Monday, April 30, 2012

Noun, Day 5: Concrete vs. Abstract Nouns

Today the boys received the traditional presentation on concrete versus abstract nouns.  After reviewing the concept that "nouns are naming words", we started by labeling objects in the classroom.

I made a bunch blank noun labels and laminated them so they could be used for multiple activities (common vs. proper, person/place/thing, etc.,).  I wrote on them today with a dry erase marker.  This didn't work well because the words rubbed off as the boys handled them.  In the past I have used overhead markers instead and with much more success.

After the boys had read a few labels and matched them to objects, I wrote the names of some other nouns such as "sweetness", "friendship", and "hope."  I had quite a good laugh watching them wander around the room perplexed trying to match these nouns to an object.  They looked just like the older men in my life typically do when they can't find something around the house...a frowning face accompanied by alternating head and butt scratching as well as a distinctively sporadic and sputtering traffic pattern.

When they finally decided that there was nothing to match the label to we confirmed that these words were indeed names and did indeed which point Kal-El tried to stick "friendship" on top of my head because "we are friends."

This is the point at which you get to say, "Names are given to everything, every place, every object, every person, every thought, and every emotion.  All of these names are nouns.  Names are even given to those things which cannot be touched.  Naming words which cannot be touched are also nouns.  We call nouns that cannot be touched abstract nouns.  Nouns that can be touched are called concrete nouns."

I wrote "abstract nouns" and "concrete nouns" on top of some larger, laminated labels that I had also prepared for repeated and varied use.  You can see I added primitive drawings to the labels to help Me Too along.  Then, I wrote a few more concrete and abstract nouns on the labels and mixed them altogether.  They took turns reading the labels and deciding which column it belonged to.

To wrap it up, I asked them both to think of a few more abstract nouns.  Kal-El came up with "love", (a) "fight", and "quiet" (as in "listen to the...").  Me Too came up with "yuckiness."  Kal-El wrote his words in his language binder and labeled them with a black triangle to indicate that they are nouns.

Home of: The Ultimate Montessori Blog List
The Ultimate Montessori Search Box
The Ultimate Montessori Homemade Materials Collaboration

Would YOU like to be added to the Ultimate Montessori Blog List?  Contact me!


  1. LOVE the description of the old man syndrome!

    Not to mention the reusable labels. I've made ours to re-mix into other sets, but never thought of having dry-erase versions.... Hmmm... the ideas... I could use that set for presenting, so I can make it pertinent to each child on any given day; then have my permanent sets for follow-up (I'm thinking of co-op - with lots more children ;) ).

    I remember when I first started, I made each set as we needed it - handwritten on strips of paper only. They didn't last long, but longer than I thought they would!

    I love your creative ideas!

  2. This reminds me of when I did this lesson with my kids. My daughter was 4 at the time and said to abstract nouns "God, Sky, Clouds!"
    Hmmm I was very impressed she would come up with these!