How to Teach Abstract Concrete Nouns

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In grade 3, kids start learning to identify concrete and abstract nouns. Students can easily get confused about whether it is a concrete or abstract noun.

Moreover, it is not enough to be able to identify the type of noun. Students are expected to tell the differences between concrete and abstract nouns. As well, properly use them while building sentences.

how to teach abstract and concrete nouns

Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns identify ideas, concepts, qualities, experience, and feelings. Abstract nouns are intangible.

Examples of abstract nouns:

Anger, awe, bravery, brilliance, calm, childhood, compassion, courage, deceit, delight, despair, faith, freedom, friendship, hate, honesty, hope, integrity, joy, justice, kindness, knowledge, liberty, love, loyalty, misery, patriotism, peace, pleasure, pride, reality, trust, truth, wisdom.

Concrete Nouns

Objects and things that can be experienced through the five senses (feel, touch, smell, hear, and see) are concrete nouns. The majority of nouns are concrete. Concrete nouns can be people, places, animals, vegetables, food and more.

Examples of concrete nouns:

People: actor, boy, brother, doctor, firefighter, man, mother, queen. Fruits/Vegetables/Food: butter, cake, cherry, fruits, grain, pancake, pear, popcorn. Animals: chicken, goose, horse, jellyfish, kitten, ladybug, rabbit, robin. Places: hill, house, island, mountain, river, shop, street, wood. Things: brick, cent, drum, gate, glue, mailbox, scarecrow, scarf.

Teaching Tips

  • Tip #1. Use visuals. Put wall cards for the references in an easy and reachable place where every student can see them. Pass small cards with definitions (one for each table should be enough).

  • Tip #2. Practice makes perfect. Students will start with a reading. They will read the noun and decide whether it is concrete or abstract. Direct them to color the crab with the right type of noun. When they decide whether it is abstract or concrete, ask them to write the definition and justify their answer. In the beginning, they can refer to the wall cards, but going further, they should be able to write the definition easily and without any reference. Completing more worksheets and writing down the definition will give them the ability to remember the concept better.

  • Tip #3. Organize thoughts before writing. In this section, have your students draw this word. This activity is significant as it gives the advantage to visualize and organize their thought and prepare for the next activity.

    Now, students are ready to write the explanatory sentence. It will be easy to complete, as they already draw the picture, all they need to turn this picture into a beautiful sentence.

  • Tip#4. Use adjectives to describe the noun. While writing explanatory sentences, it is a good idea to pass the list with useful adjectives. Students can go through the list and pick one or more to write the sentence.

  • Tip #5. The theory is good, but practical use is also important. Now, it is time to see if your students can use this noun in sentences. Please direct them to write two sentences with this noun.

  • Tip #6. Brainstorm for words. To ensure that students understand concrete and abstract nouns, ask them to write three more similar nouns at the back of the worksheet.

  • Tip #7. Explore the five senses (extended practice for concrete nouns). For concrete nouns, direct your students to color one or more jellyfishes when they experience this object with their five senses. This activity will give them the ability to explore and communicate with the world around them.

  • Tip#8. Get them to focus on one task at a time. As you can see, the worksheets created in landscape orientation and should be folded in the middle. This way, students will be concentrating on one task at a time. Complete the task – turn the page and continue without confusion.