Hello Families! Happy March! Here are some of the language concepts we are working on in speech this month.
- St. Patrick’s Day
- 4-leaf clover
- pot of gold
- Dr. Seuss (bday 3/3)
Ideas for Language at Home – Language Through Role-Playing
Children’s favorite storybooks provide a great opportunity for developing and practicing a variety of speech and language skills. Make role-playing fun by adding creative props (i.e., masks, costumes, settings, etc.) and acting out the stories.
How Do I Use Role-Playing to Build Language Skills?
There are many ways to use storybooks to build language skills. Careful selection of the book helps to incorporate more language skills. Some areas to target include:
· Requesting – Assign roles so that the child must request information, objects, and actions. For example, using the storybook, The Three Little Pigs, let the child play the role of the wolf and you play a pig. Manipulate the environment with cardboard boxes designed to look like each of the three houses. The “wolf” must request action by saying, “Little pig, little pig, please let me in.” Also, leave necessary items out of the scene, allowing the child to request an object. (For example, don’t have all three of the houses.)
· Comparing – Do visual comparisons such as likes and differences (size, color, type, age, gender, ethnicity, etc.) Depending on the story, you may even do more in depth comparisons such as emotional characteristics (good, bad, happy, sad, etc.)
· Vocabulary Building– Do extension activities where you disassociate the child from the character. For example, if the child was the “wolf” in Little Red Riding Hood, you could talk about wolves (habitat, characteristics, compare/contrast with a pet, etc.)
· Turn-taking – To work on this pragmatic skill, you can remind your child that each character has a turn to talk and act. Reinforce with the text from the book, if necessary. Carry over this important pragmatic skill into daily life.
· Phonemic Awareness Rhyming – Point out words that rhyme, begin and/or end with the same letter, or have the same vowel sound. Increase phonemic awareness by purposely mispronouncing words, allowing the child to correct you. Let the child think of additional rhyming words. Accept all nonsense words, if they rhyme (i.e., big, pig, rig, wig, tig, etc.)
· Social Interaction – If there’s more than one child participating in the activity, observe and coach the children’s social interactions. Encourage spontaneous speech, requesting, and model appropriate behavior, if necessary.
May the Luck of the Irish smile on ya’!
J Stacey Bernasconi, Speech-Language Pathologist