Collective Nouns All Together Now

It’s a herd! It’s a flock! It’s... collective nouns! Explore and illustrate these nouns that indicate a specific collection of creature, items, or people using Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons.

  • 1.

    Introduce collective nouns to students. They all mean “group”, but groups of what? Invite children to search for the definition of a specific collective noun in a children’s dictionary or Internet resource specifically for children. Discover which particular critters, items, or people are described by the collective noun.

  • 2.

    Provide Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons and dry-erase boards for children to illustrate their collective nouns. Ask each child to write his or her collective noun on an index card as well.

  • 3.

    Display children’s illustrations. Shuffle the index cards. Invite children to match the cards to the illustrated collective nouns. Each artist can confirm or explain why matches are correct or incorrect, sharing information uncovered while researching resources.

Standards

  • LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
  • LA: With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • SCI: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.
  • VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

Adaptations

  • Collective nouns for this lesson might include: herd, pack, flock, school [of fish], crowd, swarm [of bees], group, litter [of puppies], family, audience, set, bouquet, deck, team, cast [of actors], colony, pack, band, army, library [of books], pair, troop, squad, class, crowd, and bunch.
  • Gather a gaggle of data. For example, ask children to draw a gaggle of geese on their dry-erase boards using dry-erase crayons. Then trade boards to count the number of geese in each gaggle. Record the numbers on a large dry-erase board. Which gaggle had the most geese? Which gaggle had the least? Which number appeared most frequently? This is called the mode. With older students you might also determine the mean or median using the gaggle data.
  • Add and subtract the herds. Provide dry-erase crayons for children to draw their own herds of cattle on individual white boards. Ask children to count the total animals in their herds. Lead children on a math adventure, adding to and subtracting from their herds. Children can write the math problems on lined paper with colored pencils as they erase and draw cows on their boards.
  • Flock Flashcard Fun! Use addition flashcards to draw flocks of birds joining together. For example, use dry erase crayons to draw 4 birds flying in from the east to join 7 birds flying in from the west. What is the total number of birds in the flock?
  • Read aloud the book A Cache of Jewels by Ruth Heller. Invite children to create their own invented collective nouns! Write the new word and illustrate its meaning on a dry-erase board with dry-erase crayons.
  • Find some unusual collective nouns to share with children. Discuss why and how they think that word came to represent that group. For example, why is a group of unicorns called a “blessing”? Draw pictures of reasons for collective nouns on individual dry-erase boards using dry-erase crayons. Label the illustrations to help explain your idea.