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Common vs. Proper Nouns

Language, Writing

Being back in first grade this year I’ve had to revamp the way I teach grammar and go back to the very introductory steps of teaching these skills.  Second graders had some background knowledge on nouns, verbs, etc., but first graders are just starting out!

With teaching nouns, the first week we just focused on common nouns. We created an anchor chart together, made lists of common nouns, sorted nouns by type, and more.

The second week we added in proper nouns and kids had to understand the difference between the two. In addition to watching a Brainpop Jr. video and creating anchor charts, I also created this sort.

I also had students do the below activity which turned out to be easy and engaging…

Common vs. Proper Nouns Sort

To start off, I put common nouns and proper nouns written on index cards in a bucket.  For example, cat, student, school, McDonald’s, Legos, etc.  Students then got to pick out a card.  They had to draw a picture to represent their nouns (I made sure it was nouns they would be familiar with) and then bring the card down to the carpet.

Once everyone was finished we took each card and sorted it one by one together into the correct category.  They did a great job and their pictures were pretty cute too!

Just wanted to share this simple activity. If you are looking for more introductory noun practice, check out my Common Noun Task Cards below… They can be found in my TPT Store – Team J’s Classroom Fun.

Learning About Verbs

Anchor Charts, Language, TPT, Writing

This week we spent two days working on verbs.  The first day we reviewed verbs (my kiddos keep getting confused on verbs, nouns, etc) and we started talking about verb tenses.  In second grade, the language standard focuses on students being able to use irregular verb tenses – made, swam, ran, etc. The CCSS standard is L2.1.

First, we created an anchor chart together.  We reviewed what a verb was and came up with some examples. Then, we used a mini tree map to practice changing the tenses of the verbs.

After creating our anchor chart, the kids went on a verb hunt using picture books. They each could pick a book of their choice and then they had to read each sentence, find the verb, and write the verb in their verb circle map.

Then, on day 2, came the fun interactive activity. I created a Verbs – Around the Room Activity for students to complete. There were 24 cards. Some asked questions on identifying the verb, some on changing a verb to a different tense, and some cards ask what tense the verb was in. This provided more practice on regular and irregular verbs and it is now available in my TPT store.  Check it out here

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Be sure to check out Verbs Around the Room in my store!


Language, Nouns

The new Common Core Standards are being used in full swing now at my school and I for one am loving the Common Core. At first, I was concerned about the increase in rigor and wondered would the kids really be capable of what they’re asking them to do.  Well, I have since realized that yes they are and it’s so important that we don’t limit kids because often times they will surprise you. 

Below are some ideas for teaching the Language standard on Nouns – Common and Proper.

We started out by watching a BrainpopJr clip on Nouns.  The kiddos love Moby so anytime I can incorporate Brainpop I definitely try to add it in.  After watching, we started our tree map on nouns.  We decided that nouns are used to name things and to start out with we were going to focus on people/animals, places, and things. 

After reading A Mink, A Fink, and a Skating Rink – A Story about Nouns, we added more nouns to our list (for now – common and proper nouns mixed…I was mainly worried about them understanding the noun without them worrying about what type of noun it was).  After studying, common nouns for a week we took our Common Noun Sorting Assessment.  We use Thinking Maps at our school, so I used a tree map for the assessment that matched our class anchor chart map.

Common Noun Word Sort – Tree Map Assessment

Week 2, we focused on the difference between common and proper nouns.  This was a little tricker to explain and the kids have definitely struggled a bit with this.  We first used the anchor chart we originally created about nouns and went back and reviewed the words.  We used two different colors and circled the common nouns in one color and the proper nouns in a different color.  Then, we read the story A Lime, A Mime, a A Pool of Slime – More About Nouns.  After reading the story, we made a tree map only for proper nouns.  See below…

After studying common and proper nouns, the kids took a test, again set up like the anchor chart tree map, however this time instead of sorting into people, places, and things, the kids had to decide if the noun was a common noun or a proper noun.

Common and Proper Noun Sort Tree Map Test