16 Strategies to Help Students Understand Abstract Concepts

Are you looking for strategies to help your students understand abstract concepts? If so, keep reading.

1. Utilize abstract ideas to describe concrete objects in their surroundings (e.g., bigger, smaller, square, triangle, etc.).

2. Tag concrete objects in the classroom with signs that express abstract ideas (e.g., bigger, square, triangle, etc.).

3. Utilize concrete examples when teaching abstract ideas  (e.g., numbers of objects to express more than or less than; rulers and yardsticks to express ideas of height, width, etc.).

4. Play Simon Saysto enable the comprehension of abstract ideas (e.g., “Find the largest desk,” “Touch something that is a rectangle,” etc.).

5. Organize a scavenger hunt. Get the learner to look for the smallest pencil, tallest boy, etc., in the classroom.

6. Teach shapes using ordinary objects in their surroundings (e.g., round clocks, rectangular desks, square tiles on the floor, etc.).

7. Assess the appropriateness of having the learner learn abstract ideas at this time.

8. Teach ideas (e.g., dimensionality, size, shape, etc.) one at a time before pairing the ideas.

9. Give repeated physical demonstrations of abstract ideas (e.g., find things far away from and near to the learner, find a small box in a large room, etc.).

10. Daily, examine abstract ideas that have been previously introduced. Introduce new abstract ideas only after the learner has a mastery of those already presented.

11. Select a peer to spend time each day with the learner pointing out abstract ideas in the classroom (e.g., the rectangular light switch plate, the round light fixture, the tallest girl, etc.).

12. Use concrete objects (e.g., boxes for dimensionality, family members for size, distances in the classroom for space, cookie cutters for shape, etc.) when introducing abstract ideas. Do not introduce abstract ideas by using their descriptive titles such as square, rectangle, triangle, etc., without a concrete object.

13. Get the learner to match the names of abstract ideas (e.g., square, circle, etc.) with objects (e.g., floor tile, clock, etc.).

14. Provide the learner instruction-following tasks (e.g., “Go to the swing that is the farthest away.” “Go to the nearest sandbox.” etc.).

15. Get the learner to sort left and right gloves, shoes, hand and foot paper cut-outs, etc.

16. Consider using video to help you teach abstract concepts to kids. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the topic.

Choose your Reaction!