Common and Proper Nouns

We've been working on CUPS for a while now, and I'm noticing some consistent errors my students are making. One that just bugs the snot out of me is something I call random acts of capitals. You know, when they just throw in a capital letter somewhere in the sentence - or worse, in the word! - just for the heck of it. So I decided that I would do a little lesson on common and proper nouns and get a little art in there at the same time. I'm all about killing 2 birds. (Not literally, of course!)

First we had a class discussion on proper and common nouns. We constructed definitions and recorded them in our writer's notebooks. Then we generated an anchor chart and added examples of each. Students made their own charts in their notebooks.

Then I whipped out this great book for a read aloud. The kids were really into into it. They loved noticing all the details in the illustrations, and the rhythm kept them engaged.

Next I had my kids draft their own page for a class book. Each one selected a letter of the alphabet to use. Some picked the first letter of their own name; others chose a letter that appealed to them in some way. They used a sentence frame that goes like this:

My name is Suzanne and my friend's name is Sherman. We come from San Antonio and we sell sandwiches. Suzanne is a seal and Sherman is a schnauzer.

(Daliene, I used your precious puppy as my example!)

In the book, the sentence says "my husband's name is . ..  ," but since I don't allow them to discuss boyfriend/girlfriend, there is no way we are using husband!

I made them color code their work like mine above. Proper nouns are written in red, and common nouns are written in blue, just to draw more attention to them.

Then they had to draw the 2 animals and the product they sell. 

Here are some finished creations.


  1. YAY!!! Sherman thanks you for thinking of him.

  2. Gonna share with my mommy friends who homeschool.

  3. Love it! Might have to do this with my 5th graders. Think I might even have them color code the period!!!!!!!!!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun


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