Common and Proper Nouns - Games and ESL Activities

Common and Proper Nouns Jeopardy

ESL Common and Proper Nouns Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 minutes

Here is a fun common and proper nouns game to play in class. The students are divided into four teams and a Jeopardy style quiz board is drawn on the board with points at the top and categories down the side. A square from the board is chosen (e.g. true or false 100), and the corresponding quiz question is read to the class, e.g. 'The word 'table' is a proper noun'. The first student to raise their hand and give the correct answer wins that square for their team and the amount of points in the square. The winning team then gets to choose the next square. However, any team can try to answer. If a student answers incorrectly, it goes to the other teams. At the end of the game, the points are added up for each team. The team with the most points wins the game.
 

Common or Proper?

ESL Common and Proper Nouns Game - Reading, Matching and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 minutes

This common and proper nouns game is useful for illustrating the difference between the two types of noun. Each pair of students is given two heading cards and a set of common and proper noun cards. The students place the heading cards face up on the table and shuffle the noun cards and place them face down in a pile. The students then sort the common nouns and proper nouns into their respective groups by taking it in turns to turn over a noun card and place it under the correct heading. When the students have finished, the correct category for each noun is elicited from the class. For each correctly matched noun, pairs score a point. Pairs then race to score an extra point by making a meaningful sentence with the common or proper noun. The first pair to do this scores the extra point. The pair with the most points at the end of the game wins. If the students need extra practice, they can move on to play a pelmanism game with the cards. The pairs shuffle the noun cards and spread them out face down on the table. Students then take it in turns to turn over two cards. If the two cards match (i.e. the proper noun gives a specific example of the common noun, e.g. drink - Coca-Cola), the student keeps the two cards and has another turn. If the cards don't match, the student turns them back over. The game continues until all the common and proper nouns have been matched together. The student with the most pairs of cards at the end of the game wins.
 

Common to Proper

ESL Common and Proper Nouns Game - Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 minutes

In this rewarding common and proper nouns game, students race to change common nouns to proper nouns. The students are divided into groups of three or four. Each group is given a set of cards, which they shuffle and deal out evenly. The students then place their cards face down in a pile in front of them. One student goes first and picks up a card from their pile and reads the common noun on the card to the group, e.g. website. The other students then race to say a proper noun for the common noun written on the card. The first student to give a correct answer (e.g. Facebook) wins and keeps the card. Then, the next student picks up a card from their pile and reads it to the group and so on. The game continues until all the cards have been used. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
 
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