Proper and Common Nouns
Abstract and Concrete Nouns
This week we continue our in-depth study of nouns. Last week we focused on nouns in a general sense and this week we begin focusing on different types of nouns. These lesson plans are offered as an overview and source of ideas. Only you, the parent, will know what is appropriate and beneficial for your child.
If your young child has not yet mastered the concept of a noun as a person, place, thing or idea, do not move on to the next concept. Move at your child's pace. A child who is having trouble grasping this concept may benefit from spending a few weeks on the introduction. One week one could be focused on nouns as the names of persons, while week two could be focused on nouns as the names of things, etc... When this concept is understood, then come back to this post and continue. (The entire series of posts in this main lesson is archived in chronological order in the Lively Language Lessons page on the right sidebar.)
If your child is ready to move on, the next concept introduced in Merry-Go-Round is the distinction between common and proper nouns. Read the pages in the book that address this concept. Talk about the differences between a common and proper noun. (Common nouns name any person, place or thing and are not capitalized, while proper nouns name a specific person, place, or thing and are capitalized.)
Have your child make a page illustrating common and proper nouns in his Language Main Lesson Book. In
your child's writing this week, ask him to identify the
common and proper nouns used in the composition. It does not matter
whether your child is using copy work for writing practice or written
narrations or even another writing program. Use this opportunity to
incorporate grammar lessons into the natural process of writing. Ask
your child to highlight every common noun in his composition with a
yellow highlighter and every proper noun with a blue highlighter. Ask
him to check his writing and make sure that every word that is
highlighted in blue is capitalized. (The colors really don't matter so
long as two colors are used to distinguish between the two types of nouns.)
Another option is to ask your child to type his composition in a
program such as Word and highlight the different nouns in two different
colors by using the highlight function built into the program.
A younger child who is not yet working on formal writing can spend the week creating both a common noun and proper noun page in the Main Lesson Book. Offered here as a sample, Peter created a fairy tale-themed page about common nouns while Stephen used a soccer theme to demonstrate proper nouns.
The older children can move on to the concept of abstract and concrete nouns later in the week. (Consider saving this concept for a younger child until next week.) Read the pages in Merry-Go-Round that address abstract and concrete nouns. Discuss the distinction between the two noun forms. (Concrete nouns refer to a definite object which one can observe with at least one of the five senses, while abstract nouns refer to ideas or concepts.) With your young child you can play a game referring to the five senses to distinguish the type of noun. Can I see it? Can I hear it? Can I feel it with my hands? Can I taste it? Can I smell it? If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, then the noun is concrete. If not, then it is an abstract noun.
Continue the discussion by asking your child to identify common and abstract nouns in her writing. Use two colors of highlighters (on paper or in a computer program) and have your child mark all concrete nouns in one color and all abstract nouns in the second color. A young child who does not have writing samples to analyze can spend a few days making both a concrete noun page and an abstract noun page.
Main Lesson Book samples will continue to be uploaded in the Lively Language Lesson album on the left sidebar. You can check back during the week for more ideas.