Monday, January 12, 2015

Learning the Pronouns: His and Her

Looking for a way to teach your students appropriate pronoun usage? Check out this leveled his/her activity:

All you need to do is collect boy and girl clothing and accessories such as watches, hats, necklaces, barrettes, bracelets, gloves, mittens and shoes.  (Tip: Collect baby clothing items so they fit nicely in your workbox.)

Then make a tub labeled his, him, he with a picture of a boy on it and a tub labeled hers, her, she with a picture of a girl on it.  If you would like you can download this version from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Then have your students take turns picking the accessories out of a fabric bag or tote.  I use one of my “take one” fabric bags. "Take one" fabric bag you might ask... It is simply a fabric bag that I labeled "take one" with a permanent marker.

I have several of them, and we use them for a variety of activities.  It gives my staff and I the reminder to use the same prompt "take one" as the students put their hand inside.  Many kids who are impulsive will take a handful out of the bag so it is a learning process if needed I only put one thing in the bag at a time for errorless learning.  NOTE: By using a solid colored fabric bag versus a plastic ziploc bag the students have to pick out an item randomly as they can't see inside the bag and the bag is quiet when students pick an item out.  
After the students pick out an item, I have the students tell me if it is for him or her and put it in the corresponding his or her tub.  To make the activity fun and to facilitate more language I added this simple aided language board

The language board provides the students with a way to say “that is his” or “that is hers” and they can also make comments such as “I like that” or “I don’t like that” we are working on core vocabulary (this, that, his, her, me, you, mine) while at the same time facilitating language.  By having the pictures available for students to point to, they have another means to make sense of language and/or communicate. Click on the video below to see this strategy in  action (NOTE: The video is with my own children, who both have language, but hopefully it will still give you an idea of how the language board works.)  You can also access the language board on teachers pay teachers.  

Another great thing about the his/her game is that I put it in tubs that match the tubs I use for my workbox storage:

This way I can store it with my other work boxes.  

And one more great thing about the task is that it can be used in a variety of ways as a fun small group activity, a direct instruction activity with a teacher, para, or speech pathologist or as an independent work activity.

NOTE: Above is an example of a very concrete activity.  The students are actually feeling, seeing and try on boy and girl accessories.  If your students are ready for a more abstract version of this activity you can access this his/her card sorting activity on teachers pay teachers.  

Print, cut out, and laminate the cards. Then simply have your students sort them into a container with two parts.  (My favorite is a Lean Cuisine dinner tray.)  

I considerate this to be level two of his or her sorting, next I give you level three, two worksheet versions of the same concept.

NOTE: You can use these worksheets with a dry erase marker and page protector as a direct instruction or independent work activity so students can practice the concept several time without making multiple copies. 

Or you could even slide it into the cover of a binder as a slant board.  

Well, that is it for now!  Until next time, happy concept building! She and He will learn a lot:) 


  1. Love LOVE how you store your work box tasks!!! Been trying to come up with a plan for mine as I move to a new classroom at the end of this school year. Right now they are in different sized shoe boxes....guess I will bite the bullet and get plastic boxes...... :)

    1. You won't regret it Deana! Using boxes of the same size really helped my organization and the visual appeal of my classroom:)

  2. I know this was posted last year, but I feel the need to point this out: while this seems like a fantastic learning tool, it is teaching children that certain clothes can only be worn by certain genders, which is incorrect and harmful. Why should clothes/accessories be segregated by gender? What if you have a little boy in your class who wants to wear the tiara, or a girl who only likes wearing her brother's hand-me-downs? You're teaching those children that they're wrong to wear what they like. Could the activity be adjusted to use, for example, clothes matching particular characters whose genders the children have already been told (eg, "this is Fireman Sam's helmet, it is HIS")?

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  6. In my opinion, this is imbecilic. Sure, learning pronouns is substantial. But it's also important to let kids know that it's okay for boys to play with dolls and wear dresses. And it's okay for girls to wear pants and play with toy trucks. Also, there are so many more pronouns than just he/him/his and she/her/hers. There's they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, xe/xem/xyr, and more. And they/them/their pronouns are not always plural. So I'd appreciate it if you weren't invalidating children's gender identities and making it seem like they can't be themselves. Thank you for your time.

    1. And if you have anything to say, you can reach me at