ABSTRACT AND CONCRETE NOUNS

LIST OF MANY ABSTRACT NOUNS

Belonging
Achievement
Charity
Compassion
Conflict
Confusion
Cooperation
Cruelty
Curiosity
Depression
Doubt
Enthusiasm
Envy
Exhaustion
Exhilaration
Faith
Fear
Freedom
Frustration
Gratitude
Hate
Hope
Humility
Humor
Independence
Inspiration
Joy
Justice
Kindness
Knowledge
Loneliness
Love
Loyalty
Morality
Patience
Self-respect
Shame
Sorrow
Success
Worry
Wisdom


Using Pictures Activity:

Cut up the words on the list of abstract nouns. Each student or team of students draws an abstract noun. They define the word then search through magazines and find pictures that illustrate the concept. These collages can be posted around the room. The students can find quotations or short poems related to with abstract nouns. Or the students could draw a picture or mural or poster of their concept.

This activity could be combined with a speaking activity and the students could individually or working as a group present a multimedia presentation to the class on their concept.

An end of the year activity could be to have the student take “their” abstract nouns and prepare a presentation where they explain the concept and share stories and poems which embody the concept and art work which depicts it.

The Shopping List Activity:
Directions:  Create a shopping list for the grocery store or mall.  You must make a list using only concrete nouns.  In addition, your list should include an item for each letter of the alphabet.

For example:

       1.  A:  apple sauce
       2.  B:  bagels
       3.  C:  carrots

A, B, C's Activity:

Directions:  Identify a concrete noun for each letter of the alphabet.  Bonus points could be given for more creative abstract nouns, compound forms etc.

Challenge:  For each abstract noun draw a concrete noun to visualize the abstraction.


Retelling a Story Activity:

Students work in partners to create a short (150-200 words) story (I did this around Halloween which worked well).  Their story must include 5 abstract nouns, 3 collective nouns, and concrete and proper nouns (this does not really need a number because they will have so many anyway).  Once they have written the rough draft, they are to rewrite their story on a bigger sheet of paper.  They are to write in black marker or pen.  Each abstract noun should be another color (for example, blue), concrete nouns (red), collective nouns (green).  They are also told to underline all proper nouns.  This activity helps students identify the different types of nouns, collaborate with other students, and gives them the opportunity to be creative.

Writing Poetry and Abstract Nouns:
Students will work with rotating partners. (I like to line the desk up down the middle of the room: 2 rows facing each other. One row will shift up, one row will shift down. This way students work with a different partner for each step of the activity.)

All students are give the list of abstract nouns. With their partner they are to write similes for as many as they can. ____(abstract noun)__________ is like ________________.

The teacher then asks for each set of partners to share the one or two they like best with the class.

The students shift.

With their new partner students are ask to write metaphors and include an explanation. ____(abstract noun)__________ is a ________________ because _______________________________________________.

The teacher then asks for each set of partners to share the one or two they like best with the class.

The students shift.

With their new partner students are asked to draw something that represents each abstract nouns.

The teacher then asks for each set of partners to share the one or two they like best with the class.
The students shift.
with their new partner students are ask to decide if the abstract noun were a person or an animal what it would be do or say.

Follow up: Individually write a short poem about an abstract noun using at lease one simile, metaphor, symbol or personification.
(Viv Szmigiel)

METAPHOR POEMS:
On a sheet of paper, write a list of abstract nouns, such as "love, beauty, anger, justice," in a column. Next to it, write another list, of colors. Use some unusual color names, such as colors modified by a striking adjective or colors from an artist's palette. Then make a third list, of concrete objects, such as "shoe, river, ring, roller coaster."

Next, draw a line that connects an abstraction on the first list to a color on the second and then to a concrete object on the third. Continue connecting words on the three lists. Don't try to be logical; let the imagination run free and find odd and intriguing connections.

Now choose one of the combinations you've created and write it as a metaphor: "Jealousy is a black car." Then add a second line beginning with that or which: "That drag-races with love." Finally, add a third line beginning with and or but:  "But never wins."

CHARADES
Have one student act out a concrete noun, such as finger, and allow the class to guess the word.

Then, have another student act out an abstract noun, such as prejudice, and allow the class to guess.

The child with the abstract noun will struggle. This can lead to an explanation of how abstract nouns are ideas and feeling; therefore, they don't take on physical shape or appeal to the 5 senses.

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