Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nouns and "What's My Rule?"

Fun with nouns! Well--maybe. I guess it depends on your definition of fun.

While students were sharing their journal entries, I played a little game of "What's My Rule?" We do this in math class to help students recognize patterns. But it is a great grammar activity, too.

I wrote down words from the text as a student read aloud, and then the students had to try to guess the rule for the list. I started out with just nouns, but branched out into common nouns, proper nouns, and plural nouns. After I made each list, students gave the list a name based on the words that I chose. It was a fun way to reinforce nouns AND look at their role in the students' writing.

Each list turned out to be a little different! They led to some interesting discussions about how the content of the story is shaped by the nouns that students use. It was a quick way to show students how the abstract ideas of grammar translate into their everyday writing.


  1. This idea has so many possibilities. I'm trying it tomorrow. It immediately gets kids thinking.

  2. Thanks! It worked out well. Over subsequent days, we added to our lists. I put them on chart paper so that we could keep them day to day. Next week, we'll try the same with adjectives!