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Teaching Strategies for Common and Proper Nouns

Grammar, Literacy, Writing & Language

Written by: Katie Palmer

Nouns can be fun to teach! Especially when students realize that nouns are EVERYWHERE! For most students, the concept of nouns is an easy one to grasp. A great starting point is a classroom noun hunt! Once students know what a noun is, they can learn the difference between common and proper nouns. Below are some great engaging ideas for teaching this skill!

strategies for teaching common and proper nouns

First off, What are Proper Nouns?

Proper nouns are the names for a specific person, place or thing. For example, restaurant is a common noun, while McDonald’s is a proper noun.

Examples of Proper Nouns

Providing students examples of proper nouns will help them grasp this concept quickly. Download this FREEBIE chart to lead a common vs. proper noun lesson!

free common versus proper noun chart

When to Capitalize Nouns?

Your students will definitely need a lesson on exactly which nouns to capitalize. The four main types of proper nouns are months, days, names and specific places. Using the freebie above, guide students through a class discussion on examples of the different types of nouns. The video below offers an online lesson! (Although it is long and might need to be shown in small chunks.)

Common & Proper Noun Strategies

Daily Routine

A GREAT way to cement any concept is to practice it often! This is the same for common vs. proper nouns. Using a daily review of grammar skills would help students become confident in many grammar standards, including nouns! Our no prep Grammar Day by Day is just the ticket!

OR check out Grammar Day by Day on All Access.

Download Grammar Day by Day Sheets HERE

Top Grammar Game and Music

Games and music are engaging learning tools, and help students retain concepts. Here are some easy to implement ideas to teach all the noun skills!


A great way to get students engaged in their learning is by using TOOTHY! If you haven’t heard of Toothy yet, watch below.

Now that you know about ALL Things Toothy, did you know you can use Toothy to review nouns?! All of the sets below are available in the Lucky Little Learners Shop!

Proper Nouns Toothy
toothy task cards for practicing proper nouns

Download Proper Nouns Toothy HERE

Identifying Nouns Toothy
noun identification task cards for 2nd and 3rd grade

Download Identifying Nouns Toothy HERE

Nouns in a Sentence Toothy
finding nouns in a sentence practice cards

Download Nouns in a Sentence Toothy HERE

Plural Nouns Toothy
plural noun task card review activity

Download Plural Nouns Toothy HERE

Our Grammar Toothy set includes not only all of the above activities, but 27 other grammar concepts!

Download Grammar Toothy HERE

Songs to Help Teach Nouns

Songs are available in almost all subject areas and they can get students singing along (and remembering)!

Hopefully these ideas help students learn the difference between common and proper nouns AND have fun! Happy teaching!

How to Teach Other 2nd Grade Grammar Skills:

Is it time for a new concept in grammar? We have a post for that!

1st Grade Review



Common & Proper Nouns ~ You are here!

Types of Sentences



Compound Words

Complete Sentences


ABC Order

Verb Tenses

Linking Verbs

Irregular Plural Nouns & Irregular Verbs


Possessive Nouns


Comparative Endings


Antonyms & Synonyms


Subject-Verb Agreement

Collective Nouns


Demonstrative Pronouns


Multiple-Meaning Words

Prepositional Phrases

Shades of Meaning-Verbs & Adjectives

Similes & Metaphors


strategies for teaching common and proper nouns


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