Before I get into all the great tips for how to teach nouns, let me tell you… When I mention the word “science” in my classroom, 22 little faces all light up with excitement. I accidentally left a bag of bolts on a shelf in their view the other day and when I was asked what they were for and casually replied, “we’ll be using them in science later this week” the room went nuts! They spent the entire day trying to get more details out of me and demanding to know the specific date and time they would be using them.
In all my years of teaching, I have never seen joyous excitement like that when I teach grammar. I mean, it’s grammar. How much fun can it be? And not for nothing, but I know my colleagues down there in grades K-2 have told them about nouns and verbs and adjectives before and yet my 3rd graders always insist it is the first time they have heard of such a thing.
So this year, let’s set out on a mission to make grammar more memorable and engaging. I am a realist and I understand that they will probably never hoot and holler for adverbs the way they will for magnets and electricity, but I’m pretty darn excited about what I’ve been coming up with. Read below to get some quick tips for how to teach nouns in fun and engaging ways in your classroom.
1. Incorporate Hands On Activities, Crafts and Games
As teachers, we know students learn best through hands on learning experiences. Check out the activity ideas below for how to teach nouns!
Noun Scavenger Hunt
Create a simple graphic organizer with three columns. Label the columns “people”, “places”, and “things”. Have students record nouns they find around the classroom in their independent reading book, or in the book you read aloud to the class.
Noun Flip Books
Construct a flip book by placing a piece of construction paper on top of another the the sides aligned, but with with a 2 inch difference in the bottom. Then, fold them to create the equally spaced layers. On the inside of each flap, the students can put pictures and words to fit each category: people, places, and things. To make it to a higher-level activity, have your students sort them into common, proper, singular, and plural. You could have them use magazines, clipart, drawings, or words to find things and words to sort.
Nouns Flap Books
Another fun activity idea for how to teach nouns is using a flap book. Create a simple flap book where students record information about each type of noun or to record samples of each type of noun using words or pictures. See the example above for inspiration.
Nouns Mad Lib
Ahead of time, create a story with missing nouns. Specify which type is needed for the spot (e.g. singular common noun, plural common noun (things), and proper noun (person)). Print and make a copy for each student. In order to implement it in your classroom, work as a whole group to brainstorm a list for each of the different types of nouns. Have students pick from the list to fill in the missing words. After they fill in the words, invite them to partner up and read their story to each other. Pick a few to share with the whole class. You are sure to get some giggles!
2. Use Anchor Charts
Anchor charts are a very powerful instructional tool. You can create many different anchor charts to teach nouns. An example is to create an anchor chart to record common and proper nouns onto.
3. Display a Noun Gallery on a Classroom Bulletin Board
Having students illustrate a noun is a great starter activity to introduce person, place, or thing. Consider having each student make an illustration and then hang them all on a bulletin board.
We hope you found these tips for how to teach nouns helpful. If you did, then you may also be interested in my Clutter-Free Classroom teacher store, as well as these posts: