Beach Story Using Collective Nouns

Collective nouns at the beach!

While we’re on a theme of “summer” topics, here’s a fun exercise I created the other day on Quora. It’s a beach story using collective nouns. Why not sit down together as a family and see how many collective nouns you can discover in this story? A couple of them are a bit tricky!

Here’s the collective nouns story!

In the summer we like to go the beach. It’s a great place to people watch. We’ll almost certainly see a flock of tourists enjoying the sun and sand, and we’re likely to see a class of students from the Community Rec Program learning about the flora and fauna of the beach and lake. We’ll see a crew of sailors waving at us as they pass in their sailboat. Sometimes a troupe of dancers or actors will come to the beach gazebo and entertain the crowd of spectators. While we love our beaches, you might need to watch out–there is a small pack of petty thieves who like to grab any valuables they see lying around. A staff of employees from the city’s summer youth workers program watch out for them, though, so it’s pretty safe. We might join an audience of listeners sitting around enjoying the music of a band of musicians or a busker or two. Occasionally, a panel of experts will wander along the beach, discussing ideas for new walkways, boat launches or

While we love our beaches, you might need to watch out–there is a small pack of petty thieves who like to grab any valuables they see lying around. A staff of employees from the city’s summer youth workers program watch out for them, though, so it’s pretty safe. We might join an audience of listeners sitting around enjoying the music of a band of musicians or a busker or two. Occasionally, a panel of experts will wander along the beach, discussing ideas for new walkways, boat launches or piers, and their possible environmental impact. If the experts have already given the go-ahead, we might instead see a gang of labourers putting those ideas into action.

Another fun thing to do at the beach is watching the birds and animals. We’re certain to see a flock of seagulls swooping over the beach looking for picnic scraps, while sometimes we’ll see a flight of geese overhead heading north or south on their migratory routes, depending on what end of summer it is. In midsummer, we’ll see gaggles of geese pecking at seeds in the grass. We will certainly see a raft of ducks paddling in the water, and sometimes a game of swans. You might even spot a murder of crows, or more likely, hear them squawking from the trees. Sometimes the sky will suddenly be filled with a murmuration of starlings startled out of their hiding places.

If we walk out on the pier and look down into the deeper water there, we might see a shoal of fish, and sometimes there’ll be someone reeling them in with a rod and then heading off home with a catch of fish. Be careful where you spread your beach towel and lay down–you don’t want to set it by an ant hill and encounter an army of ants. And don’t get too close to a pool of still water or a marshy spot–you’ll soon be surrounded by a swarm of flies, mosquitoes, or

If we walk out on the pier and look down into the deeper water there, we might see a shoal of fish, and sometimes there’ll be someone reeling them in with a rod and then heading off home with a catch of fish. Be careful where you spread your beach towel and lay down–you don’t want to set it by an ant hill and encounter an army of ants. And don’t get too close to a pool of still water or a marshy spot–you’ll soon be surrounded by a swarm of flies, mosquitoes, or

Be careful where you spread your beach towel and lay down–you don’t want to set it by an ant hill and encounter an army of ants. And don’t get too close to a pool of still water or a marshy spot–you’ll soon be surrounded by a swarm of flies, mosquitoes, or dragonflies. Watch out! In some spots, there might be a swarm of wasps, attracted by colourful flower gardens or by the smell of sweet summer treats brought by beach goers.

We might even see a herd of urban deer nibbling the flowers from the carefully designed gardens in the park next to the beach. At some of our beaches, we’ll see teams of horses go by on the street, pulling tourists in buggies on tours of the city. Once in a while, someone will come by with a litter of kittens or puppies in a box, hoping to sell them or give them away.

Part of the pleasure of going to the beach is enjoying nature. While most people go during the day, some prefer to go in the evening, bringing along a stack of wood, then sit around a campfire watching the waves and roasting marshmallows. When the fire dies down, they will lay on the sand and look up into the night sky, gazing at galaxies of stars. Lowering their gaze just a tad, they’ll see the saw-like tips of a forest of trees on the tops of nearby mountain ranges, black against the moonlit sky. In the daytime, we’ll sometimes see a fleet of sailboats skimming along the gentle waves of the lake, although we’ll see them return to the marina when a towering cumulonimbus of clouds along with clouds of dust whipping up from the sand indicate an afternoon

In the daytime, we’ll sometimes see a fleet of sailboats skimming along the gentle waves of the lake, although we’ll see them return to the marina when a towering cumulonimbus of clouds along with clouds of dust whipping up from the sand indicate an afternoon thunderstorm is approaching. We’ll quickly gather up our loose beach items and stash them in the trunk of the car so they don’t blow away; then from a safe spot, we’ll watch the storm come in, waves crashing on the beach and cascades of brilliant thunderbolts lighting up the sky, followed by downpours of rain. We might snap lots of pictures in hopes of getting some good ones for our album of photos.

On a sunny day at the beach, we’ll either slather on sunscreen or we’ll search for a shady spot to relax, perhaps in the shadow of a hedge of bushes or under a grove of trees. We’ll probably take along with us a basket of fruit just picked fresh from our famous orchards, along with other picnic foods and utensils. If we don’t bring our lunch with us, we’ll have to buy snacks from one of the beach vendors, and that will require a wad of bills! If we’re going to stay at the beach for the day, we’ll bring swimsuits and towels, a pack of cards, a collection of books, or for the more lively folks among us, a wagon-load of pails and shovels or beach toys like frisbees and beach balls. If we’ve driven to the beach, we’ll be careful to take care of our bunch of car keys as they are so easily lost in the sand. We’ll keep an eye on the little folks, as they’re just apt to wander off to the city’s flower beds and pick a big bouquet of flowers for mommy, much to the dismay of the gardeners chasing after them. If we get bored, the fishers among us will start telling fish stories, most of which will be a pack of lies.

If we’re going to stay at the beach for the day, we’ll bring swimsuits and towels, a pack of cards, a collection of books, or for the more lively folks among us, a wagon-load of pails and shovels or beach toys like frisbees and beach balls. If we’ve driven to the beach, we’ll be careful to take care of our bunch of car keys as they are so easily lost in the sand. We’ll keep an eye on the little folks, as they’re just apt to wander off to the city’s flower beds and pick a big bouquet of flowers for mommy, much to the dismay of the gardeners chasing after them. If we get bored, the fishers among us will start telling fish stories, most of which will be a pack of lies.

Finally, at the end of a wonderful day at the beach, we will wearily pack up and head home, where we’ll gratefully sink into our beds for a good night’s sleep, dreaming of beaches and all the collections of things we find there.

How did you do?

How many collective nouns did you find? Share your score in the comments!

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