Nouns are one of the first “official” parts of speech taught in kindergarten. Most kindergarteners have never heard of the term noun before. However, if you relate this concept to something they can connect with, such as asking them if they know what a person, place, or thing is, they'll have a ton of prior knowledge on those topics. To help teach this concept, read on for several nouns activities for kindergarten.
What Are Nouns?
A noun is a part of speech that names a person, place, animal, or thing. Nouns are often the subject of a sentence.
What Are The Different Types of Nouns?
There are different types of nouns, common and proper nouns and singular and plural nouns.
A common noun names any person, place, animal, or thing and is not specific, such as “grocery store.” Therefore, common nouns are not capitalized in sentences. A proper noun names a specific person, place, animal, or thing and is capitalized in sentences. An example of a proper noun is “Wisconsin.”
A singular noun means there is only one person, place, animal, or thing. A plural noun refers to more than one person, place, animal, or thing.
How To Introduce Nouns In Kindergarten
When introducing nouns in kindergarten, it takes a lot of practice and repetition. It's important to use students' prior knowledge to guide the discussion. Define what a noun is and relate it to real-life experiences they are familiar with. Talk about different people, places, animals, and things to help students understand what is and isn't a noun.
It's helpful to create an anchor chart on chart paper for student reference. On this chart, define what a noun is at the top and create a section for each: person, place, animal, thing. Have students brainstorm nouns that fit into each category. This is a great way to provide a visual and help students understand nouns.
Must-Haves For Teaching Nouns In Kindergarten
When teaching nouns in kindergarten, there are a few must-have items and activities to help students understand and practice nouns. These must-haves will give students visual aides, hands-on practice, and digital practice with nouns.
Nouns Anchor Charts
Remember that nouns anchor chart we talked about above? After filling out the anchor chart in your introductory lesson, display it in the classroom for students to reference as they learn more about nouns.
You can also find printable nouns anchor chart posters in this nouns activity pack. Hang them around the classroom to use during whole class discussions, small group work, and for students to reference during independent practice activities.
Picture cards are also a must for your nouns activities for kindergarten. They are great for helping students identify nouns, compare nouns, and sort nouns into the proper categories.
You can use picture cards for a variety of nouns picture sorts, centers, and no prep activities. They are also great to have on hand for quick practice during morning work, reading lessons, or as a quick time filler game.
Nouns Center Activities
While it's great to practice nouns in whole group and small group settings, it's also super important for students to practice independently. Independent center activities give students the opportunity to apply their skills and think critically.
Independent center activities also allows the teacher to see the level of understanding of each student. This will help guide further nouns instruction.
This nouns activity pack has 7 hands-on noun centers for your students to practice with along with kid-friendly “I Can” cards and recording sheets.
Nouns Boom Cards
It's always nice to keep some digital nouns activities for kindergarten on hand. These Nouns Boom Cards are no prep, self-checking, and highly engaging for kids. Plus, they have audio directions and picture names, so students will know exactly what is being asked of them.
They'll look at each picture, listen to the name, and determine if it is a person, place, thing, or animal. Use these Boom Cards for independent practice, a technology station, or even as an early finisher activity for extra nouns practice.
Quick And Easy Nouns Games
The best part about teaching nouns is there are so many quick and easy nouns games you can play with your students. These games don't require a lot (if any) prep and can be played anytime of day. Read on for 4 fun nouns games to play with your kindergarteners.
To play 4 Corners, the teacher will place an anchor chart or sticky note in each corner to show which corner represents which category of noun: person, place, thing, or animal.
The students will stand in the middle of the room. The teacher will call out a noun, such as “dog,” and the students will race to the corner that represents animals. All students will return to the middle to play again.
To differentiate this game, you can have students take turns being the “caller.” It's a good idea to model appropriate behavior and set expectations before playing the game. That way students don't push and shove to get to the corner first.
Circle Of Nouns
In the game Circle of Nouns, students will stand in a large circle. The teacher will choose a category of nouns and start by naming something that belongs in that category. For example, the teacher may choose places and say the word “school.”
The next person in the circle will name another place and so on. If the student gets stuck and can't think of a noun in that category, they can “phone a friend” to help them out.
To make this game easier, you could have students go around the circle and say any noun in any category. If you play this version of the game, encourage them to say the word and what category of noun it belongs in.
To play the game Sit/Stand, students will start by sitting in their seat. The teacher will choose two categories of nouns and will tell the students to sit if they say a noun that's an animal and stand if they say a noun that's a person.
The teacher will call out different animals and people and the students will sit/stand accordingly. After a few rounds, the teacher can change the two types of nouns to practice places and things. Keep mixing and matching types of nouns for a ton of great practice.
This game really encourages students to think on their feet!
Draw a Noun
Draw a Noun is the only game that requires supplies and a little bit of prep work. To prep, get out pieces of colored paper in 4 different colors. Cut each piece of paper into fourths. Hand each student a small piece of paper in each color.
Each color will represent a category of nouns. You can model for them how to write each category on top of the paper so they can do the same. Once the students have their colored paper and have labeled each, the teacher will call out a noun.
The students will determine which color of paper it belongs on and will draw a quick picture of the noun on the piece of paper. They can also try to write the name of the picture underneath.
Remind students to make their picture small as they'll be adding more pictures to the paper. To make this game easier, you can start by only giving students 2 colors of paper and calling out nouns in two categories.
Nouns Trail Game Freebie
I have one more bonus nouns game for you that is totally FREE! This set of nouns trail games are perfect for practicing nouns because they are interactive and engaging. The school theme makes them perfect for any time of the year.
All you need to play are the game mats, small game pieces such as mini erasers or plastic cubes, and a plastic spinner (or paperclip and pencil). Students can play this game independently or with a partner.
You can download your copy of the Nouns Trail Game Freebie by filling out the form below. It'll be delivered straight to your inbox!
I hope you enjoyed these nouns activities for kindergarten! Comment below and let me know which activity you're trying first.