence without personal pronouns, such as "Mary was late for school." Write the second sentence with a missing pronoun: "___ was very worried." Ask the class to fill in the blank. Continue in this fashion for the rest of the story, using "him," "her," "he," "she," "we," "they," "us" and "them." If the same students keep answering, have everyone in the class take turns providing pronouns.
Getting preschoolers to speak is part of the challenge of having them practice pronoun use. Have everyone sit in a circle. Hold a tennis ball in your hand. Start by saying your name and something you like, for example, "I am Sarah and I like ice cream." Roll the ball across the circle. The students who picks it up must repeat the previous person's assertion with either "you" or "he/she," for example, "You/She are/is Sarah and you/she like/likes ice cream." The student then says a sentence about himself and rolls the ball to another student. Continue until everyone has had a chance to speak.
Pronoun Drawing Activity
Drawing is a silent activity that can get preschoolers thinking about pronoun use. Have students draw two side-by-side pictures. The first should be of themselves alone and the second should be of themselves with friends or family. Explain to students that they must write a caption under each, such as "I am happy" and "We are having fun." Assist students with spelling and printing. If there's time, have students present their drawings to the class.
Songs with Pronouns
Singing is a great tool for teaching grammar to preschoolers. Find songs that contain pronouns. A good example is "The More We Get Together" by Raffi. If you are musically inclined, learn how to play the songs. If you prefer, obtain a copy on CD or mp3 and bring it to class. Have students stand in a circle and sing. When you come to pronouns such as "I" or "you," have students point to themselves or to a neighbor.
David Coodin began working as a writer in 2005, and has been published in "The Walrus." He contributes to various websites, writing primarily in the areas of education and art. Coodin holds a Ph.D. in English literature from York University in Toronto.