Friday, November 15, 2013

Abstract Noun Poetry- Making It Concrete!

 Howdy Friends!
     Mr. Hughes here from Created by MrHughes and An Educator's Life blog. As many of know, I am the writing/language arts teacher for the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students of my school (I also teach science to each of those grades...phew...).
     This is the second year of do rotations with our students and so I have been working with a majority of my students for two years now. Can I just tell you how much I love having the same students for three years in a row. I get to know them so well and I know where I need to start each year with each student.
     Well, last year, we had to learn just the basic parts of speech! Yes, I am talking about nouns, verbs, etc. Nothing extra or fancy, just the simple definitions.
     I started with nouns again this year with my 6th graders, only this year we are focusing on concrete and abstract nouns. It took a bit of work, but nearly all my students can now tell me the difference between a concrete noun (a noun that you can see, hear, smell, touch, and/or taste) and abstract noun (also known as Idea nouns).
     I wanted to push their thinking a bit more, so I found a poetry form that required the students to present an abstract noun using concrete ideas. It was interesting to watch and listen to the students as they worked to define an idea with tangible things. Below are several examples. Some are definitely better than others but I love how they turned out. Take a minute and read over a few of these.

     After I was able to collect all 22 of them, I hung them on a bulletin board in my classroom. I have had many students from my other classes read them and discuss them (during breaks and recess time). Because of the unique choices many students made, there have been many lively debate/discussions- Something I consider a total bonus!

     If YOU are interested in trying this poetry form with your kiddos, it's easy. Have each student chose an abstract noun and write it at the top. Next, have the students use the following format:

(Abstract Noun)

Smells like...
Feels like...
Tastes like...
Sound like...
and Lives in...

I had the students write and draw on 9 x 12 art paper. I also required them to use color and provide small illustrations for each of the concrete words. (You can also Google abstract poetry forms if you would like other options).

I hope you will take your students on a noun adventure and give this poetry a whirl!

-Mr. Hughes
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  1. Great idea! I am going to use this with my fourth graders!

  2. Love this! I will use this next week with my 6th graders!

  3. I'm thankful for this idea! I'm going to have my students write poems for the abstract noun "thankfulness". We will make them into a PowerPoint presentation and share them at our Thanksgiving Program next week.


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