Top 5 Two-word Phrases Using Core Words: It's Not as Difficult as You Think

Far too many students never make it to the symbol sequencing stage of AAC use.  Whether because of presumed lack of potential or lack of knowledge about how to move students along beyond single words, we end up with many AAC users who are not communicating as competently as they could - and need.

core word phrases

One study (the reference for which I was unable to find in the rat’s nest of my files) rated these the top 5 2-word core word phrases: put on, take off, clean up, get out, fall down.
I’m willing to bet that by the time you read all 5 you were already thinking of the contexts in which you use these every day.

  1. Put on - your clothes, your shoes, your jacket, your hat & mittens
  2. Take off - your clothes, your shoes, your coat, your cap
  3. Clean up - your room, your desk, the classroom, the bathroom, the kitchen
  4. Get out - of the car, your room, the house, that place you should not be
  5. Fall down - the stairs, the ladder, on the uneven/rocky ground

I’ve decided to make some implementation resources for these, starting with this free mini- booklet.  Download (just right-click or drag to your desktop), then print the page below. 

  1. Fold the page in half length-wise, then open.  
  2. Fold it in half top to bottom, then fold each open end into the middle fold.  
  3. Open those two folds again, leaving the paper folded in half. 
  4. Cut along the dotted line from the fold half-way down.  
  5. Open the page again. Re-fold lengthwise. 
  6. Holding the paper at both ends, push them in towards the center, causing the center fold to separate.  
  7. Now you can see the booklet has formed.  
  8. Press all creases to form the book.

What you should end up with is a paper that looks like this. Note that pages 1& 6-8 will be up-side-down when flat. Because the paper folds in half, they will end up right-side-up.

When I did therapy in a school district, I used to make these booklets with my students all of the time. We made up our own stories, made how-to booklets, and used them to re-tell stories.  The students always liked having their own book to take home.

Enjoy this little booklet. There will be more to follow. In the meantime......keep on talking!

 An affiliate link to the kind of toy to buy for your children with language disorders this holiday season.


  1. Love these ideas for the little ones. Your graphics are really helpful and what a great way for the kids to understand how to do things for themselves.

  2. I love this little book! So important to teach these skills

  3. What a great idea..I would use these for sequencing too.

    1. Yes, great idea for multiple uses! Thanks for reading.