EFL - ESL activities and games for teaching subject and object pronouns

A collection of practical ESL activities and games for teaching the correct usage of subject and object pronouns. These resources can be used to form the basis of a lesson plan or to supplement an existing one. If you need to bring these materials into the classroom for reference, the TEFL Handbook app gives you offline access to all of the ESL resources on this site, plus a lot more.

Lead-in activity

The board work below illustrates one way to introduce subject and object pronouns in the ESL classroom. Begin by writing a basic sentence on the board and eliciting the subject and object pronouns. Then elicit a list of subject pronouns along with their corresponding object pronouns.

EFL - ESL Lead-in activity for subject and object pronouns | Elementary

ESL classroom activities

Gap-fill and translation 

A writing activity where students have to complete the sentences with an object pronoun and translate it to their native language. 

Start by adding the following to the board: 

1. They always buy ___ sweets. = L1 
2. She never helps me with ___ homework. = L1 
3. I sometimes make ___ breakfast. = L1 
4. We like to bring ___ to the zoo. = L1 
5. you never help ___ with my homework. = L1 
6. We see ___ every day. = L1 

Tell the students to work individually to fill in the gaps and translate the statement into their L1. Once they have completed the exercise, they should compare their sentences and translations with a partner. There are multiple correct answers for some of these so their answers should be different.

More practice 

The students have to apply what they have learned about the target grammar in this gap-fill task. 

Add the following style of gap-fill exercise to the board and have the students complete it individually: 

1. John is my friend, I really like _____. (John) 
2. I hope they invite _____ to the party. (Paul and Jane) 
3. I enjoyed listening to _____. (a song) 
4. Did you help _____ with _____ homework. (Marie) 
5. I hope they let _____ play, we're the best players. 

When finished, they should compare their answers with a partner.

A little help from my friends 

For this activity, the students have to make use of subject and object pronouns when writing about their friends. 

Tell the class that they will have to write a paragraph about their friends and best friend. They should make use of the object pronouns me/him/her/them. If they find this task difficult, you can always do an example on the board.

ESL games for subject and object pronouns

Charades: What happened? 

Students have to act out a scenario based on a statement containing subject and object pronouns. 

On each turn, one or more students will come to the front of the class to act out a scenario based on a statement containing subject and object pronouns. If you want, you could demo this with another student first. Some examples to get you going: 

1. They gave them hamburgers. 
2. He sold her a car. 
3. She stole his football. 
4. They listened to their song/band. 
5. We ate their food. 
6. I went to their party.

More A2 level ESL lesson plans

If you've found these ideas useful, be sure to check out our complete list of ESL lesson plans for elementary level students, A2 lower and A2 upper. For other levels, see the entire collection of ESL lesson plans. Our suggested next lesson is on the past simple negative. Also, Android and iOS users can access all of our materials through the TEFL Handbook app. An ESL lesson planner for English teachers.

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