Noun clauses can be difficult for beginning learners. Recognizing the structure of a sentence depends on recognizing its components, the parts of speech and their functions, and ultimately how they each relate to another. While English grammar presents its own complexities, there are a few approaches to teaching noun clauses that allow a student to relax and absorb the material.
A noun clause, the part of a sentence or phrase that recognizes the subject using a finite verb, gives students the opportunity to use their imaginations. To help students recognize noun clauses, play a game in which they act out both the subject of the sentence containing the noun and the verb that creates action for it. For example, a student can use the noun clause, "Jim playing cards," and then act out the phrase. The student who can act out the phrase the most creatively wins.
Help students recognize noun clauses by quizzing them on recognition. Sentences both with and without noun clauses can be written on flash cards or paper. They can be shown to small groups of students. The first group to correctly recognize the noun clause is awarded points. The game can be played with buzzers, in which the first person or team to buzz gets the opportunity to answer the question. If the student or team answers incorrectly, points are taken away from the score.
Place students in small groups and conduct a quiz by asking them to recognize the component parts of a noun clause -- both the finite verb and the noun or subject. When the group is called upon to answer the question containing the noun clause phrase or sentence, those in the group must correctly recognize both the verb and the noun in a short amount of time, perhaps five seconds or less. The game can also be played with just individuals instead of groups.
Create groups of two students each. In this game, one person creates a noun clause phrase and the other acts out the noun clause phrase to the best of his ability. Using a time constraint, ask one student to verbally communicate a noun clause phrase and a second to act it out. This game ensures active participation as well as entertainment.
Thanks to Greg Ruland