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Proper Noun Gallery Walk Activity


  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12


Brief Description

A gallery walk activity helps reinforce the concept of proper nouns.


Students will

  • learn to recognize proper nouns.
  • work together to use their knowledge to build lists of proper nouns.


grammar, noun, proper noun, jigsaw, gallery walk

Materials Needed

  • large sheets of chart paper
  • markers or crayons of several different colors

Lesson Plan

A proper noun is a noun that names a specific person, place, or thing.

After introducing the concept and providing examples of proper nouns use this gallery walk activity to help build/reinforce students' awareness of the concept.

Arrange students into groups of three or four. Provide each group with a different colored marker or crayon. Post around the room large sheets of chart paper. Each sheet of paper should have at the top one of the "Proper Noun Gallery Walk Activity Sheet Headings" listed below. Post the same number of sheets as you have groups of students.

Nine sheets are listed below. If you only have six groups of students, eliminate some of the headings.
-- You might combine State, Country, and City Names into one large category, "Place Names."
-- Or you might include eliminate Vehicle Names and include it among the proper noun categories included under the "Other Proper Nouns" heading.

No matter how many headings you use, be sure to include one sheet of paper that is headed "Other Proper Nouns." That will accommodate a wide variety of proper nouns not included in other categories.

Proper Noun Gallery Walk Activity Sheet Headings

  • State Names
  • Country Names
  • City Names
  • Bodies of Water
  • Team Names
  • Company Names
  • Languages
  • Vehicle Names
  • Other Proper Nouns -- Do not give students any hints about what "other" proper nouns might be listed there. Just see what they come up with. This sheet could capture a wide variety of proper nouns, including days of the week, months of the year, holidays, religions, names of special awards, club names, ship names, specific names of landmarks and buildings, names of specific products

When groups are set, each with a different colored marker or crayon, assign each group to a chart. Give students five minutes to write on the chart all the proper nouns they can come up with that fit under that heading.

It might help if the first group at each chart writes closest to the top of the chart. Then each subsequent group can add their lists under the previous group's list. That will make it easy if you wish to tally each group's contributions at the end of the activity.

Also, to avoid confusion, You might want to have one member of each group serve as the recorder for that group. Groups might change recorders from chart to chart so each student gets an opportunity to write.

At the end of five minutes, have each group tally and record the number of proper nouns it wrote and circle the number. Then have all groups shift to the next chart to their right. Give them five minutes to review what the previous group has written and to add new proper nouns to that list.

At the end of five minutes, call time and have all groups tally their contributions and shift to the next chart to their right. Continue until all groups have had five minutes to add to each chart. Adding to some of the charts is likely to get progressively more difficult.

When the activity is complete, share each chart with all the students. Draw attention to errors, clear up misconceptions, and reinforce rules for recognizing proper (vs. common) nouns. Adjust the groups' tallies accordingly.

Pay a little extra attention to the chart with the "Other Proper Nouns" heading. Bring up any of the categories of "other proper nouns" that students might have omitted. Did they include days of the week, months of the year, holidays, religions, names of special awards, club names, ship names, specific names of landmarks and buildings, names of specific products?

Let students tally the totals for each group to see which group came up with the most proper nouns.

When completed, the activity should have clarified for students the concept of the proper noun.


Provide students with a short quiz of ten statements that include a wide variety of proper nouns. Some of the proper nouns should be properly capitalized and others should be erroneously uncapitalized; in addition, some common nouns also might be erroneously capitalized. Have students edit the statements so all proper nouns are capitalized and all common nouns are lower case. Students should achieve a score of 90 percent or better on this activity.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

Click to return to this week's lesson planning theme page, Teaching Grammar Without the Hammer: Five Fun Activities.