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Pendemonium: The Ink On The Sphinx: Nouns Pendemonium-The-Ink-On-The-Sphinx-Nouns?

  • Subject: Grammar
  • |
  • Grade(s): K-5
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  • Duration: 1 class period

Lesson Plan Sections

Student Objectives

  • Identify basic nouns.
  • Categorize various types of nouns.
  • Explain the relationship between selected nouns.


  • Pendemonium: Nouns in Egypt video
  • Paper and pencils
  • Dictionaries
  • Print resources


  1. After viewing the video, reinforce its concepts by reading aloud several books about nouns, such asCache of Jewels, Herds of Words, Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day , or other books listed under Print Resources below.
  2. Review the forms of nouns. Ask students to provide examples of common nouns, proper nouns, singular nouns, plural nouns, and irregular nouns.
  3. Then discuss the importance of nouns. Ask students to describe their family without using nouns, tell a friend about a movie without using any nouns, or give directions using only verbs. After demonstrating the need for nouns, begin the lesson.
  4. Quickly review the setting of the video and the landmarks the four characters visited. Discuss the role of pyramids in ancient Egypt: They were tombs where the mummies of pharaohs and other important people were buried, along with treasures and other artifacts.
  5. Explain that students will create pyramids filled with important things ? nouns. After distributing paper and markers or colors, have students draw a large pyramid that fills most of the page. Next have them divide their pyramids into five horizontal levels. Describe how each level will contain a specific type of noun. Begin at the bottom:
    • The base level will have five common nouns.
    • The second level from the bottom will have four proper nouns.
    • The third level up will have three regular plural nouns.
    • The fourth level up will have two irregular plural nouns.
    • The top level will describe the theme that connects the nouns.
  6. Explain that the students' noun pyramids will have a connecting theme, meaning that the nouns should relate to a specific topic.
  7. Model the construction of a noun pyramid for students. Draw a pyramid on the board with the five levels. Outside of the pyramid, label each level beginning at the bottom level—common nouns, proper nouns, plural nouns, irregular nouns, theme.
  8. Using a theme taken from classroom curriculum content, have students complete their noun pyramids.
  9. For example, a noun pyramid based on the American Revolution, starting at the bottom, could contain these nouns:
    • common nouns: president, army, freedom, river, ship
    • proper nouns: George Washington, America, Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia
    • plural nouns: nations, battles, bells
    • irregular nouns: countries, speeches
    • theme: American Revolution
  10. Have students present their noun pyramids to the class by discussing the different nouns and how they fit into each level.
  11. Create a classroom bulletin board about nouns and display student pyramids.

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Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • 3 points:  Students clearly identified the four types of nouns presented in the lesson; constructed a five-tiered pyramid with all the required number and types of nouns in each level; clearly explained the relationship of the nouns within their pyramids.
  • 2 points:  Students identified the four types of nouns presented in the lesson; constructed a five-tiered pyramid with most of the required number and types of nouns in each level; explained the relationship of the nouns within their pyramids
  • 1 point:  Students were unable to identify the four types of nouns presented in the lesson; constructed a pyramid with few of the required number and types of nouns in each level; were unable to explain the relationship of the nouns within their pyramids

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Definition: Not following a predictable pattern
Context: "Sheep" and not "sheeps" is correct because the word is an irregular plural noun.

Definition: A person, place, or thing
Context: The words "president," "American Revolution," and "United States" are nouns.

Definition: More than one
Context: Usually you add an "s" to a word to make a plural noun.

Definition: A three-dimensional figure with a square base and four triangular sides
Context: The pyramids of the ancient Egyptians were tombs for their rulers.

Definition: Only one
Context: The singular form of foxes is fox.

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Print Resources

Cleary, Brian.What Is a Noun?: A Mink, a Fink, and a Skating Rink . Carolrhoda Books, 1999
A short picture book that combines humorous rhymes and illustrations to define nouns, which are highlighted throughout the text.

Heinrichs, Ann.Nouns . Child's World, 2004
Filled with information about nouns that include sidebars, Internet resources, and fun grammar exercises.

Heller, Ruth.Cache of Jewels . Putnam Juvenile, 1998
Beautifully illustrated with familiar and unusual collective nouns.

Heller, Ruth.Merry-Go-Round . Putnam Juvenile, 1998
Common, proper, abstract, concrete, compound, and collective nouns are covered in this book, and singular, plural, and possessive forms of nouns are explained.

Koch, Michelle.Just One Mor e. Greenwilllow, 1989
This book covers plural nouns including collective and irregular plurals.

MacCarthy, Patricia.Herds of Words . Dial Books for Young Readers, 1991
Various collective noun are described and illustrated.

Pulver, Robin.Nouns And Verbs Have a Field Day . Holiday House, 2006
The book's characters, nouns and verbs, learn to work together.

Terban, Marvin.Your Foot's on My Feet: and Other Tricky Nouns . Clarion Books, 1986
A humorous explanation of the plural form of about 90 irregular nouns.

West, Kipling.A Rattle of Bones: A Halloween Book of Collective Nouns . Orchard Books, 1999
The rhyming narration of a brother and sister as they go trick-or-treating demonstrates collective nouns.

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Academic Standards

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL's Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks, visit
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Language Arts: Viewing—Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media
  • Language Arts: Writing—Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
The National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association have developed national standards to provide guidelines for teaching the English language arts. To view the standards online, go to .
This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:
  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.
  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

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