subject pronouns lesson plan
Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, K-3

In BrainPOP ESL’s first movie, Hi, I’m Ben (L1U1L1), Ben introduces students to his friends using subject pronouns, the verb  to be, and its contractions. In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-8, ESL / ELL students perform “contraction surgery,” a fun, hands-on activity to practice making contractions.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Match the full form of pronoun + be with their contractions.
  2. Construct contractions from conjugations of the verb to be.
  3. Describe images in simple sentences using contractions with the verb to be.



I’m, he’s, she’s, it’s, we’re, you’re, they’re


1. Prepare index cards with conjugations of the verb to be: I am, You are, He is, She is, It is, We are, You are, They are, or allow students to make their own index cards.
2. Gather images that illustrate the different pronouns. Make sure to have multiple examples for he,she, it, and they (all masculine, all feminine, and mixed).

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Contraction Surgery. Provide each student with a blank index card and a card with one of the conjugations of to be written on it. Alternatively, have students write their own conjugations on blank cards. Have students perform “contraction surgery” by cutting out the letters that don’t belong in the contraction, and then gluing the contractions onto the blank cards, using a bandage as the apostrophe. Note: Check if any parents can donate surgical gloves, masks, etc., to make it even more fun.
  2. Using contractions of to be, ask students to describe an image, such as the Images of the four BrainPOP ESL Characters or images illustrating other pronouns. For example: They’re friends.

Related Movies
BrainPOP ESL Movies:
It Isn't a Flower!
Who is a Magician?
BrainPOP Movies:
BrainPOP JR Movies: