Comparing 他/她/它/牠/祂

In spoken Chinese, there is no differentiation between pronouns of any type. Regardless of gender, species, or even objects, they all sound the same. However, after contact with the West, differences in written Chinese started to be introduced.

While it is still perfectly acceptable and grammatically correct to use 他 in all circumstances, modern Chinese has started incorporating all the different kinds of 他 and it’s useful for children to recognize them.

Plus, your children will learn about the differences between male/female, objects, animals, and deities. Also, it’s a very easy way to teach kids the differences in radicals and see how obviously they apply to each pronoun.

For a brief refresher, here are all the different kinds of 他:

generic for all situations; he/him/his
she/her/hers
it/its (object)
it (animals)
3rd person pronoun for divine beings

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

Most of these activities focus on matching and decoding which pronouns belong to which object/person.


Pronouns Picture Matching Game (age 3+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 
  • Sheets of paper
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Various pictures of people, animals, objects, and gods/religious symbols
 HOW TO PREPARE 
  • Write each pronoun on multiple cards
  • Print out or provide pictures (in books or magazines) of the various subjects
 HOW TO PLAY 
  1. Pass out at least one of every pronoun to every child.
  2. Choose a picture (or point to an object in your house) and ask your child to choose which pronoun goes with the picture. Technically, 他 works in all situations, but for the purpose of this activity, limit to the male or mixed gender pictures.
  3. Continue until all pictures/examples are used.

 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. Using pictures of groups of objects/people/animals (This is hard because it would default to 他.)
  2. If your child is younger and can’t understand the concept of divine beings, remove that category.
  3. If your children are really young, you may want to limit to 2 or 3 pronouns and leave the rest out.

Memory Matching Pronouns Game (age 3+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 
  • Sheets of paper
  • Pen/Pencil
 HOW TO PREPARE 
  • Write each pronoun on multiple cards
 HOW TO PLAY 
  1. Mix up the cards and place them face down on the floor.
  2. Have the first child flip over two cards. If they match, they keep the pair and can either go again or have the next child go.
  3. Take turns until all cards are paired.

 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. If your children are really young, you may want to limit to 2 or 3 pronouns and leave the rest out.

Pronoun Radicals Matching Game (age 3+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 
  • Sheets of paper
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Or Sagebooks flashcards
 HOW TO PREPARE 
  • Write multiple pronoun cards several times
  • Also write the radicals of the pronouns several times on cards

 HOW TO PLAY 
  1. Shuffle the pronoun cards.
  2. Give each child at least one of each radical card.
  3. Flip over a pronoun card and have each child choose which is the matching radical.
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. You can also swap which cards you shuffle (ie: use the radical cards and have your child choose the matching pronoun)
  2. If your children are really young, instead of having them match pronouns with the radicals, you can use only pronoun cards.

Radical Elimination Game (age 3+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 
  • Sheets of paper
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Timer
 HOW TO PREPARE 
  • Write radicals on the cards
  • Write 也 / 匕 on multiple cards

 HOW TO PLAY 
  1. Mix up all the radicals and the 也 匕 cards together and spread out on the floor.
  2. Set a timer for 1-2 minutes and have the children make as many pronouns as possible.

   

 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. If your children are younger, you can separate the radicals from the 也 / 匕
  2. You can also remove the timer or make the time limit shorter.
  3. To make it harder, turn the cards face down and turn into a memory game. Matched pairs are whatever radical matches the 也 / 匕

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Have your child associate Chinese with  fun .

Yes, this can admittedly be harder than anticipated. Especially when children get older. However, you can try things like “gameification” which is having your children unlock rewards or prizes for completing certain Chinese activities or mastering specific concepts. It’s basically a fancy term for a rewards chart.

Or, you can introduce more Chinese movies, shows, and fun games so that Chinese is not always associated with homework and textbooks.

This is a huge reason why we try to give activity ideas in our posts.

Have these tips been helpful? We’d love to hear from you in our Facebook Group and we hope to see you there.

 

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Posted in 家庭教學實錄 Learning Journal and tagged , , .