English Learning Tips For Students
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Jen Marx

Possessives and proper nouns are two distinct parts of English grammar that students will learn about during their educational careers. Simply lecturing to the students about grammar rules does become rather dry and boring after a while. Therefore, engage the students in activities to learn about these important components of the English language.

Possessives: Object-Oriented Activity

Ask a student to describe a specific object or being to you. For example, you could ask him, "What does the sun look like?" or "What is a horse like?" Students might say sentences such as, "The sun is yellow," "A horse has a long mane," and "A horse has long legs." Write the sentences on the board and then ask students to turn them into possessives. For example, "The sun is yellow" would become "The sun's color is yellow."

Possessives: Personal Property

Walk around the classroom with students, point to specific objects in the classroom or take them on a tour of the school building or the schoolyard. Ask them to whom do certain objects or items belong. For example, you might walk by the desk in the principal's office. Tell students that this is the principal's desk. Require students to identify items in the possessive form. Keep a list of all of the items that the students see, and write a comprehensive list on the board when you return.

Proper Nouns: Magazine Hunt

Distribute a number of magazines and newspapers to the students. Ask them to go through the material -- either individually or in groups -- to find examples of proper nouns. They should cut out the pictures and paste them onto a piece of construction paper or poster board. You could enhance this activity by distributing poster board that says proper nouns on one side and common nouns on the other. Students would need to paste their pictures in the appropriate columns.

Proper Nouns: Game

Divide the class into two or more teams, depending upon the number of students in the class. Write a category on the board, such as names of cities in New York or names for girls. Have each group write down as many proper nouns that fit into the category as possible in an allotted amount of time. At the end of the game, award a small prize -- such as a no homework pass or extra points on the proper nouns test -- to the winning team.

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