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People, Places, Things and ANIMALS?


Old Timer

I teach first grade and have for 13 years. There are two fresh out of college teachers who are teaching that nouns are people, places, things and animals. When did the catagory of animals get added to the list? I was taught that animals were "things" and not a sub catogory of their own. I don't want to seem behind the times and I am willing to inlclude animals as a group for nouns if this is now what is being done. Help someone......set me straight! Thanks!


Senior Member
animal lovers

I got a chuckle when I read your post. I taught nouns the old way for years with no problems. Now we have a new reading series and it tells us to teach nouns the new way. I guess the animal lovers are working their ways into the schools!


Senior Member
Not here

Our curriculum still teaches that a noun is a "person, place, or thing." I'm like you - animals are considered things. I think my students would probably point that out as well.


Senior Member
Animals as noun Catagory

Yes, We teach people, places, things and animals. I also teach first grade. I don't remember when we separated the animals from the thing catagory....I think it was about 4 or 5 years ago.


Full Member
We do too

I have been teaching Nouns now for about 6 weeks, through Harcourt. Everytime that I ask about what a noun is, the kids always correct me when I don't add in animals. I keep telling them that an animal IS a thing. :p


Senior Member
politically correct!

Ladies ladies didn't you know that now it is politically correct to have the additional animal category when teaching nouns. Why if we left this category off the animal rights activitists would sue I am sure of it! HAHAHA! :) Just kidding, but when I read your post I chuckled and thought how funny (and yet in today's world how very possible) that concept is. I also have always taught the 3 categories (person, place and thing) but now I do mention the animal thing too because they ask. I always just say yes animals also but what category would they fit into? Things!


Senior Member

one of our 4th grade teachers just brought this up recently, and i thought it was just our crazy new curriculum!

hey, i've always taught person, place, thing, and IDEA: stuff that would actually be considered a thing, but you can't see--like peace, love, happiness... none of you mentioned ideas...just wondering...


Senior Member
ahah! IDEA!!!!

Never thought about calling them ideas, but I have always had a hard time getting kids to understand the "untouchable" things. Now that's a category worth adding! Thanks!


Full Member

I always teach person, place or thing, but my mother is a high school English teacher and she told me that I need to include idea, so now I do that way the kids learn nouns the correct way. I personally do not and do not think we need a separate category for animals, but that is just my opinion.

Teach 5

Senior Member

The politically correct have gone too far once again.

Personally, I think animals should be included in the people category!:D

At my school, we teach person, place, thing, idea.

Brooke S.

Senior Member

This is only my 3rd year teaching and I've never heard of the people, places, things and animals. I have heard of ideas, but have never taught it to my 2nd graders because I thought it would be too hard for them to understand. I also tell them a noun is something they can see and touch. This helps them understand it a little better in the beginning. I guess I could probably teach ideas to this class because they are strangely enough hooked on parts of speech. They are always excited to learn a new one. Isn't that strange??:p


Senior Member
yea, really, be careful

you could be entering the twilight zone!!! or some sort of alternative universe!!!


New Member
Living and Non-Living

I see this post is very old, but it is important to note and to understand, ANIMALS are not THINGS. They live, breathe, feel and have life. A desk is a thing, a car is a thing, we are only a few decades from starting to see women and girls as not objects, this is part of our evolution of understanding. Many countries now are recognizing animals as sentient beings. There is even now a further classification of nouns, as PERSON, PLACE, ANIMAL, THING or IDEA. Grammar is fluid, it changes, just as all thing change with our growth and understanding of a concept.

As I have lived in Germany as well, and speak German, the use of genders for words can also have like issues. for instance boys have a male gender usuage while girls get an object usuage.....you can see this is an inherent problem in our understanding of beings.


Dogs are people, all other animals are things

I remember when I was in fifth grade, one of the tasks in our grammar grammar workbook was to circle person, place, or thing for underlined words in sentences. Usually nobody had a problem circling “thing” for an animal, but one day when we had dog as the animal, and the teacher said the correct answer thing, a girl angrily yelled “No, it’s a person!” and several other classmates chimed up to agree with her. I guess dogs are more than just animals.