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November 5, 2012 / the speech monster

Visual cues for describing

Happy November! Hope y’all had a great time last Wednesday with Halloween-related activities. I’ve been living in Australia for four years now and LOVE it. But honestly, I do miss North America everytime Halloween rolls around because there is not much of a Halloween mood here! The kids enjoy it but the adults don’t seem to as much, and many term it as an “American thing.” Fair enough, but it still makes me miss the fun we had there dressing up, decorating the house/speech room, giving candy to trick or treaters, and making and indulging in fun Halloween decorated treats. It was also a great time to elicit language from kids in speech sessions. I did my own Halloween activity nonetheless, and the kids seemed to love it (especially when they got to eat the candy – or lollies, as they say here).

Moving on from Halloween…

I’ve been meaning to share this for awhile now: visual cues I made using Boardmaker to help students with describing words (using adjectives). (Click here to download a range of Describing Bookmarks.)

A lot of great materials I’ve found and used before have been limited to either cues for animals, or objects, or food. I found that I needed to constantly add or remove cues from my list when helping kids describe different words. For example, a cue for describing animals such as “What body parts does it have” would be irrelevant to a cue for describing people. Inspired by Rebecca’s post and bookmark resource, I made a bunch of different bookmarks as well, and categorized them into visual cues for describing:

  • – animals
  • – people
  • – objects
  • – food

Obviously this is not a complete list. You could easily add places, sport, etc. But this is a starting point and probably the most common categories to use with the lower grades. I found them incredibly useful and can easily whip them out whenever a a kid does retells, or when s/he has word finding difficulties. This can also be helpful for parents to stick on the refrigerator as a reminder to use visual cues to help with their child’s descriptive language. What visual aids do you make or use to help your child with describing?

Click here to download a range of Describing Bookmarks

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