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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ready for More Vocabulary Fun? Six More Ways I Can Use These Words!

Vocabulary instruction for students with language delays or impairments needs to be multi-faceted and to provide repetition, repetition, repetition.
In any unit students need to be provided with multiple ways to see, hear, and use new words.

Accessing background knowledge can be difficult for some of these students. They often have far fewer “real world” experiences.  They don’t go out as often or to as many places as their typical peers; making learning new vocabulary even more difficult.

What are some ways we can bring the knowledge to them in a variety of formats?

interactive books:  There are many forms interactive books can take; from single words per page with a matching interactive piece to add, to more complex sentences without an actual symbol:symbol match. This gives students something to do besides fidget. 

cloze procedures (fill in the blank): This is another way to work with vocabulary that can be as simple or complex as your students need it to be. You might have a 3-word sentence, with students filling in the last word with text or a picture symbol.  Or you could create a multi-sentence body of text with a missing word to be filled in.

worksheets with multiple choice responses: When I was a young speech-language pathologist, it was frowned upon to use worksheets.  I was told those were for older or lazier SLPs.  But the harsh reality is that we Do. Not. Have. Time.  There is not enough time to prep materials, organize them for the day ahead, do all the laminating and cutting and velcro sticking.  And well-made worksheets provide another interaction with the vocabulary.

cut & paste activities: These are usually more worksheet formats but with interaction between student and materials.  Again, this gives students something to do besides fidget, and add another dimension to vocabulary interaction.  Cut & paste activities can also be good for sequencing the steps or events, and choosing in a multiple choice format.

self-made books: Students can be involved in making their own books using flip book templates, or tabbed book templates, or other interactive notebook type of manipulables.  Student may be ore invested in books they help to create.

word searches or crossword puzzles: For students with literacy skills, these can be another fun way for students to interact with the words.  They don’t have to be excellent spellers, as long as they can read the words in a word search.  And crosswords pull in those higher level skills; having to think of the word after reading or hearing a clue.  

As an example, I have an Under the Sea interactive book that I have made and sell in my store.

Included in the resource you will find:
    • A 17 page interactive book with a repeated line naming sea animals. Have students “read” the repeated line(s). Velcro the matching animal at the bottom of the page. A communication board is provided for nonverbal students, using Smarty Symbols; all rights reserved.
    • 17 picture cards with the same sea life that can be used to play a Memory-type card game to practice vocabulary. (Make 2 copies of these pages.) Students name the animals as they turn them over.
    • A 12 page interactive book, with repeated line, telling what the sea animals eat. Images are also provided to velcro to this book’s pages. There is also a Venn diagram to use to sort plant from meat/fish eaters.
    • An underwater barrier game for practice with giving & following directions and descriptions.
    • A following directions coloring page.
    • A writing activity page. Students color the fish and write, “If I were a fish I would be….”
    • 36 colorful fish cards for playing Go Fish or Memory type games. Students practice providing descriptions as they ask for the card they need, or that they have turned over.
    • A life cycle of the sea turtle worksheet and matching small book with real photos that you can make for each student.
    • A fish puppet to cut, color, and use for language or play.
    • A sorting/categorizing activity for ocean v. land animals, along with an exclusion worksheet.
    • A sorting activity for big v. little sea animals.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to interact with the vocabulary included in this resource.
What would I add if my students were more literate?  That final word work piece.
Fortunately, my friends at have me covered.  Check out this sea life crossword puzzle.  It would be a great addition to any Ocean or Under Sea unit.

Listening to descriptions and finding the correct vocabulary word to write in is a great vocabulary target.
What’s an even better way to use crossword puzzles? Provide the puzzle filled in with the answers, and have students write the clues.  This is a much harder and higher level thinking skill for students.
Given the word “starfish,” can your students come up with an accurate descriptive clue; like the one used in this puzzle: “a sea creature in the shape of a 5 posted star.”
Grab a copy of this puzzle by right clicking on the image to download it.  On a Mac you can just click and drag it to your desktop, too.

Keep on talking - even underwater!

If you're going to the ASHA Conference next month, stop by and say, "Hi."

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