15 Secrets to Teaching Abstract Topics to Kids

Are you looking for the secret to teaching abstract concepts to kids? If so, keep reading.

1. Get the learner to perform spatial relationships (e.g., have the learner stand near the teacher, far from the teacher, on a table, under a table, etc.).

2. Get the learner to question any directions, explanations, or instructions they do not understand.

3. Use spatial relationships that happen naturally in their surroundings (e.g., a bird flying “over” a tree, a squirrel running “under” a bush, etc.).

4. Get the learner to follow map instructions to practice more abstract ideas such as left and right, north, south, east, and west. Begin with a map of the school and progress to a map of the community, state, nation, etc., with more complex instructions to follow.

5. Teach the learner relationships of directionality by placing paper bands tagged “left” and “right” around their wrists. Withdraw the paper bands when the learner can successfully find left and right.

6. Utilize a scale, ruler, measuring cups, etc., to teach measurement ideas.

7. Refrain from the conundrum of the mirror image by standing next to the learner when giving right and left instructions.

8. Do not require the learner to learn more information than they are capable of learning at any time.

9. Utilize real coins and dollar bills, clocks, etc., to teach abstract ideas of money, telling time, etc.

10. Utilize the terms right and left as part of the instructions you give to the learner (e.g., refer to the windows on the left side of the room, the smartboard on the right side of the room, etc.).

11. Get the learner to practice following written instructions. Train the learner to make marks or images on the right, left, middle, top, and bottom portions of the paper according to the instructions given.

12. Correlate what the learner has learned in one setting or situation to other situations (e.g., vocabulary words learned should be pointed out in readings, math problems, story writing, etc.).

13. Make sure the learner is paying attention to the source of information (e.g., eye contact is being made, hands are free of learning materials, etc.) when delivering instructions that involve abstract ideas.

14. Tag abstract ideas throughout the classroom (e.g., triangle shapes on the walls, left and right sides of a desk, compass instructions on the walls, etc.) to help the learner understand abstract ideas.

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