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Play Ball: A Pronoun Lesson




Arts & Humanities
--Language Arts
Educational Technology



Brief Description

Students identify the noun to which each pronoun in “Play Ball: A Pronoun Story” refers.


Students will:

  • identify the noun to which each pronoun in “Play Ball: A Pronoun Story” refers.


pronoun, subject, noun, baseball

Materials Needed

  • Project the Play Ball: A Pronoun Story worksheet on a screen or provide a printed copy of the story for each student.
  • Internet access

Lesson Plan

This lesson provides several ideas for fun extension activities that you can use after teaching basic lessons about pronouns. (See “More Pronoun Activity Resources” at the bottom of this lesson section; you might use these resources for reinforcing your basic lessons before using the activities that follow here.)

Pronoun Extension Activity Ideas

Pronoun Activity 1

Write a list of pronouns on the board or a sheet of chart paper. Then challenge students to write a paragraph about themselves (perhaps the paragraph might be about a favorite hobby, pet or food). But they must write this paragraph without using any of the pronouns you have listed. Invite some students to share their paragraphs and discuss the difficulty they had completing the assignment. As it turns out, pronouns are very useful parts of speech!     

Pronoun Activity 2

Provide each student with a copy of the same news story from a newspaper. Challenge students to circle all the pronouns in the article. How many pronouns did they find? Provide time for students to share the pronouns they circled. Students might identify each as a singular or plural pronoun.

Pronoun Activity 3

Next, provide students with the Play Ball: A Pronoun Story worksheet. You might project it on a classroom screen or SMART Board or you might provide a printed copy of it for each student. Have students number a sheet of lined paper from 1 to 25. Challenge them to identify the noun (person, place, or thing) to which each of the story’s underlined pronouns refers.

“Play Ball” Worksheet Text:

Bobby, Angela, and Cindy were so happy to get tickets to the ball game. (1) They had been looking forward to seeing a game for a long time. (2) “I hope the Tigers win today’s game,” Cindy said. (3) “They have lost four games in a row, so I hope they win (4) it for (5) me.”

(6) “I hope they win this one for (7) US!” said Angela, before (8) she jumped up to cheer for the players as (9) they took the field.

The kids watched the pitcher for the Broncos warm up on the mound. (10) They agreed that (11) he was looking good as the first of the Tigers’ batters stepped up to the plate.

The first pitch was right over the plate. (12) It was a perfect pitch. “Strike one!” shouted the umpire, adding a big wave of (13) his hand for emphasis. The next pitch – and the (14) one after that – were two more perfect strikes. The Tiger batter dragged (15) his feet as he returned to the dugout.

Two more Tigers batters stepped to the plate and both of (16) them faced the same fate as the first batter – two more strikeouts. (17) “I’m not sure this is going to be the game I want (18) it to be,” said Bobby. (19) His two friends nodded in agreement. (20) They saw the writing on the wall: unless the Tigers quickly turned things around, (21) they faced a continuation of their losing streak. (22) That would be five losses in a row!

Bobby, Angela, and Cindy knew the team had (23) their work cut out for them, but (24) they refused to leave. They stayed until the final out was made in what ended up being a 5-4 loss for (25) their team.    

“Play Ball” Worksheet Answer Key:

  1. They refers to Bobby, Angela, and Cindy
  2. I refers to Cindy
  3. They refers to the team (the Tigers)
  4. it refers to the game
  5. me refers to Cindy
  6. I refers to Angela
  7. us refers to Bobby, Angela, and Cindy
  8. she refers to Angela
  9. they refers to the players
  10. They refers to the kids (Bobby, Angela, and Cindy)
  11. he refers to the Broncos’ pitcher
  12. It refers to the pitch
  13. his refers to the umpire
  14. one refers to the pitch
  15. his refers to the batter
  16. them refers to the batters
  17. I’m refers to Bobby
  18. it refers to the game
  19. His refers to Bobby
  20. They refers to Bobby, Angela, and Cindy
  21. they refers to the team (the Tigers)
  22. That refers to the loss/the losing streak
  23. their refers to the team
  24. they refers to Bobby, Angela, and Cindy
  25. their refers to Bobby, Angela, and Cindy  


Before using the activity ideas above, you might use some of these online lessons to introduce or reinforce the concept of pronouns.

Pronoun Resources for Elementary Grades

Pronoun Party!
Play Pronoun BINGO
Pronoun List
Schoolhouse Rock: Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla (pronoun teaching video)
Freebie: Pronouns

Pronoun Resources for Middle School

Scrutinizing Stand-Ins: Working With Nouns and Pronouns (New York Times Learning)


Did students correctly identify at least 20 of the 25 pronouns on the “Play Ball: A Pronoun Story”? If so, they have mastered this pronoun skill.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards


NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

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