Common and Proper Nouns


With our Common and Proper Nouns lesson plan, students learn what common and proper nouns are and how they differ from each other. Students will practice differentiating between common and proper nouns. They will also practice using both types of noun.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to add a “show and tell” assignment where students bring in a person, place, or thing from home to show the class.

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What our Common and Proper Nouns lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Common and Proper Nouns is a basic introduction to nouns, as well as the difference between common and proper nouns. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify and use proper nouns and common nouns and explain the differences between them. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the green box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The only supplies you will need for this lesson are the handouts. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can prepare a list of three students, three maps, and three objects for the lesson opening and copy the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One optional adjustment to the lesson is to use the homework assignment as an in-class assignment and assign the practice worksheet for homework. You can add to this lesson by showing one or more of the videos from the additional resources. This would allow students to learn a song to help them remember that people, places, and things are nouns. Finally, you could add a “show and tell” assignment where students bring in a person, place, or thing from home to show the class.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. It notes that it’s important for your students to understand that we use proper nouns to communicate more specific information. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Common and Proper Nouns

The Common and Proper Nouns lesson plan includes two pages of content. The lesson begins by stating that a noun is a person, place, or thing. We sometimes call nouns naming words, because nouns name people, places, or things. There are two kinds of nouns: common nouns and proper nouns. Nouns tell you who or what. Everyone uses nouns every day in their speaking and writing. When a word begins with a capital letter, it’s highly likely that that word is a proper noun, which name specific people, places, or things.

Common nouns are words that we use to name various kinds of people, places, or things. The lesson includes many examples of common nouns, such as dog, chair, house, and window. Proper nouns, on the other hand, are words that we use to name specific people, places, or things. These begin with a capital letter. The lesson also includes many examples of proper nouns, such as Mason, New York, Snoopy, and Lake Erie. The lesson then asks students to decide whether various things, like drums and a beach, are people, places, or things.

The lesson ends with a chart to help illustrate the difference between common nouns and proper nouns. In the common nouns column, for example, it lists food, cookies, soda. In the corresponding proper nouns column, it lists Campbell’s Soup, Oreos, Coca-Cola.


The Common and Proper Nouns lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


The activity worksheet asks students to write sentences using different types of noun such as person and proper. They must then circle the noun(s) in each sentence.

Students may work alone for this activity if you’d prefer.


The practice worksheet asks students to look at ten pictures and circle the kind of noun in each person from a list.


For the homework assignment, students will complete three exercises. The first asks them to determine whether the underlined nouns in sentences are people, places, or things. The second asks them to tell whether the underlined nouns are common or proper. For the final exercise, students will circle the other nouns in the sentences from the first exercise.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. No answer key is provided for the activity worksheet as students’ answers will vary. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade


Language Arts

State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1.B, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.2.1.A, LB.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1.A

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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