Teaching the Parts of Speech, Nouns

You can look over some example of each of the parts of speech here.  However, if you are using this to teach your student (and I would do this around 9 or 10 years of age, although children *can* learn it younger, I think their time is better spent on other things), I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on the names.  I’d just tell him that we divide up the words used in English sentences into 8 categories, and the categories have names, and here are those names, but don’t worry about memorizing this list yet.  Let’s work on it one category at a time.

This week/ the next two weeks/ this month, we’re going to look at the category called nouns.

1. In the English Language there are Eight kinds of Words, called The Parts of Speech.
These are-1. Noun. 2. Verb. 3. Pronoun. 4. Adjective.
5. Adverb. 6. Preposition. 7. Conjunction. 8. Interjection.
2. A Noun is the name of any person, animal, place, or thing ; as, James, the name of a person. Horse, the name of an animal. Town, the name of a place. Pen, the name of a thing.

Perhaps ask your young scholar to tell you to give you another noun, or a ask for some specific sorts- the name of a person, the name of a thing, the name of a place. That’s enough for the first day. The next day ask your scholar to tell you everything remembered about the part of speech called nouns. Then spend a few moments picking out some nouns from a page in one of the books you’re reading.

Do this two or three different times, never spending more than five or ten minutes on finding nouns in a passage of reading.


Then try working a few minutes a day on the assignments from this page- they need not be written. You can do most of them orally.  You can do them while washing dishes together, while you are brushing the younger siblings’ hair or while you are driving to a music lesson, or while you are cutting up vegetables or peeling potatoes or folding clothes- “Tell me six nouns that are names of people.  Can you tell me six nouns that you might find in a story about football? Can you tell me six nouns that are places?  Name six nouns we can see in your bedroom.”  Again, this should not become tedious, don’t spend an hour on it, take it lightly, a little bit, steadily, regularly over time.


EXERCISE I. Name twenty four Nouns. 1. Six names of persons. 2. Six names of animals. 3. Six names of places. 4. Six names of things.
Point out Nouns, and say concerning each whether it is the name of a person, an animal , a place, or a thing.

1. The sun rose. The horse ran off. Mary’s lamb fol- lowed her to school. The teacher turned him out.

2. The boys were playing at football. A dog was crossing a stream. He saw his reflection in the water.

3. The hailstones rattled against the window. The ship sailed down the river. Ali Baba entered the cave.

4. He saw many bags of money. The eagle built his nest on a high crag.

(Continue this Exercise in the first twelve lines of the Reading Lesson).

Tell your students another important part of speech are words called ‘verbs,’ which are action words.  Ask your young scholars to make sentences using nouns with the following verbs.  For example:
Example : Flows : The river flows.

Sings, falls, walk, reads, slept, makes, gave, break, tells, carry, takes, plays, ran, gather, sent, comes, stands, gives, fell, sees, carries, sleeps, told, look, runs.

Spend a few minutes a day, or at least a few times a week, playing around with identifying nouns using activities like these. Don’t stress or fret over it, just treat it something like a game. If your child balks and wants to know more about why, you can tell him this will help with foreign languages, and that there are other good reasons for understanding this, but it will be easier to explain it once the student knows more, as of right now, he doesn’t possess enough information for an explanation to make complete sense.

from he Parts of Speech: an Easy Grammar for Beginners
By William Balfour Irvine, 1889

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