I had a request the other week for activities to teach “Whose … is this?”. I’ve never found anything that just clicked with this theme, until I came across the simplest of simple ideas on the net the other day: http://www.sendaiedu.com/stopthiefpossessives

It’s a really simple idea…

1. Go round the class and collect something from each student (a pen or ruler etc.)
2. Put them in a bag (a magician’s bag would be cool).
3. Pull out something and ask “Whose is this?”
4. Get the kids to shout out “It’s mine!” or “It’s Hiro’s.”

The best thing about this game is that it’s one where you can use the game to actually teach the language, not just practice it. For example if the kids don’t know “It’s mine” they probably won’t say it. So …

1. Hold the object near and say “It’s mine!”
2. Go round the class showing it off.
3. Hopefully the kids will say “No”, so you just keep repeating “Yes, it’s mine!”.
4. Hopefully, if you’ve chosen something that belongs to a genki kid, they’ll say “It’s mine”.
5. If they don’t, just choose someone else’s until you get the reaction you need.

If it’s a really genki kid you can do a “It’s mine!”, “No, it’s mine!”, “No, it’s mine!” comedy style sketch.

The key here is patience and lots of repetitions of the words. Once you hear the first “It’s mine.” you can practice together as a class.

Then you can introduce “not” and “It’s not mine”. From the next object most of the kids have to say “It’s not mine”, whilst the owner says “It’s mine”.

The next step is introduce and have them say “It’s not mine. It’s hers/his.” whilst pointing to the owner.

This pretty much takes up a whole lesson but the kids will have learnt it well and using the real objects keeps it fun (sometimes too fun, you might need a few calming down techniques in some classes!) For smaller classes you might need to collect more than one thing at the beginning.

In case you do have time left at the end…
1. Put the kids in groups.
2. Give each group a bag
3. Let them do the same thing in the groups e.g. one person pulls out something and says “Whose is this?”, the others say “It’s not mine, it’s …..’s”. Very simple.

Have a try in class and let me know how it works for you.

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...