Q13 whose + [noun] is for possession. Subject vs. object question comprehension

Intervention outline

You will need:

  • Oval + diamond + cloud shapes and/or SHAPE CODING app
  • Character toys/small figures and set of similar objects of different colours.

App settings: Use custom pink word for Noun + possessive ‘s.

Intervention steps:

  1. Lay out a set of named characters and give them each an object of a different colour to the other characters’ objects (e.g. different colour bags). Show the sentence template “Hulk’s bag is blue”.

Write/underline Hulk’s in pink and bag in red (see also NP11). Explain that we know who the bag belongs to from the pink word.

Repeat with the other characters and bags.

  1. Now introduce the question word ‘whose’ and explain how we use it when we don’t know who each thing belongs to. Rub out the pink word and replace it with ‘whose’ to form the question:

Show how the red word bag is still in the oval because we know it is a bag, but we don’t know who it belongs to so we say: “Whose bag is blue?” Model and practise with the child, asking and answering the whose bag question for all other examples. 

  1. Now muddle up all the bags and play a game to match the bag back to its owner. Pick one bag and ask “Whose bag is red?” Get the child to select the correct character. Support the child to answer using the possessive noun Spiderman’s (see target NP11). Take turns to ask/answer questions.

If the child uses ‘who’ bag in their question, be explicit in your feedback – we do not want to know who it is, we want to know who the bag belongs to, so we have to say a different word: whose. Show the child that who replaces the whole oval or rectangle, so can’t go together with a red word; whose in contrast is a pink word and goes together with a red word.

  1. Play games, e.g. lotto, where items match an owner, e.g. Bart’s skateboard/Madge’s pearls or animals and their young (the horse’s foal/the duck’s ducklings) or jobs/tools (the mechanic’s wrench/the cleaner’s broom) .