How to Teach Nouns to the First Grade

by Christina Whitaker

While first graders are enhancing their reading and writing skills, it is important to introduce the parts of speech. First-grade teachers often begin with teaching nouns as an integral part of sentence construction. To teach the concept of nouns to young students, it is important to present the lesson in terms that students can relate to. Following the lesson with a game and worksheets will help to reinforce a student's learning of nouns.

Define nouns. Begin your lesson with a simple definition of nouns for your first graders. Explain to them that a noun is a person, place or thing and must be in every sentence. You can also call a noun a "PPT" to help your students remember that a noun is a person, place or thing. "Paul Plays Tennis" is a sentence that can also help students remember that a noun is a person, place or thing.

Discuss proper nouns. Help your students differentiate between common nouns and proper nouns, which are formal words or names. Explain that all names are proper nouns, as are special things like brands or city names. To help illustrate this, write down words like "cookies," "cars," or "teacher." Next to each word, write down a proper noun that matches it. For example, write "Nestle" next to cookies or "Honda" next to car.

Play noun games. Write 10 simple sentences on the board, including both common and proper nouns. Ask your students to identify each common or proper noun and give a point to each student who correctly identifies the noun. Have each student say why the word is a noun, to which they should respond "because it is a place," for example.

Use worksheets. Give your first graders worksheets that require them to identify the noun in sentences and fill in blanks with their own nouns. Worksheets should also have students compose their own sentences and circle the noun in each.


  • Use Worksheets

About the Author

Christina Whitaker began her writing career in 2005 in newspaper journalism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA and a law degree. Her legal experience includes work in Federal Court, and civil and criminal litigation. She also maintains a blog on social, pop-culture and cultural matters.

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