Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Low-Tech Happy New Year Tip!

This low-tech tip is great for working on narration skills or speech therapy. Like typical children, Pamela falls in a rut with word choices. If asked how she feels, she usually answers, “Happy” or “Sad.” When describing the emotions of a character in a book, she picks the same words: happy, sad, angry, or afraid. To build up her vocabulary and help determine how new emotion words match with ones she already understands, I put new words on paper plates. Whenever we discover them in the books we read, I write them on the edges of the plate in the proper quarter. If Pamela falls back on the same old words during a narration, I pull out the plate to suggest alternatives. The picture is a bit blurry, but you get the idea. Words for happy include cheerful, giddy, and joyful; sad: gloomy, depressed, mournful; angry: irate, wrathful, furious; and afraid: frightened, terrified, scared.She has the same issue with people words and verbs. If asked, “Who does __________ see?” her response was almost always, “________ sees people.” Whenever we run into new kinds of people in books, I write them on our people plate. The people plate helps her pick words that are more appropriate if all that pops in her head is people. The image is a tad blurry, but along the rim are words like parents, children, farmers, sailors, knights, teachers, doctors, etc.

We are broadening her use of verbs too. If asked, “What can __________ do?” she usually says, “_________ can go.” I recently started a new subject-verb plate where I document what verbs are often associated with what nouns. She already knows these associations, but needs hints about more specific words than go.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tip! Such a wonderful idea!! I get stuck myself. Love your pictures. Sincerely, Diane

Ronda said...

I like the people plate. One concept we are working on classifying is classifying nouns so this tool is going to work for us in that way. I am also going to really work to fit the association method into our home program. Thanks, Ronda