Nouns make the world go 'round! I introduce this lesson by explaining to students that a noun is simply a person, place, thing, or idea. A common noun is any person, place, thing, or idea. For example, a book, a chair, a boy, a girl, a school, democracy, love, fear. I ask students to repeat the definition of a noun back to me and respond chorally. I, then, ask students to think-pair-share a common noun with their tablemates. We go around the room and they share the common nouns as a whole group. Next, I explain to them that a proper noun names a specific person, place, thing, or idea. I give them examples of proper nouns - Ms. Brown, Oakhaven Elementary School, the United States of America, Tennessee. I ask them to think-pair-share a common noun with their tablemates. Afterwards, we go around the classroom and they share the proper noun as a whole group. I tell them we're going to watch a short Brainpop video about nouns and then take the short quiz at the end. (Click here to watch Brainpop video about nouns.) (Teacher discusses the quiz whole group after the video and students show multiple choice answers (a, b, c, d) to the quiz as a quick check for understanding. Teacher calls on a few students to justify their answers to the quiz.) This lesson on nouns is important because the world revolves around common and proper nouns!
For the next portion of the lesson, students break into two teams and identify common and proper nouns in sentences displayed on the attached Powerpoint presentation. This is an effective teaching strategy because not only is it a good use of technology for visual learners, but it involves reading, speaking, and listening as the students read the sentences aloud. The winning team gets a small treat!
My students absolutely love spelling bees! So, in this lesson, we have a common and proper noun bee. I begin by again telling students the definition of a common noun. All students line up across the front of the room and I tell them to think of a common noun. Each student says a common noun. If they say a word that is not a common noun, they are out of the bee and must sit down. Next round, I again explain to them what a proper noun is. Each student, then says a proper noun. If they say a word that is not a proper noun, they are out of the bee and must sit down. For subsequent rounds, I make the game more rigorous by asking them to name a person that is a common noun, a person that is a proper noun, a place that is a common noun, a place that is a proper noun, a thing that is a common noun, and a thing that is a proper noun. The last student standing is the winner and receives a small treat! The common and proper noun bee is a logical progression in the scaffolding of this lesson. In the introduction of the lesson, I provide direct instruction and "I do" modeling. In the game portion of the lesson, I allow my scholars to collaborate with one another on teams as "we do" practice. During the common and proper noun bee, my scholars work independently in "you do" practice.
Students complete an exit ticket on which they write the definition of a noun, the definition of a common noun, write a sentence in which they use 2 common nouns correctly, write a definition of a proper noun, and write a sentence in which they use 2 proper nouns correctly. The use of the exit ticket is a quick and effective, comprehensive check for understanding which assesses whether my scholars understand how to identify and use common and proper nouns. From the information they provide, I am able to plan future instruction - reteaching and enrichment activities.