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Language and Communication Activities to develop understanding and use of the personal pronouns 'he' and 'she'  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


These activities focus on developing your child's understanding and use of the personal pronouns 'he' and 'she'. Some children find it difficult to use these words when they are talking and tend to overuse one of the pronouns, e.g. calling all people a 'he'.

Work through the following activities in order - if your child is able to confidently complete an activity, move on to the next step.

Early years skill:Speaking
Early years typical range:22-36m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Curriculum level:P6
TAP skill:Expressive Language
TAP level:TAP36
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Male/Female and he/she sorting activity

- Male female sorting symbols and pictures - click here to print

- You could also use photographs of family members, pictures from magazines/newspapers.

  1. Collect together a variety of pictures showing different male and female people.
  2. Cut out the sorting symbols - choose which ones you are going to start with. Some children find it easier to start with one concept at a time, e.g. boy/not boy rather than boy/girl, and adding the opposite concept once confident with the ones that have been worked on. Choose the words you are going to use with your child and stick with the same words for all the activites, e.g. boy/girl, male/female.
  3. Place your pictures in a pile. Take turns at choosing a picture and sorting it into the correct pile. 
  4. If your child sorts the picture into the wrong pile, talk it through with them and model placing the picture on the correct pile.
  5. Play a turn taking game alongside sorting to make the activity fun.

Once your child is getting confident with sorting the pictures into the correct piles, you can start to add the labels 'he' and 'she', e.g. 'we call a woman/girl a 'she', 'we call a man/boy a 'he''. This is called modelling - your child is not expected to use the words at this point but it is important for them to start to hear the new words that they are going to learn. 

Which is it?

1. Print and cut out the he/she pictures. Choose one each of an action, e.g. don't have both the boy and girl running.

2. Spread the pictures out in front of you. You may like to play a turn taking game alongside using the pictures.

3. Ask the child a question, e.g. "who is cooking?"

4. The child points to the correct picture and says, for example, "he is" or "he is cooking".

5. You can sort the pictures into a pile of he/she.

Play with dolls

A male doll

A female doll

A selection of different objects e.g. cup, ball.

1. Check the child can identify which is the male doll and which is the female.

2. Explain we call the male doll a 'he' and the female doll, a 'she'.

3. Give your child an instruction, e.g. 'she would like a cup', 'he would like a ball'.

4. Encourage your child to give the object to the correct doll.

6. After a few turns, ask your child to give you an instruction using the word he or she. 

Matching Pairs

1. Print and cut out 2 copies of the he/she plus action cards. 

2. Lay the cards out face down in front of you and your child.

3. Take turns at choosing two cards to see if they match. When you turn over the cards label them as he/she plus the action.

4. When you get a matching pair, you keep the cards and have another turn.

5. The winner is the person with the most matching pairs at the end of the game.

Using he/she plus an action word

1. Print and cut out the he/she plus action cards. 

2. Use these cards alongside a turn taking game.

3. Place the cards in a face down pile, each take a turn to choose a card, describe what is happening using he/she and then taknig a turn at the game.

4. You could also sort the pictures into piles once you have described them .

5. If your child uses the wrong label, gently model the correct answer. 


he/she lotto game

1. Print and cut out the lotto boards and cards.

2. Give a board to each player and place the lotto cards face down in a pile. 

3. Each take a turn to choose a card from the pile and use the label he/she and the action the person is doing. 

4. The person who has the picture on their lotto board wins the card and covers their picture. 

5. The winner is the first person to cover all 6 pictures on their lotto board. 


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