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Teaching The 3rd Person “S”

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Teaching The 3rd Person “S”


By the end of the activity pupils will be able to:

·     identify the simple present tense with the verb with “s” and without “s”.

Target Language:

Simple present tense , third person “s”

Time needed for preparation:

15 minutes

Time needed in class:

45 minutes


Year 2
Year 3

Language Focus:


Activity Use:


Pupil Task:

Pair Work
Group Work

Which learning institute:



picture card of the snake, cut and coloured and possibly laminate for future use; board markers/chalk; verb cards with picture, pronoun cards: he, she, you, i, my grandmother, ali, shari and so on.

Procedure before class:

1.       Photocopy and color the snake. 
2.       Write up a few example sentences.
3.       Write up 1 x verb card per student and 1 x Pronoun Card per student


Procedure in class:

1.       The teacher tells students that she/he is going to tell them a story about a naughty snake who lives in the forest. The teacher introduces the snake puppet and practices the phoneme “s”. See the  story on the opposite page.
2.       Teacher draws stickmen to show singular and plural subjects.
3.       Teacher places  an S next to the singular subject (he/she) to show the snake comes out to catch them.
4.       Teacher shows some example sentences with different verbs and pronouns asking students to say whether the snake comes out or not. 
5.       Ask some students to come to the front and practice gap-filling on the board.  Other students have to say whether they are correct.
6.       Ask several students to hold a verb card with simple present tense (no “s”)
7.       Some of them hold the cards with singular pronouns e.g. He, She, Timmy, My mother etc.
8.       Two of them hold the snake card.
9.       Students find a partner with a pronoun or verb to make a couple with one pronoun and verb e.g. “Timmy play…”
10.    Teacher asks the pupils with the snake card to “catch” the singular pronouns
11.    Students get “free” by making a correct  sentence e.g. “Timmy plays outside”
12.    Get the other pupils to repeat the sentence.
13.    If the pair produces a correct sentence, they get to be the snake who catches another pair. 
At the end of the lesson:
1.       Teacher start to ask some questions e.g. “When should you put the “s” after the verb?”
What are the pronouns that can make the verb and “s”?

2.       What are the pronouns that cannot make the verb and “s”?


Follow Up:

Students can complete a gap-fill activity where they have to write the missing verb with the correct form.  The teacher can produce a small worksheet or get students to copy from the board. 

Using a small reading text from the textbook or alternative resource ask students to notice the verbs.  In pairs, ask pupils to find out the verb with “s” and without “s”.

Ask pupils to highlight or colour the pronouns and after that they need to list down the pronouns and the verbs.  See which pair/group finds most examples.  



Allow stronger students to be the snake – let weaker students practice making sentences.