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Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish

Teacher Guide by Lourdes Fernandez

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Spanish Category!

Student Activities for Spanish Direct Object Pronouns Include:

Direct objects and direct object pronouns can be difficult to grasp in English, never mind Spanish! The following three storyboard activities can be used as models for students to create their own. The activities are designed to progress in difficulty and student independence as the student advances his or her own understanding of direct object pronouns. The first storyboard focuses on correctly identifying direct objects, the second on using direct object pronouns in Spanish, and the third upon using direct object pronouns within a broader context. Each activity can be adapted to the skill level of students. Students must first know the basic information below.

me = me
nos = us
te = you
os = you (pl)
lo, la = it
los, las = them

Direct object pronouns go before conjugated verbs in Spanish, unless there is an infinitive or present participle, in which case they can be attached to these instead. When used with positive commands, direct object pronouns must be attached to the command.

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!




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Spanish Direct Object Pronouns Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Identification of Direct Objects

Often students struggle with identifying direct objects, and therefore find it difficult to apply direct object pronouns in Spanish. A common error is to mistake “it”, the subject of a sentence, with “it”, the direct object pronoun. This storyboard is meant to help students focus on the function of a direct object. Understanding a direct object’s place in the sentence and its function helps students use direct object pronouns correctly. This skill is especially useful when students craft original sentences with direct object pronouns.

In this model storyboard, sentences are intentionally simplistic to clearly demonstrate the roles of subject, verb, and direct object. Have students create a similar storyboard, parsing and labeling each grammatical structure. If students require more of a challenge, their sentences can include more than four words.

Direct Object Pronouns - Identification

Example

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Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish: Process

After learning the definition of a direct object, how to identify it in a sentence, and the Spanish direct object pronoun forms, students can begin to practice taught concepts.

Have students write various, original, sample questions and answers to demonstrate their understanding of direct object nouns and pronouns. The questions should include direct object nouns, and the responses should use direct object pronouns.

The process for using direct object pronouns has multiple steps, and the temptation for a new student is to rush through it, but practicing slowly and methodically leads to fewer errors in the future. In following this sample storyboard, students must slow down and show each of their steps.

The first row ensures that the student has correctly chosen a question that includes a direct object (as opposed to simply targeting sentences with the word “it” somewhere). If the test question doesn’t work, the student must think of a different example. In the second row, the student demonstrates their process for choosing the correct pronoun, replacing the direct object noun, and the English translation. In the final row, the student shows proper placement of the direct object pronoun and puts their mini conversation together. Have students provide as many different examples as needed for mastery.

Test question for identifying the direct object: “Subject verb what/whom?”

If there is an answer to the above question, it is the direct object.

Direct Object Pronouns - Process

Example

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Creative Scene: Direct Object Pronouns in Spanish

After students have carefully practiced identifying direct objects and replacing them with pronouns, it is important for them to begin using them in more complex scenarios. In the following storyboard activity, have students create a scene with various characters, actions, and objects. Students must then write a descriptive paragraph for their scene. Instruct students to include at least five direct object pronouns that clearly refer to something in the scene. The paragraph should have some continuity of storyline.

Depending on the ability and independence of your students, the storyboard activity may be done individually or in small, collaborative groups. This activity can be easily adjusted to include other verb tenses besides simple present and direct object pronouns with infinitives, present progressive, and commands. For further advancement, push students to add details to their narrative.



Example:

¿Dónde está el bastón del abuelo? Diego lo tiene porque es maleducado y lo robó. No es el mejor día para el abuelo. Él habla con Ricardo pero Ricardo no presta atención. Él duerme. El abuelo habla del pájaro. El pájaro tiene un serpiente en sus garras y lo lleva a su nido. Mientras tanto, Lucía vende unas limonadas. Las pone en su mesa y las vende a una familia que está en el parque. Al lado de la familia comprando limonadas hay unos amigos con una pizza. La deben comer rápidamente porque hay muchas ardillas hambrientas muy cerca.

Direct Objects Pronouns - Creative Scene

Example

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