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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Competing for Definitions? More Games for AAC

Some districts in the U.S. are already back to school. Some wait until after Labor Day.  Either way, I have one last bit of summer fun with a purpose.  We’re going to have students practice making referential definitions with use a hint of competition.

Referential definitions are at the heart of a lot of vocabulary instruction for nouns.  A district attorney once challenged me on this particular objective.  He wanted me to prove that creating referential definitions mat a state standard.  (Mostly I think he didn’t know what I was talking about).  

Teachers around the world ask kids to provide referential definitions all the time.  “Wha is Saturn?”  “What is a peninsula?”  “Tell me about a giant sloth.”

In my version, we put visual symbols on the table for the critical elements: categories, adjectives, function, place, materials.  The SLP turns over a picture of a relevant item.  If your students are all able-bodied you can have them rush to grab relevant symbols. 
       The catch is that once they have chosen a symbol they must be able to answer that piece of the definition.  If they can’t, they forfeit their turn/points/move.  They also have to put the symbol back on the table, where another student can take it.  

Students can take only 1 symbol per turn. After everyone in the group has had a turn, students can scramble for the remaining symbols.  Students with the most symbols/points/spaces on the game board “win.”  In fact, all of your students win in the vocabulary development game.

Back to school fun in my next posts, so, in the meantime, just……..keep on taking.


  1. The kids really get into it when they get to choose the item to define! lol
    Thanks for reading.