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How To Teach Nouns To Kids?

People, places, things, objects, and concepts/ideas all fall under the grammatical term known as nouns. Nouns are one of the most important parts of language for kids. They are one of the English language’s structural components used to comprehend linguistics. A majority of young children use nouns instead of whole sentences. For instance, when they really mean to say, “I am thirsty and want to drink some water,” they simply say the word, “water.”

Some children find nouns to be fairly complicated. In fact, there’s a high possibility that most kids may never have heard of the term ‘noun.’ However, if you tie this idea to something they can understand, like asking them whether they are familiar with the meaning of person, place, or item, they will have a fair amount of basic information on such topics.

Once they realize that nouns are used all the time and are present everywhere, they may find learning about nouns and their wide varieties to be a lot of fun. A few examples of nouns that kids use most of the time are cat, ball, trees, and many more. These are all common nouns that children use to describe things. They help them understand the language and communicate with others. Kids need to know a lot of nouns in order to be able to communicate and understand what people are saying. You must encourage them to use nouns in their everyday conversations.

In this article, you will find the meaning and various types of nouns your children must know, along with a list of engaging and entertaining activities you can incorporate while teaching this concept to your young learners.

Meaning of Nouns

A noun is a term that designates an entity such as a person, animal, place, object, action, or idea. Here are some examples of nouns –

  • Object – table, bag, cupboard, shoes, cake, mango
  • Person – girl, boy, father, mother, teacher, John, Kaira
  • Animal – dog, cat, horse, elephant, parrot, fish, dolphin
  • Place – office, bedroom, home, city, town, India, Qatar
  • Action – climb, ride, play, jump, kick
  • Idea/concept – evolution, argument, dream, success, hope, friendship, fear

A noun appears in almost every sentence, and they serve a multitude of functions. For instance, a noun can serve a variety of different purposes in a sentence, including subject, subject complement, direct object, indirect object, object complement, apposition to another word, and a few more. A noun can also play the role of both verbs and adjectives.

Types of Nouns

The English language contains many different types of nouns. Recognizing them correctly will enable your children to apply them appropriately.

Broadly, nouns are divided into a number of categories. Following are the various types of nouns:

1Proper Nouns6Compound Nouns
2Common Nouns7Countable Nouns
3Abstract Nouns8Uncountable Nouns
4Concrete Nouns9Singular Nouns
5Collective Nouns10Plural Nouns

Use the simple definitions and examples mentioned below to assist your children to comprehend these various noun types –

1) Proper Nouns – Refers to specific people, animal, place or object.

  • Examples: Jenny, Omar, Canada, Indian Ocean, etc.
  • Sentence 1: My brother’s name is David. (Name of a specific person)
  • Sentence 2: I live in Mumbai. (Name of a specific place)

2) Common Nouns – Refers to non-specific or generic people, places, animals, or things.

  • Examples: table, book, bag, chair, etc.
  • Sentence 1: She purchased a book yesterday. (Common item)
  • Sentence 2: I don’t want to go to school. (Common place)

3) Abstract Nouns – Refers to something that cannot be perceived by our five senses.

  • Examples: honesty, happiness, love, freedom, etc.
  • Sentence 1: Hatred is a negative emotion.
  • Sentence 2: The warrior fought with immense courage in the battle.

4) Concrete Nouns – Refers to physical objects that can be perceived by our five senses.

  • Examples: Pineapple, puppy, sunflower, bike, etc.
  • Sentence 1: She had a nice cup of tea this morning.
  • Sentence 2: The ring is on the table.

5) Collective Nouns – Refers to a word that represents a whole group of people, place, animal or thing.

  • Examples: bunch, audience, crowd, flock, bouquet, etc.
  • Sentence 1: Our team won the tournament.
  • Sentence 2: Birds of a feather flock together.

6) Compound Nouns – Refers to a noun made of two or more words.

  • Examples: bus stop, textbook, swimming pool, blackboard, etc.
  • Sentence 1: She cleaned the blackboard after class.
  • Sentence 2: I like to drink fruit juice in the morning.

7) Countable Nouns – Refers to a noun that can be counted.

  • Examples: woman, friends, dogs, week, etc.
  • Sentence 1: She gave birth to twin boys last night.
  • Sentence 2: I bought dozen eggs this morning.

8) Uncountable Nouns – Refers to a noun that cannot be counted.

  • Examples: rice, stars, air, sugar, help, knowledge, space, etc.
  • Sentence 1: I don’t have much time.
  • Sentence 2: He has loads of unfinished paperwork on his desk.

9) Singular Nouns – Refers to one or a single person, place, animal, thing, or idea.

  • Examples: ship, monkey, king, pigeon, etc.
  • Sentence 1: There is a little girl standing in front of our house.
  • Sentence 2: This is my elder sister.

10) Plural Nouns – Refers to more than one person, place, animal, idea, or object

  • Examples: caps, apples, boxes, marbles, etc.
  • Sentence 1: I found the boxes you were looking for.
  • Sentence 2: My dad bought strawberries from the market.

9 Interesting Activities to Teach Nouns to Kids

  • Identify the nouns around you

Use real-life examples to familiarise your kids with various types of nouns. Ask your children to look around the house and allow them to name the objects or places they observe. Explain to them how these entities can be categorized into different types of nouns. Ask your kids questions as you go through this game to help them understand why certain things are classified as common nouns, abstract nouns, or any other kind of nouns. If your kids are already familiar with the fundamentals, you may simply tell them to state what they saw and what kind of noun(s) it is.

  • Sort the nouns

Prepare a list of different nouns and write them on the board. Instruct your children to categorize these nouns into common nouns, proper nouns, countable nouns, etc. To make this exercise interesting, draw or stick pictures next to the noun. It will help children understand that a box, for example, can be a common noun as well as a concrete noun.

  • Match the words

Take a couple of blank white papers. Stick different images such as an elephant, bag, dozen oranges, flock of sheep, etc. on the left side of the page and jot down the types of nouns on the right side using colorful pens. Ask your children to carefully look at the pictures and match them with the correct noun type.

  • Colour the nouns

Prepare a grid table filled with words that refer to common nouns, proper nouns, and abstract nouns. Inform your children to color all the different nouns with different colored crayons. For example, they may use pink for proper nouns, blue for common nouns, and yellow for abstract nouns.

Another similar activity is coloring the odd noun. Create a worksheet having five rows each having three uncolored images of different nouns. Your children need to identify the odd noun from the three pictures and color it. For instance, the first row might have pictures of a school, a horse, and a house – all are examples of common nouns. The horse is the odd one out because it is an animal whereas the other two are place nouns.

  • Prepare anchor charts

Create a chart using the different types of nouns and examples as its focal point. Prepare a separate chart for each category of nouns and include examples for each element such as people, places, animals, objects, or ideas in all categories. Make sure the chart is vivid, multicolored, and filled with pictures. The more aesthetically appealing the anchor charts are, the more eagerly your children will study the material.

  • Circle the noun in the sentence

Have your kids practice identifying examples of nouns in sentences after they are familiar with the definition of a noun and its categorization. Write down six to eight sentences and instruct your children to circle the nouns in each sentence. When they are done with the exercise, ask them to specify the type of noun of each circled word. This learning exercise would be much more enjoyable if the sentences are of comic nature. For instance, John brought a sheep to the bank, or Yesterday I saw a monkey driving a car.

  • Noun books

For teaching nouns to children of all ages, there are many fantastic books available. The books listed below can make learning about nouns more engaging and enjoyable –

  • A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun? by Brian Cleary
  • Merry-Go-Round: A Book About Nouns by Ruth Heller
  • Chicken in the City by Maria Fleming
  • If You Were a Noun by Michael Dahl

Apart from these books, any book your children are interested in can work as a study material for learning nouns. Have your kids look for various nouns in the books they are currently reading. They can search for common nouns, proper nouns, or both.

  • Draw the nouns

Give your children a type of noun, let’s say a common noun, and ask them to draw two to three examples that fall under this category of noun. Learning the concept of nouns via creative tasks is fun as well as informative.

  • Noun songs

There are songs available for practically every topic, including grammatical concepts like nouns. Here are some helpful and interesting songs you can find on YouTube –

  • Noun Town – Grammaropolis
  • Noun Song – Have Fun Teaching
  • What is a Noun – Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel
  • Noun Rap – Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel