Saturday, September 20, 2014

Choosing Books for Building Language and Literacy

School has been back in session for several weeks and I'm back in lesson planning mode. I find it helpful to plan speech-language therapy sessions around a theme. This makes more efficient use of my prep time (when I manage to find some) and keeps me more organized year to year. My objectives for a task will vary depending upon the student and their goals, but I can reuse and adapt the same materials for multiple groups or individual needs. Rachel's awesome post on using apps in themed lesson plans can be found here. In addition to apps, some of my favorite themes are centered around books. Kerry Davis, EdD, CCC-SLP, wrote a wonderful article for the ASHAsphere blog with suggestions for choosing books that build language and literacy. She shares guidelines for selecting books and also gives some examples of titles she uses.  Read the entire article here.

For very young children, or children with language delays, I generally use a couple (or five) quick pointers when perusing the bookstore: 

- Engaging pictures that aren’t too visually complicated but have a clear character and setting.       Targets: Who, what, where, when questions, descriptive language. 

-Books with repetitive words and phrases. Targets: Oral/expressive language and literacy skills through predictable text patterns and repetitive lines. 

-Books that aren’t too long, maybe 10-12 pages. Target: Maximize engagement for short attention spans. 

-Books that can allow the adult to target core language concepts, either through text or illustrations. Target: Syntax, vocabulary. 

-Books that enable the adult to expand beyond the text. Targets: Commenting, labeling how a character feels or what they are thinking.

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Sarah's theme this week was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr.  The purple cat is and always will be her favorite even though she is allergic to cats in real life.

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