In just a few short days, many will go from vacation to school. Are you ready? Just in time for Back to School, I just finished a Back to School Noun Sort with follow-up activities. Noun picture sorting activities in the pocketchart are always a hit with the kids. They love working at the pocketchart because it gives them the opportunity to get out of their seat and move around.
I love creating Back to School resources. It’s fun to help create that excitement of returning back to school. I’ve always wanted my students to, if not love school, at least like school. If they hated school, I felt like I wasn’t somehow doing a good job. I had some who dearly hated school. Not many, but a few. Using more engaging activities like pocketchart activities and games is one of the ways that I tried to keep my kids excited about school. Ok, maybe not excited, but at least where they liked school. The less paper pencil, the more they liked it. And usually the more attention they got from me. So if it was an activity that we did as a small group that didn’t involve paper and pencil AND IT WAS A GAME, it was a hit! That hit all the buttons.
But small group activities that aren’t games are good, too. Like this Back to School Noun Sort. This activity is something that I’d do with a small group first as a mini lesson. You could place the cards in a deck, or face down on a table, and students could choose a card and take turns going to the pocketchart to sort the nouns into person, place, thing, or animal. Next, you could have students use individual white boards or paper, divide their paper into 4 columns, and record their answers.
Last, I would have the students complete the Back to School Noun Sort on their own, either as an independent activity or as a Center/Station and then use the response sheet and cut and paste the nouns into the correct columns to show their answers. (or you could use this sheet after you did the activity together)
Because my students need lots of repetition, I created some other follow-up worksheets to use as well. Not only could this be used with 1st graders as an introduction to nouns, but it could also be used with 2nd graders as a review of nouns. I don’t think they’d mind the picture cards and you could just skip the worksheet where they sort the pictures, or you could have them write the words instead. You could even cut off the bottom of that sheet, partner up the students, and have them look through magazines or books to find nouns (even proper nouns) to complete their lists.
I wanted a display project for a culminating activity. Open House is always around this same time and you always need student work for display so I thought I’d try and roll all this into one activity. So I created this giant noun pencil activity.
This activity seemed so simple in my head, but ended up taking me almost a week to get this pencil lined up to fit on 2 pages of paper. I was ready to give up!! The pencil is 19 inches long when finished and can be copied as blackline for students to draw and color or can be copied onto yellow construction paper as you see in the photo. If copying onto construction paper, I created mini frames for the kids to draw on and then glue to the pencil. (You could just let them draw straight onto the construction paper, but I thought the frames would look better.) I’ve also had students who were not able to draw/color, so I included colored photos for those students. They just pick out which pictures they want and glue them on.
After all is finished, the Back to School Noun Sort would be placed in a station for the students to use. I used tubs for stations and they used them when they finished their work. Each tub had at least 5 activities that they knew how to do. This created a year long review of skills which was crucial for my students.
And for those of you who made it through this far and would just like to see a sample of the Back to School Noun Sort first … or just want a free noun worksheet! 😀 Here’s a FREEBIE. If you look up at the worksheets, it’s the one that says: Identifying Nouns. I hope you like it and you have a great Back to School start!
In 2013, I created an emergent reader titled What is a Noun? I decided to update the cover and somehow I ended up giving it a total overhaul and I LOVE it! So I want to share it with you along with some other noun activities that you can use to introduce or reinforce nouns.
What is a Noun? is a simple, blackline, interactive emergent reader. It can be used with whole group, small group, one-on-one or in stations/centers. I think it would be especially great for a Literacy Center or a small group, but that’s just what I’m used to working with. That allows me to offer more supervision and instruction.
What is a Noun? begins by stating the definition of a noun and illustrating with pictures. It then moves on to helping students identify nouns in a sentence. The noun in each sentence is identified within a box and supported by picture cues. The students choose whether the noun is person, place, animal or thing. This is done together as a group to ensure accuracy and then they color the apple of the correct answer.
The pages then move onto having students identify the noun and glue their answer in the answer box. They color the flap and carefully glue it over their answer creating a lift the flap page … which will be fun for later readings. On the last page, the definition of a noun is stated again, providing assistance for the students to label the items in the picture as person, place, animal or thing.
This new book format provides many more learning opportunites than the old one. I’m glad I took the time to update it.
If you have other suggestions, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear them.
Oh, you can purchase What is a Noun? here
This Noun Sort activity is another file I attemped to update last year. However, I created it way back when and I couldn’t find the original files to really update it, so I just did what I could. I’ll probably end up doing a total overhaul on it soon, too. But these types of activities are one of the favorites of my students.
Place the person, place, animal, thing sorting cards into the top row of a pocketchart. Students sort the picture cards into the correct column. Afterwards, they complete the worksheet as a follow-up sheet to see if they understand the concept, or it can be used as an assessment.
This is a great activity for early finishers or Centers/Stations.
Fall Noun Sort is similar to the generic Noun Sort activity. It’s just fall themed … because I love fall! It also comes with a response sheet so that students can record their answers after sorting the cards. The other printable allows the student to sort pictures like the generic noun sort, but to also draw their own fall person, place, animal or thing and label it. Early finishers write sentences with the words on the back.
More Noun Activities from the Attic
Here are a couple more noun activities from years ago. Both before I became too computer savvy. At one time, I even learned how to print on sentence strips, but I quickly learned even though it looked sooooo cool, it was wayyyy too much trouble.
If you don’t have the funds to purchase a noun sorting activity, you can always create your own … even without a computer. You just need index cards, some magazines (or Google) and a marker. You can even have your students help you find the pictures as part of your nouns lesson and sort them into person, place, animal, and thing. The hard part will be finding pictures that fit onto your 3×5 cards. Don’t forget to leave room for the label. Once you’ve found your pictures, create your column headings and you’re ready to go! If you want your cards to last, laminate them.
This is what my first noun sort looked like. Don’t laugh. I’ve learned a lot since then. And sorry about the bad picture.
My students love pocketchart activities. They love things that get them out of their seat and give them “wiggle room.” This next idea I just came up with on the fly. The hardest part was writing the sentences! I used the labels from the sorting activity above to help them remember the definition of a noun. They use sticky notes to identify the nouns in the sentences. And they LOVE using sticky notes!! I guess it makes them feel like adults.
More Language Arts Resources
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