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Concrete vs Abstract Nouns: A Fun Sorting Activity for High School Students


Concrete vs Abstract Nouns: A Fun Sorting Activity for High School Students

Concrete vs Abstract Nouns: A Fun Sorting Activity for High School Students

Learning the difference between concrete and abstract nouns is an essential part of mastering English grammar. Concrete nouns refer to physical, tangible things that can be seen, touched, heard, or smelled, while abstract nouns refer to intangible concepts or ideas that cannot be perceived by the senses. Being able to distinguish between these two types of nouns is crucial for effective communication, as it helps writers convey their thoughts and ideas more clearly. In this blog post, we will introduce a fun and interactive activity designed to help high school students learn and practice identifying concrete and abstract nouns. Through this activity, students will not only enhance their understanding of grammar but also develop their writing skills by using these nouns effectively in their compositions.


Concrete and Abstract Nouns Sort

Grade level:



To help students distinguish between concrete and abstract nouns and use them correctly in their writing.


  • Printable cards with words (half with concrete nouns and half with abstract nouns)
  • Sorting mat with two columns labeled "Concrete" and "Abstract"
  • Writing paper and pencils


  • Begin by reviewing the definitions of concrete and abstract nouns with your students. Provide examples of each and discuss how they differ in meaning.
  • Introduce the sorting activity by explaining that students will work in pairs or small groups to sort a set of words into two categories: concrete and abstract nouns.
  • Distribute the printable cards with words and the sorting mat to each group.
  • Instruct students to read each word on the cards and place them in the appropriate column on the sorting mat based on whether they are concrete or abstract nouns.
  • After all the cards have been sorted, ask each group to share their results and discuss any disagreements or difficult cases.
  • As a class, review the sorted lists and discuss any patterns or observations that emerged. Ask students to identify any commonalities among the concrete or abstract nouns.
  • To reinforce the lesson, have students individually write a paragraph using at least five concrete and five abstract nouns. Encourage them to be creative and use a variety of concrete and abstract nouns in their writing.


Evaluate student understanding through the following criteria:
  • Accurate sorting of concrete and abstract nouns on the sorting mat
  • Quality of paragraph writing that demonstrates correct use of concrete and abstract nouns


For advanced students, you can add the challenge of identifying and classifying collective nouns or compound nouns in their writing. Additionally, they can use their paragraphs to write a short story or poem that incorporates the concrete and abstract nouns they've used.
Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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