Teaching and Learning About Nouns

What are Nouns?
Free Noun Teaching Unit

Nouns are a part of speech that refer to people, places, things and ideas. 

Nouns are taught as early as in kindergarten and typically not later than the 2nd grade. We teach children that nouns refer to people, places and things.  As they get a little older, it's important to teach them that nouns can also refer to ideas. Idea nouns things like: thoughts, dreams, courage, joy fantasy to name a few.  Personally, I like to break down nouns into each category when teaching children about nouns. For example:

Starting with people, I ask my students what they think their first words were. Of course they tell you Mom or Dad and then we start the discussion that nouns can name people. We then brainstorm all the people we know and come up with a list that looks something like:

People We Know
Mom,  dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, cousin, friends. From there, we make our own list of naming nouns that might include Sara, Jared, Sam etc.

After that, we talk about places we've been. Sometimes they'll name say Dallas, Elizabeth Street or Niagara Falls and they are correct, but there are places like the store, the library, the school. We then talk about common and proper nouns. However, for the introduction of nouns, both proper and common nouns for naming places just fall under the category of places.

Naming Nouns of Places
Students then begin to brainstorm places: their street, favorite park, movie theaters, zoo, streets they've been on, countries, states, lakes, cities and towns they've been to.

(When students understand the concepts of nouns, we do a few activities to distinguish the difference between proper and common nouns - see the worksheets.)

A quick look around stimulates the many different things.

Have your students go on a scavenger hunt to list as many nouns as they can. Once they have their list of nouns, it's time to classify them. You can list them as people, places, things and ideas or you can also list them as Common or Proper.

See all the worksheets on nouns here.
Stay tuned,  as we expand our categories of parts of speech to include adverbs, adjectives, preposition, verbs etc. 
Yours in learning....  Deb R

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