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Saturday, March 5, 2016

How Can I Focus on Core Vocabulary in Shared Reading with My AAC User?

Last week, I directed you to a great post by about using an Eric Carle book to focus core words, make a great interactive reading session, and have fun while building language around books. 
The core words from that book, A House for Hermit Crab, by Eric Carle are: different, mine, not/don’t, want, what, you; are, clean, house, look, see, to, when, yes.

In a previous post, I talked about using the Tracy Corderoy books NO!, MORE!, and MINEto reinforce core words.  I showed you there how I use those books to teach and/or reinforce core words through interactive story reading, as well as with interactive activities I made for after reading.

Two of the key points Carole Zangari points out  for shared or guided reading are: Keep it interactive, and Keep questions minimal and open-ended.

It is relatively easy to find stories that use core vocabulary for younger students, since many preschool books are specifically written with the vocabulary of the young set in mind.  

Most, though not all, of the students I work with are elementary age.  One classic story that is perfect for core word use is The Little Red Hen.
There are repeated lines, which are perfect for practicing core words and group reading: “Who will help me?” and “Not I.”
Core words vary, depending on the version of the story you choose (one problem with older folk tales is that the story can change a bit with different versions).  Here is a link to the Gutenberg listing.         
But you can count on: I, you, help, not, who, she, he, her.  There are also a variety of verbs that are common; including carry, find, do/did, sit, sleep.

One way I like to make reading interactive is to copy pictures of the characters, laminate them, and staple them to popsicle sticks.  Students in the group get a character to hold, and the chance to use the repeated line or core word(s) whenever we get to that part of the story.
It’s a great opportunity to model (use Aided Input), pause the story and use your best expectant facial expression, and provide relevant feedback over and over again.

I have created a large shared and guided reading unit using The Little Red Hen, that includes an activity/story-based communication board, lots of language activities to learn vocabulary, sequencing, retelling, and parts of speech, as well as, literacy activities for working with words, learning word families, learning consonant sounds, early reading, and more.  There is also an informational text about baking bread that can be used to build background knowledge before reading.

Here are 2 sequencing activities that you can do, after you’ve read the story. You can continue to have students practice their core words. 

Thank you to Smarty Symbols; all rights reserved.

Thank you to Krista Walden of Creative Clips for the clip art.  Please don’t share these images.

Keep on reading. And Keep on talking!

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