Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Common vs. Proper

Mrs. Essenburg's students are learning about proper nouns. We read a book, The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman. This book is filled with lots of both common and proper nouns!

As we read, we listed some of the common and proper nouns on our board. When we finished we looked at our list to determine what we thought about the difference between the two different kinds of nouns.

Here are some of our thoughts:

Kaydance: They are all people, places and things!

Kiersten: The common nouns are things we see a lot of every day.

Jack: The proper nouns start with an uppercase letter, and the common nouns don't.

Ruby: The proper nouns are names of specific things.

We determined that common nouns are just regular people, places, and things, like dogs, grandfathers, trucks, and stores.

Proper nouns are the names of specific nouns, such as Mrs. Essenburg, Grand Rapids, Uncle David, and Meijer's.

For example, restaurant is a common noun, but a specific restaurant, like McDonald's, is a proper noun. When we write a sentence with a proper noun, we need to remember to capitalize the proper noun.

I like going to a restaurant for supper.
McDonald's is my favorite restaurant.

My birthday is next month!
My birthday is in October.

I like going to my uncle's house.
It is fun visiting my Uncle Richard.

Of course, it isn't enough just to learn about proper nouns in class. We need to use them in our writing! More detail makes our writing more interesting.

So it is your turn, third graders! Here are some common nouns and some proper nouns. You can use these words or come up with your own! Write one sentence with the common noun. Then write another sentence using the proper noun. Remember to capitalize it! Also remember that all sentences start with a capital letter and end with punctuation.

Common Nouns -- Proper Nouns
dog -- Rex, Skippy, Baxter
cat -- Lucy, Troy, Midnight
state -- Michigan, Florida, Ohio
man -- Mr. Brunsink
woman -- Mrs. Essenburg, Mrs. Veldink
boy -- All the boys in our class! Bradyn, Conner, Jackson, etc.
girl -- All the girls in our class! Kiersten, Kaiya, Hope, etc.
holiday -- Christmas, Halloween, Easter
country -- United States, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico

There are many more!

Here is my example.

Dear Class,

I have two crazy, silly cats in my house.

My two cats, Troy and Lucy, are crazy and silly.

I'm looking forward to seeing your sentences!

Do you have a favorite proper noun?

Do you think it is a good idea to use proper nouns in your writing? Why?


  1. Dear Class,

    I have a friend in class.
    Her name is Kaydance.

  2. Dear Class,

    I have two fun and funny pets.
    My fun and funny pets are Brady and Sky.

  3. Dear Class

    I have a brown and white dog.

    She is named Bessy and she is lazy.

  4. Dear class

    My old cat meowed at night.

    George had fun when he meowed.

  5. Dear Class,

    I have a dog.
    His name is Nugget.


  6. Dear class,

    I go to school.

    I go to Pinewood.

  7. Dear Class,

    I have a dog.
    His name is Riley.

  8. Dear Class,

    I went to the store. CABELA`S is awsome!

  9. Dear Class,

    I have a friend.

    His name is Bryson.

  10. Dear Class,

    I have two dogs
    There names are Annie and Chloe.

  11. Dear Mrs. Essenburg's class,
    I have two daughters, and two exchange student daughters. My daughter's names are; Sara Jean, Dalila, April, and Jenny.


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