Learning "This and That" Using School Items

Students filling out worksheets in class

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Learning how to say "this" and "that" when just starting out learning English can quickly help students advance. This lesson supports ESL and EFL learners to move onto picking up basic terms and start building vocabulary from the very beginning. These exercises are the perfect way to build that foundation.

"This Is" and "That Is"

Signal your students to repeat after you while pointing out different classroom objects and materials.

Teacher: "This is a pencil."

(Stress "this" while holding up the pencil in your hand.)

Teacher: "That is a book."

(Stress "that," pointing to a book somewhere in the classroom.)

Continue this exercise with basic objects around the room, such as a window, chair, table, desk, chalkboard, pen, bookbag, and so on. Make sure to stress the difference between "this" and "that" when holding or pointing at something.

Questions With "This" and "That"

Model a question to yourself by first holding the object, and then laying it down for the response. You can also change places in the room, or change your voice to indicate that you are modeling: "Is this a pen? Yes, That is a pen."

Teacher: "Is this a pen?"
Students
: "Yes, that is a pen," or, "No, that is a pencil."

Continue this exercise with school supplies, classroom furniture, learning materials, or anything else available in the room. Again, make sure to stress the difference between "this" and "that."

Student Questions

Go around the room pointing from one student to the next to indicate who should ask each question. Then, have the other students respond as a group.

Student: "Is this a pen?"
Class
: "Yes, that is a pen."