July Core Word Activities: Week 1
We are using PrACCtical AAC's list of core words for our July augmentative and alternative communication work with Nathaniel. My goal is do one fifteen to twenty minute activity per day that allows me to model the words and motivate Nathaniel to use his device and learn new language skills. There are twelve words in the list; that is a lot to take on all at once. I've found success with focusing on four words per week for three weeks and then having the last week of the month to mix it all up and revisit some of our favorite activities. The words we worked on this week were FIND, COLOR, AND, and LOVE. Nathaniel loves to speak in one word utterances and let his communication partner do the work, but he is more than capable of spontaneous three and four word utterances; longer utterances are emerging. I tend to model between three and five word phrases and sentences. He is becoming aware of pronoun use, present progressive verb endings, and adding a plural s.
We found and opened all twelve words for the month on Nathaniel's device. I also made sure I had low tech cards printed and laminated for each word. Many of this month's words are new to Nathaniel on the device. His receptive language skills are high; he likely understands the meaning of all this month's words already.
Using Nathaniel's stuffed animals I set up a hide and seek game. I hid his Curious George and modeled "Find it," then did the same with his favorite teddy bear. I encouraged him to hide them and instruct me to find each. We then spent some time loving on his animals and saying things like "I LOVE Curious George AND bear." "Curious George LOVES Nathaniel AND Mommy." "Bear LOVES hugs AND kisses." (I molded these full sentences; core words are in capitols to highlight them.) There was a lot of giggling and snuggles with this activity.
Nathaniel made a firework craft in OT. Talking about it with Daddy in the evening gave us opportunity to use phrases like "LOVE the COLORS!" "I FIND green AND blue COLORS in your picture."
Wednesday: July 4th No School
As a tie in with our math concepts of learning about quantity for 1-5, I read the Eric Carle's book 10 Little Rubber Ducks. Using rubber ducks, various low tech aids, and our baby pool, we reenacted the story. Nathaniel enjoyed the part when the box (a basket) falls into the water and all the ducks spread out. I modeled "FIND __ ducks" with low tech cards and on a laminated screen shoot of Nathaniel's home screen. He worked on one to one correspondence on number cards and used his low tech communication aids to repeat my modeled sentences.
We did a color search today! "FIND COLOR ______" was the targeted modeling phrase. Nathaniel and I took turns commanding and searching. I hope this can lead into playing I Spy; I liked that game as a child. Nathaniel told me, "I tired," after four colors and then hid his head under our Bilibo. I love his honesty and respected his communication as a request to end sooner than I had hoped. We'll do it again another day.
Books we used to work on core this week:
Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman was a wonderfully fun book that (with a little modification) used this week's words repeatedly. On each color page, I changed the last wording of the page to "______, _______, Everywhere! Can you FIND COLOR _____ with Bear?" Nathaniel enjoy offering "Can you FIND COLOR" with his device.
I printed and assembled the book and we marked the word LOVE in the text with highlight tape. I modeled all the text with Nathaniel's device pointing to each word in the story.
Each person in the family contributed a sentence to our story about food using the scripted frame work, "I LOVE to eat ______ AND _______." This activity was then used to write a page for Nathaniel's All About Me book.
Nathaniel is a five year old non-speaking child who uses multiple modalities to communicate. His communication device is an iPad with the app Speak for Yourself. He is in kindergarten and is taught at home. Read more about his and our family's journey through blog posts and at his Facebook page, Hold My Words.