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Humor, Intelligence and Curiosity: Third Graders Learn About Abstract Nouns

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 4/14/2016

By third grade, students know that a noun is a person, place or thing and can easily point out the nouns in a sentence. Abstract nouns, however, are sometimes harder to recognize. In this lesson, students will learn to recognize abstract nouns in sentences and use them in their own writing.

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    Objective

    Abstract Nouns Lesson Grade 3 Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood). LA3-L-1-C

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    Preparation

    Use strips of paper. Write a different abstract noun on each paper. (See Reference Section below for word suggestions.)

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    Procedure

    Arrange the students in a circle on the floor or in chairs.

    Say, “Who can tell us what a noun is? Most of us think of a noun as a person, place or thing. It is something we can identify by using our five senses. These are concrete nouns. There are also nouns that are abstract and cannot be seen, touched or heard. Words like joy, love, bravery or evil. To get us thinking about the difference between concrete and abstract nouns I am going to say a word to each person as I go around the circle. When it is your turn you can tell us if the noun is concrete or abstract."

    Here is a suggested word list with abstract nouns underlined:

    friendship, car, joy, goodness, freedom, table, Harry Potter, kindness, California, bravery, jealousy, playground, anger, honesty, horse, loyalty, school, curiosity, trust, happiness, Mt. Rushmore, beauty, computer, luck, flowers, Thanksgiving Day, fear, peace, football, sorrow, telephone, Abraham Lincoln, talent, success, humor, evil, idea, lamp, honesty, wisdom, homework, sadness, hammer, skill

    Continue with, “Sometimes an abstract noun can be used in a sentence as a verb. Here is an example:

    I love my dog. In this case, the word love is a verb.

    My dog fills me with love. In this case, the word love is an abstract noun.

    or

    The children hope it snows tomorrow. Hope in this sentence is a verb.

    The children are filled with hope. Now the word hope is a noun.

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    Activity

    Each student chooses one of the prepared strips of paper and writes a sentence using the word as an abstract noun. Use proper punctuation and capitalization. Share the sentence with a partner.

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    Homework or In Class Worksheet

    Abstract Noun Worksheet DOWNLOAD

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    Differentiation Activity

    Students will use the book they are currently reading and try to find as many abstract nouns as they can. List them on a piece of paper and include the page number. This can be a small group activity. Take turns reading the selections that were found and see if the others agree.

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