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This lesson is great for teaching the structure of subject pronouns plus "to be" in combination with adjectives and nouns.

Lesson Procedure:

Warm Up and Maintenance:

See our "Warm Up & Wrap Up" page.


New Learning and Practice:

1. Introduce the vocab: subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, we, they)
Before class prepare 6 large pieces of card with one subject pronoun written on each piece (I, you, he, she, we, they).

Introduce the vocab: subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, we, they)Get everyone standing up and show the first card "I". Shout "I" and point to yourself and get everyone to do the same (pointing to themselves). Do a few times and then put the card on the board.

Next show the "you" card and point to someone and say "you", again have everyone follow along. For "he" and "she", point at a girl and boy – check that everyone understands the difference. For "we", grab a couple of students in a group hug and shout "we" and have everyone get into groups as they do this. Finally, for "they", point at other students whilst shouting "they" and get everyone to do the same.

Introduce the vocab: subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, we, they)

Now you will have all of the subject pronouns on the board. You are going to touch each card and get everyone to point and say the word – start slowly ("I" and point to yourself, "you" and point at someone else, etc.) and go through the pronouns going faster and faster. This is great fun and very confusing when it really speeds up.

Play "Wall Touch"2. Play "Wall Touch"
Next, stick the pronoun cards (that are on the board) around the walls of the classroom. Try and space them evenly around the room. Have everyone stand in the middle of the classroom. Shout out a pronoun (e.g. "we") and everyone must rush to the correct word on the wall and touch it. Do this for all of the pronouns.

3. Do the "Subject Pronoun Chant"
Put the pronoun cards on the board in the correct order (I, you, he, she, we, they). Have everyone sit down and start clapping a rhythm along with you – clap hands together then slap legs, clap hands, slap legs, clap hands, slap legs, etc. (start off quite slow, all in time together). Once everyone is in time start the chant:

Do the "Subject Pronoun Chant"Teacher (chanting): I
Students (echoing): I
Teacher (chanting): you
Students (echoing): you
Teacher (chanting): he

... with the word on each hand clap (no chant on the leg slap yet).

Keep going and after a while add the verb to the leg slap:

Teacher (chanting): I – am
Students (echoing): I – am
Teacher (chanting): you – are
Students (echoing): you – are
Teacher (chanting): he – is

You can have some fun by going fast and slow, adjusting the pace.

4. Introduce the vocab: adjectives
Before class, print off some adjective flashcards, including the following: happy, sad, hungry, quiet, noisy, sleepy. Show the first flashcard (e.g. "happy") and get everyone to do the action for the card (e.g. a big smile and exaggerate this by placing your hands in a smile shape to extend your own mouth (thumbs touching the corners of your mouth)). Then chorus the word 3 times. Go through each of the flashcards doing the actions and chorusing the words.

Introduce the vocab: adjectives

Play "Guess which adjective"

5. Play "Guess which adjective"
Have one student come to the front of theclass and show him/her one of the adjectiveflashcards.He/She must do the action for that card – the first student to put his/her hand up and say theword correctly can act out the next flashcard adjective. Keep going until everyone has had a chance to act out the adjective.

6. Sing the "Who is Happy?" song
Put the subject pronoun cards on the board in the correct order as well as the adjective flashcards. Alternatively, use the "Who is Happy" song poster. Get everyone to stand up and follow you doing the actions and singing (as described below in Gestures for the "Who is Happy?" song). Play the song through 2 or 3 times.

Sing the "Who is Happy?" songLyrics for the "Who is Happy?" song

Verse 1:
Who is happy? Who is happy?
Who is happy today?

I am happy, I am happy,
You are happy, You are happy,
He is happy, He is happy,
She is happy, She is happy,
We are happy, We are happy,
They are happy, They are happy.

Verse 2:
Who is hungry? Who is hungry?
Who is hungry today?

I am hungry, I am hungry,
You are hungry, You are hungry,
He is hungry, He is hungry,
She is hungry, She is hungry,
We are hungry, We are hungry,
They are hungry, They are hungry.

Verse 3:
Who is quiet? Who is quiet?
Who is quiet today?

I am quiet, I am quiet,
You are quiet, You are quiet,
He is quiet, He is quiet,
She is quiet, She is quiet,
We are quiet, We are quiet,
They are quiet, They are quiet.

Verse 4:
Who is noisy? Who is noisy?
Who is noisy today?

I am noisy, I am noisy,
You are noisy, You are noisy,
He is noisy, He is noisy,
She is noisy, She is noisy,
We are noisy, We are noisy,
They are noisy, They are noisy.

(download MP3 here)

Gestures for the "Who is Happy?" song

The main learning point for this song is learning the subject pronouns, so the gestures will focus on these words:

-during the question part of each verse, do gestures for the adjectives:

  • "Who is happy?" - do a big smile and exaggerate this by placing your hands in a smile shape to extend your own mouth (thumbs touching the corners of your mouth)
  • "Who is hungry?" - look hungry and rub your tummy
  • "Who is quiet?" - sing quietly and put your finger to your mouth in the "hush" gesture
    "Who is noisy?" - sing loudly and put arms out as if trying to be really noisy

-during the pronouns part of the song have everyone point for each line:

  • "I am ..." - point to yourself
  • "You are ..." - point to your partner
  • "*He is ..." - point to a boy in the class
  • "*She is ..." - point to a girl in the class
  • "We are ..." - put your arms out with hands bending inwards in the "group hug" gesture
  • "They are ..." - point around the classroom to different students with both hands

*In classes with only boys/girls use a photo on the wall to point at.

We also have a video that you can stream in class to sing along with (Internet connection required):

Who is Happy?

7. Read classroom reader "Aliens on Planet Zorg"
This story will tie everything together - you can practice using the adjectives and subject pronouns from the song. Before class, download and print off the reader "Aliens on Planet Zorg". As you go through each page, point to the pictures and try to elicit the adjective and subject pronoun for the aliens, for example:

Read classroom reader "Aliens on Planet Zorg"Teacher: (pointing at the aliens on page 3) What color are these aliens?
Students: Purple!
Teacher: Yes, that's right! And what are the purple aliens doing?
Students: Eating rocks!
Teacher: Exactly! Why are they eating rocks? Are they full up?
Students: No, they are hungry!
Teacher: Yes, they must be hungry if they are eating rocks! Let's check ..
(reading from page 3) .. "Look! These aliens are called Zillions. They are always hungry!"

Get the students really involved in the reader by asking lots of questions (e.g. eliciting colors, what they are doing, etc.). Page 7 is particularly interactive as the alien asks your students direct questions - get everyone to say if the statements are true about them, for example:

Read classroom reader "Aliens on Planet Zorg"Teacher: (reading from page 7) "How about you? Which of these are true about you?". Ok, the first one says "You are happy". Is that true about you Tom?
Student: Yes, I am happy!
Teacher: Good, how about you, Matilda? Are you happy?
Student: No.
Teacher: No? You are not happy? Why not?
Student: I'm hungry!
Teacher: Hungry! Yes, me too! It's nearly lunch time! etc.

After reading the story, give out a reader worksheet to each student and have everyone complete the sentences. Then go through the answers as a class.


Alternatively, watch our video version of the reader (Internet connection required):

8. Play the "I like strawberries" pair-work activity
In this game students are going to practice using subject pronouns to talk about food likes. Clean your board and write "Food" at the top. Draw a picture of a strawberry and say "I like strawberries Play the "I like strawberries" pair-work activity– yummy!" (and rub your tummy). Get students, one-by-one to come to the board and draw a food they really like – each time make sure everyone knows who likes what. It is fine if some students draw the same thing – in fact this will help to practice the words "we" and "they".

Once all of the food pictures are on the board, model the activity with one student. Stand together in front of the board and choose a food picture. Point at the person who drew it and say (for example) "He likes hot dogs". Do the same for some more food pictures – say "she likes ~" for a girl’s picture, "I like~" for your picture, "you like~" for your partner's picture, "we like~" for any people who have drawn the same picture as you and "they like~" for others who have drawn the same picture. Each time take turns to say a sentence.

Now put the class into pairs and have them say sentences together about different student's food likes in the classroom, all the time pointing and using a pronoun. After about 5 minutes end the activity and then ask some pairs to stand up and demonstrate to everyone some of the sentences they said.

Do "Subject Pronouns 2" worksheet9. Do "Subject Pronouns 2" worksheet
Sit everyone down at their desks and give out the worksheets. Have the students complete the sentences. As they are working, circulate and ask questions (e.g. What food does she like?).

10. Play "Spin the bottle"
We’ll end with a fun game which practices the subject pronouns and "to be". Before class, prepare a bunch of flashcards – some adjectives (e.g. angry, fast, hungry, etc.) some animals (e.g. elephant, lion, rabbit) and some transport (e.g. car, airplane, train) – shuffle them well. You’ll also need a plastic bottle.

Play "Spin the bottle"Get everyone to sit on the floor in a circle with the bottle and the stack of flashcards (face-down) in the middle (large classes can be split into a few circles). Teacher starts by spinning the bottle – when the bottle stops spinning the teacher has to pick up a flashcard and make a sentence using a pronoun depending on who the bottle is pointing at. For example, if the bottle is pointing at a girl and the flashcard is "hungry" say "She is hungry" and point at the girl. The girl then has to do the action (act hungry and rub her tummy). Other examples are:

  • bottle pointing at a boy / elephant flashcard – "He is an elephant" (the boy acts as an elephant)
  • bottle pointing at a girl / train flashcard – "She is a train" (the girl pretends to be a train and choo-choos around the classroom)
  • bottle pointing the person who span it / cat flashcard – "I am a cat" (the spinner acts as a cat)
  • bottle pointing between 2 people / sleepy flashcard – "They are sleepy" (the two students yawn and fall asleep)
  • bottle pointing between the spinner and another student / airplane flashcard – "We are airplanes!" (both students fly around the room like airplanes)

Then, the person who had to do the action can spin the bottle. This game is great fun – you can play it for quite a while as it creates a lot of laughter but also is a great way to practice the target structures.

Wrap Up:

1. Assign Homework: "Subject Pronouns 1" worksheet.
2. Wrap up the lesson with some ideas from our "Warm Up & Wrap Up" page.

Print Outs / Worksheets:


  • tag


  • sad


  • hungry


  • quiet


  • noisy


  • sleepy


  • run


  • elephant


  • lion


  • snake


  • cat 1

    cat 1

  • dog 1

    dog 1

  • tag


  • train


  • rocket


  • car



Songs & Readers:

Additional materials:

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  1. To view and print a flashcard or worksheet click on the thumbnail image.
  2. For detailed printing instructions, click here.
  3. print= British English version - click the flag to open and print. Click the thumbnail image to see the US English version.
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