Abstract Nouns ESL Games and Activities

Which one?

ESL Abstract Nouns Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

In this fun abstract nouns game, students listen to sentences and race to choose the best abstract noun that completes each sentence from the choices provided. Give each group of three a set of cards. The students shuffle the cards and place them face down in a pile on the table. The students then take it in turns to pick up a card and read the sentence along with the three abstract nouns to the other group members, e.g. 'BLANK is very important for your health'. 'a. sleep, b. idea, c. lie'. The group members then race to say which abstract noun best completes the sentence. The first student to guess the correct abstract noun wins and keeps the card, i.e. sleep. The correct answer is indicated in bold for the reader. Each student is allowed one guess per card. If no one says the correct answer, the card is returned to the bottom of the pile to be used again later in the game. Play continues until all the cards have been guessed correctly. The student with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Abstract Bets

ESL Abstract Nouns Activity - Reading and Identifying - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this free abstract nouns activity, students identify abstract nouns in sentences and place bets depending on how confident they are about their answers. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Working alone, the students read the sentences on the worksheet and decide which of the words in the sentences are abstract nouns. When a student identifies an abstract noun in a sentence, they underline it. Sentences may contain no abstract nouns or up to four. When the students have gone through all the sentences, they bet on their answers depending on how confident they feel about their decisions. Students bet between 10 and 100 points on each sentence and write their bet in the 'bet' column. Next, elicit the correct answers from the students. Students must identify all the abstract nouns in the sentence to win the bet. If a student guessed correctly, they transfer the amount written in the 'bet' column to the 'win' column. If they guessed incorrectly, they transfer the amount to the 'lose' column. When all the answers have been checked, the students add up the amount won and lost to give a grand total. The student with the most points is the winner.
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Abstract Nouns Board Game

ESL Abstract Nouns Board Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 25 minutes

In this challenging abstract nouns game, students practice making sentences with uncountable abstract nouns. Give each group of three or four a copy of the game board, a dice and counters. The players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on an abstract noun square, they try to make a meaningful sentence with the noun. For example, if a player lands on the word 'health', the player might say 'I want to improve my health by cycling to school every day'. If the other group members agree the sentence is grammatically correct and appropriate, the player stays on the square. If the player makes a grammar mistake or the sentence doesn't demonstrate the abstract idea, they must go back to their previous square. The first player to reach the finish wins the game. As an alternative, when a player lands on an abstract noun square, they talk about the abstract idea for 30 seconds. If the player manages to do this successfully, they stay on the square. If not, they move back to their previous square.
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