There are so many possible fun presentation and practice activities for “This is/ That is/ These are/ Those are…” that you have to be careful not to spend more time on this minor grammar point than it deserves… However, I think my new activity and new variation should be considered for the lesson or two that this grammar is worth.
This that these those shapes
This is a nice variation on my other this/ that/ these/ those guessing games, because students get to choose which one they want to be tested with each time. Get some things with distinctive shapes such as plastic fruit (with “grapes” etc to practise these/ those) and two bags, one of which is a bit see through. Students choose if they want the object or objects to be put into a non-see-through bag that they can feel the shape through (“this” or “these”) or a semi-see-through bag that they can see the shape through from far away but can’t touch (for “that” and “those”).
This that these those big and little words
This is a smaller variation on my usual activities for this/ that/ these/ those, which I had to come up with in a hurry after another teacher rightly pointed out that purely oral practice wasn’t much good before a partly written progress test.
Draw a huge circle on one side of the board and a tiny circle on the other side of the board, with lines drawing them to suggest perspective to make the tiny circle look far away. Perhaps after guessing a few huge pictures in the huge this/ these circle and tiny pictures in the tiny that/ those circle (my usual drawing game for this grammar), you can do the same for words written with huge letters or tiny letters in the same two circles. This is most challenging and fun if the this/ these words are written so big that the circle cuts off part of the words (and ditto with any pictures you put in there).