Are you a human grammar and usage checker? Maybe you see words spelled incorrectly on social media and have heart palpitations. Or, maybe you silently correct someone’s grammar as they speak. If so, this activity is for you!
We all know students (and adults) who confuse common words such as there, their, and they’re. This activity is designed to help those who struggle with when to use each of these words.
Begin by having your students make three cards, one each for there, their, and they’re.
On the “there” card, underline the word “here”. This will serve as a reminder that this “there” refers to a place. If you can change the word “there” to “here” or “where” with little to no sentence modifications, the spelling needed is “there”. Give it a try: “There it is” becomes “Here it is” or “Where is it?”
On the “their” card, turn the “I” into a stick figure person. This will help create a visual reminder that “their” is used when referring to something that belongs to a person. Use this “their” when the next word is a noun (person, place, or thing), as in: their house, their car, their dog, their honesty, their town, their son.
On the “they’re” card, turn the apostrophe into an arrow. This arrow-apostrophe is a signal that a letter has been removed. That letter, of course, is an A. Use this “they’re” only if the word “they’re” can be replaces by “they are” without any changes to the sentence. “They’re not home” becomes “they are not home.”
Once you have your cards made and the visual representations have been added in, say some sentences to your students using there, their, and they’re. For each sentence, the students respond by holding up the correct card.
Here are some sentences to get you started:
There are four books I want to read.
They’re happy that it is the weekend.
Their house is huge!
Oh, no! Their dog got loose!
Put the grocery bags over there.
Can you hang that picture right there?
I love the color of their car.
My parents are not going to be happy about their credit card bills.
I would love to visit there.
Their children are so well behaved.
They planned an amazing vacation for their family.
Their party was so much fun.
Can I set this over there?
I think they’re going to be late.
Written by Tammi Brandon, M.Ed., CDP, SLDI
Tammi is the Director of Distance Learning and a Master Instructor with Brainspring Educator Academy.
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