Saturday, March 7, 2015

Lesson Plan: Revising with Proper Nouns

This lesson was adapted from Mentor Texts by Lynn Dorfman.

Brainstorm: Think of places the class is familiar with. Mention specific things you might see as you walk through.

Example: Place- West Chester University
  • Main Hall --> Killinger Hall --> Hollinger Fieldhouse
  • Recitation Hall --> Brandywine Hall --> Farrell Stadium
  • Starbucks --> Sykes Student Union --> Francis Harvey Green Library
  • Lawrence Dining Hall --> The Village --> Church Street
Model: Write a short piece that describes things you see. Keep it general so students can revise later. Then revise by placing proper nouns from brainstormed list.



He knew he was going to spend a long time at the library. He left his dorm and walked down the street to get some coffee to prepare for the late night. He got a phone call from his friend, who said he was about to leave his apartment. They decided to meet at the central building.


John knew he was going to spend a long time at Francis Harvey Green Library. He left Brandywine Hall and headed down Church Street. He went to Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee to prepare for his late night. John got a phone call from his friend, Timothy, who was about to leave from the The Village. They decided to meet at Sykes Student Union.

Shared/Guided Writing: Choose another familiar place and write a description using proper nouns or hold guided conversation describing a place in their home with more specific general nouns.

Example: In the left corner of the living room, a Sony television sits on a stand. Also, there is an iHome stereo inside the TV stand. On the right side, there is a Dell desktop computer. We also have Aunt Regina's rocking chair on the right.

Independent Writing: Students will take a piece of their old writing and revise it to add proper nouns. Or, they can write their own description of a place.

Example: David and I decided to take a trip to Ocean City New Jersey. While on the 2nd Street beach, we decided that we wanted ice cream from Khor's Brothers, which was on 7th Street. We went onto the boardwalk, and walked five blocks for our ice cream; however, we were still hungry! We ended up getting Johnson's Popcorn. We were now full! We wanted to get some exercise, so we continued to walk on the boardwalk. We stopped in some stores, including the Surf Mall and Jilly's T-shirt Factory. David bought a green Nike t-shirt from his favorite store, The Spot.


How do you recognize a proper noun in a text?

Usually by capitalization.

How do you choose which words to capitalize?

Those that are part of the proper noun.

Did the use of proper nouns improve your piece? How so?

Yes, it made the piece more descriptive and visual.

When might it be important to use proper nouns? Why?

When introducing a character or place. It lets the reader know what is going on, especially if it is referenced multiple times in the future.

How are proper nouns different from more general nouns?

They are more descriptive.

How does the use of proper nouns make you a better writer?

It makes your writing more descriptive, and also makes the writing more specific.

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