Lesson plan

Reflect with Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are like mirrors—they both reflect back to the subject! Use this lesson with your students to give them practise correctly using reflexive pronouns in sentences.
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Students will be able to use reflexive pronouns in complete sentences.

(5 minutes)
  • Present students with a riddle: I’m made of glass, this much is true. But when you look, you won’t see through. Reflect on this, and you’ll have a clue!
  • Give students time to think about their answer.
  • Allow students to make guesses.
  • Tell students that the correct answer to the riddle is a mirror.
  • Prompt students to talk to their shoulder partners about the job of a mirror.
  • Accept student answers and explain that today’s pronoun lesson is connected to mirrors because of what a mirror is made to do. A mirror’s job is to reflect back to you. Today’s lesson covers a type of pronoun that reflects, too.
(8 minutes)
  • Introduce Reflexive pronounsBy giving the definition: a type of pronoun that refers back to the subject of the sentence.
  • Remind students that the SubjectOf a sentence is who or what the sentence is about.
  • Explain that reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of the sentences are the same. (Example: The baby saw herself in the mirror. The subject is the baby, and the object is also referring to the baby.)
  • Tell students that reflexive pronouns are also used to emphasize the subject. (Example: The boy will clean up the mess himself. The word “himself” emphasizes that the boy will do the job on his own.)
  • Write an example sentence on the board. Circle the reflexive pronoun and draw an arrow back to the subject to which it refers. (Example: The LadiesMade ThemselvesA reservation at a nice restaurant.)
(15 minutes)
  • Group students into brainstorming teams.
  • Give each group a T-chart with the left column labeled "Subject Pronouns" and the right column labeled "Reflexive Pronouns." The left side of the T-chart should be filled in with the subject pronouns—I, you (singular), he, she, it, you (plural), we, they.
  • Challenge students to brainstorm which reflexive pronouns match the subject pronouns.
  • Give groups two minutes to complete the chart.
  • Go over answers so that each group has the correct reflexive pronouns that go with the subject pronouns.
  • Instruct students to use their whiteboards to write a sentence with each reflexive pronoun.
  • Note that each sentence does not need to have both a subject pronoun and a reflexive pronoun. Just using a reflexive pronoun will meet the requirements for this task.
  • Direct students to circle the reflexive pronoun and draw an arrow to the subject that the reflexive pronoun refers back to.
  • Remind students that this is how the reflexive pronoun does the same job as a mirror.
  • Circulate and monitor groups as they work on these tasks.
(7 minutes)
  • Distribute a sheet of lined paper to each student.
  • Instruct students to write three sentences that use reflexive pronouns.
  • Direct them to circle the reflexive pronoun and draw an arrow to the subject it refers back to.
  • Tell students to share their complete sentences aloud with their elbow partners. Allow students to adjust their answers based on partner feedback.


  • Provide a visual of the subject and reflexive pronouns so students understand that they work together.
  • Provide struggling students with fill-in-the-blank complete sentences or sentence starters for the independent work time.
  • During the group work, intentionally group students based on ability so the struggling students are supported by peers.


  • Challenge your advanced students by having them write a story about a day in the life of a dog. They should use at least five reflexive pronouns in the story. Encourage students to then rewrite the same story, but this time they should use incorrect reflexive pronouns. Allow students to switch stories and make corrections on each other’s work.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students complete the 10 questions on the Reflexive Pronouns exercise as a formative assessment.
  • Walk around the room and choose students to orally tell you the answer to a question while they are completing the worksheet. Correct their answers if necessary.
  • Collect the sentences from the independent work time as a check for understanding.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to respond to the following question on an index card: "How are mirrors and reflexive pronouns alike?"
  • Tell students to share their answers in complete sentences with their elbow partners.
  • Collect index cards to serve as an exit ticket.
  • Read aloud three example sentences that have the wrong reflexive pronoun. (Example: My sister bought himself a new car.)
  • Call on non-volunteers to correct the sentences aloud using complete sentences and a reflexive pronoun.

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