When I volunteered in Pork Chop’s class last week, I happened to walk in during a teacher led discussion on proper nouns. It was obviously not the first time the teacher had explained what a proper noun was to the class–and they just weren’t getting it. Pork Chop’s teacher is the kind of teacher that expects success from her students and they love her for it. She doesn’t coddle or baby the children and she expects them to pay attention.
She was kneeling in front of one student’s desk–eye to eye (well mostly, since she is only about a foot taller than the shortest kids in her class) and asking him to give her the definition of a proper noun. Although she had just given the entire class the definition not thirty seconds prior to asking the child, all he could say was that a proper noun is proper because it is capitalized–which is not the answer.
She asked another student and after a long pause he gave nearly the same half answer as the student before him.
She gave the definition again and again asked a few students to tell her what a proper noun is and again they struggled.
At this point I was inwardly praising her patience because I wasn’t even the one asking the kids and I was ready to pull my hair out.
She finally asked if there were any students who knew what a proper noun was and a little girl raised her hand.
“Boys and girls, your classmate is going to tell you the answer and hopefully you will understand it when she tells you because you aren’t hearing it from me. Go ahead.”
“A proper noun is a noun that is the name of something and that is why it is capitalized.”
Then she asked a few other students and, go figure, they answered correctly.
I didn’t hear her ask Pork Chop while I was in class but I did ask him when I picked him up from school that day and he got it right. I also decided to make another Thanksgiving themed sentence editing practice worksheet incorporating proper nouns because I noticed some of his schoolwork coming home with incorrect capitalization. Practice makes perfect and I like to make sure I am reinforcing the value of education at home too.
If you like this free printable, feel free to also grab this Thanksgiving themed sentence editing worksheet for your early writer.
You may also enjoy: