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A classroom activity for Russian 111

Example 2
Чьё это? = Whose is it?

This activity was dedicated to the correct use of possessive pronouns. The possessive pronouns in Russian act in the same way as adjectives, i.e. they agree with nouns they refer to in gender and number.

I started this activity with series of pictures where different items (компьютер = computer: masculine singular; машина = car: feminine singular; книги = books: plural) were possessed by a) male person, b) female person, c) a number of people.

In Russian depending on a gender and number of the item(s), which is/are possessed (computer, car, books), the interrogative pronoun in the question will change its form. It will be чей? = whose? for masculine singular (question-1 on the handout, 'computer'), чья? = whose? for feminine singular (question-2 on the handout, 'car'), and чьи? = whose? for plural (question-3 on the handout, 'books').

Simultaneously, depending on a gender and number of the people who possess the item the possessive pronoun in the answer will change as well. It will be его = his for masculine, third person, singular (column-1 on the handout), её = her for feminine, third person, singular (column-2 on the handout), and их = their for third person, plural (column-3 on the handout).

Showing the pictures on the screen I asked the students the questions (in Russian): Whose computer is this? (3 times), Whose car is this? (3 times), Whose books are these? (3 times), Is it my/your/his/her/our/your/their car? etc. The students answered successfully.

Then I asked the students to choose one item belonging to them and put it on my table. I turned off while they were putting their things on the table.

When I turned back I saw piles of things in front of me. I really did not know whom they belonged to. Then I started to ask the students in Russian: Alexandra, is it your bag? Mark, are these glasses yours? Whose bottle is this? practicing both interrogative and possessive pronouns at the same time.

According to the rules we set in the beginning of the activity the students had no chance to get the item they donated for the sake of experiment back until they answered my question correctly. They had to say aloud the right form of the pronoun in the context of a short sentence. For example: Это мой шарф = This is my scarf.

Taking into account that some students put their chocolates and even iPods on my table it will be clear that they were highly motivated to perform well while completing this exercise. I was quite satisfied with the results.

This activity was focused on mastering the students' skills of proper use of possessive pronouns in Russian.

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