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Teaching Nouns: Modified Lesson Plan for Students with Special Needs

written by: Barbara • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 1/5/2012

In today's classrooms, literacy and reading have become the emphasis in language arts curriculum. However, before students can become prolific readers, they may need help in understanding that each sentence contains parts of speech and functions that may or not be obvious at first glance. Read on...

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    A Lesson on Nouns and their Functions

    Lesson Objective: Use any picture to create a lesson on nouns and their functions. Teachers can use pictures from magazines, photos or have students choose their own pictures or bring one from home for this lesson. The teacher will describe nouns and their functions and provide examples using sentences or have students choose sentences to select the nouns and their functions in sentences and put them on a wall board. This is a great assessment exercise to see what students know before you teach the lesson.

    Describe to the class "What a noun is and how it functions in sentences."

    Answer: Nouns are words used to describe people like your family members and your friends; places like your classroom and your home; things that you see, feel, hear, taste and smell, your favorite food products; animals like the ones in your home or the ones you see on television or on a field trip.

    Examples: Mark is my youngest brother. My favorite foods are french fries and cheese burgers.

    Answer: Nouns can function in a sentence as the subject, an indirect object, direct objects, adverbs and adjectives.

    Examples: The dog and cat ate my homework. The horse galloped quickly across the meadows.

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    Modification of a Lesson Plan on Nouns Using Pictures

    By using the picture as an example, teachers can create a wall board to do a pre-assessment of what students know about nouns and create additional lesson plans.

    Wall Board

    Picture of a Garage List the nouns describing the picture:

    • garage
    • door
    • floor
    • wall
    • garage door opener
    • door knobs
    • windows
    • trim

    A modification could include: List three nouns describing the picture above or list the three things you notice about the garage so that students can provide responses that can be restructured into a lesson outcome. For example, if a student wrote on the wall board- "It's empty," then the teacher could prompt and ask "What is the noun in your sentence?" and the student could say "It" and the teacher could ask another question, "What is it?" and the student could say, "The garage," which gets the student to start thinking in terms of nouns being used to name places and things instead of using "It" as the noun for descriptions.

    Create a sentence using at least three of the nouns in a sentence

    • The garage was empty except for light rays along the floor.
    • The door in the garage led to stairs and the rest of the house.
    • The floor looked like concrete and was empty.

    In your sentence identify the nouns. Next identify the subject, the direct and indirect objects, along with identifying any adverbs or adjectives. Teachers can provide students with markers or colored pencils to mark or circle each identification. A modification for special needs learners could include providing them with sentences describing the garage and with a sample sentence showing the different nouns and their functions within the sentence.

    There are endless possibilities for lesson modifications in this lesson plan on nouns that would provide opportunities for remediation for students with reading deficiencies to challenges of rigor for gifted and exceptional students. Once students understand the basics of nouns and their functions, the teacher can create additional lesson plans on a host of noun usages such as noun gender "Tony was an award winning actor," or possessive nouns such as "Sarah's ball was under the bed." Teachers and students can have hours of fun naming nouns in the classroom, at recess, at an assembly, in the lunchroom and the list goes on.