Tuesday's Teaching Tip

Disclaimer: Before I knew much about blogging (and I’m still learning!), I filled many pages with info and organized it in my navigation bar.  Little did I know that my blog would and could be viewed in many different venues that don’t allow the reader to see or use the navigation bar.  So, I thought this page would also make a good teaching tip for today.  I hope you enjoy it!

Making It Tangible

One of the things teachers learn in our training is to make things tangible for students.  Many things in life are abstract and it helps to start with the concrete and build up from there.  I’ll never forget in a teacher training session, we were to put in order from concrete to abstract these 3 items: the word apple, a picture of an apple, and an actual apple.

CONCRETE: an actual apple–it can be felt, manipulated, cut into, eaten, observed

LESS CONCRETE: a picture of an apple

ABSTRACT: the word apple

If a child has not had experience with the real apple, the word apple will not mean too much to her. It is the same with reading unfamiliar vocabulary words and content.  Our kids need to be able to feel it, manipulate it, “cut into it”, “taste it”, and observe it to make understanding come easier.

Here are some ideas on making it tangible (these are also some ways to build your child’s background knoweldge):

FIELD TRIPS:  And they don’t have to cost any money!  Visit a local fire house, a grocery store (behind the scenes), daddy’s work, an apple orchard, a farm, a post office, your own backyard, etc.  I think a mistake that we can make with field trips is that we go after we’ve studied a certain subject to “wrap up” our study.  But going first would actually be better because it’s the tangible.

FAMILY TRIPS: Take a trip to the mountains.  The beach.  The state capital.  The zoo.  Anywhere you can see something new.  Feel the sand between your toes.  Breathe in that mountain air.  Watch a monkey pick bugs off another one…and talk about it together.

MEDIA: Books, DVDs, the internet, even cell phones these days can show kids things that they wouldn’t be able to see any other way, making it more tangible than simply talking about it.  Quite often when I’m trying to explain something to ALuv, such as a volcano, I’ll get on youtube or google images and see if I can find a tangible way to show him.  (Caution: As innocent as your search may be on the internet, sometimes images pop up that you don’t want little eyes to see. Searching beforehand, bookmarking it, then showing later is always a good idea!)

I’d love to hear ideas as to how you make things tangible for your child!  Please feel free to share.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Please feel free to share with others by linking directly to my blog. All texts created by Becky are protected by

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected
%d bloggers like this: