Thank you to those of you who viewed my SLP Summit presentation. I had fun putting it together and I appreciate all your questions and comments. You can also see me in person at the ASHA convention, I do love meeting new people. If I did not answer your question, please feel free to email me at Bitetti@lasalle.edu.
I did not have time in my presentation to present on the example lesson structure I put on the slides, so I have written it here. This is a lesson I did with a kindergarten class of around 10 students, though I am sure it can be adapted for various ages and ability levels. In the fall the class learned about owls, their environment, what they eat, etc. So, to go along with the theme, I did some owl related activities and books.
In the book “What Game Shall We Play,” a duck and a frog start the story not knowing what to play. They find animals around the forest and ask them, “What game shall we play?” So, it is a repeated text. Each animal they encounter says they don’t know and to ask another animal. Each animal is found in a specific location, but there is an owl following them the whole time. In the end, they ask the owl what to play, and the owl suggests they all play hide and seek together. Within the book, you get that question form repeated several times, can practice make predictions about which animal will come next (because the children have previewed the animals on the cover), and where each animal will be found. The story also can be used to teach and reinforce story grammar concepts such as characters, setting, problem (initiating event), plan to solve the problem, attempts, solution, and conclusion.
Transition into Session
“We are flying” – Depending on the theme and children’s goals, you can have several transitions into the session. For this example, I picked having the children pretend to fly into the room like owls to go with the owl unit. For example, you can ask the children, “How do owls move?” “Owls fly!” Tell them: “You can fly into the room like owls!” Model: “We are flying, we are flying, yes we are, yes we are (repeat)” To the tune of Frere Jacques. It helps to teach the movement song over a few lessons so the children are familiar with it and can eventually move independently as a class using different actions. When the children have entered the room, and are seated, model irregular past tense: “You all flew into the room like owls! What did you do?” “We flew!”
Another possible transition is to preview the book cover with the children before they enter the room and have them say one animal they see on the cover to enter the room or move to their seat. “I see a ______”
For this example, I picked a simple call and response greeting: “Good afternoon class, good afternoon Miss Dana!”
I began by telling the children that today we are going to read a book called, “What game Shall We Play” and showed the cover. I said, “It’s about some animals who have a problem. They don’t know what game to play.” You can ask the children if they have ever had a similar problem. Are they ever unsure of what to play? How do they solve that problem? etc. I also told them about the author. It was written and illustrated by Pat Hutchins. We read a few of her other books already, so I remind them she also wrote Rosie’s Walk and Don’t Forget the Bacon. We talked about the animals we saw on the cover and identified them as the characters. Before you begin, you can take the opportunity to reinforce whatever the expectations are for sitting and listening to a story in your specific setting.
Then I read the story and asked children to make predictions about where each animal will be found (each location is pictured on each page). For example, “Where do you think they will find the mouse?” The owl is following the animals the whole time and usually one child notices that. Once the animals decide to ask the owl, “What game shall we play?” you can have the children each predict what game the owl might suggest. Because we identified the problem earlier, at the end we talked about how the animals solved the problem. For me, it was always helpful to incorporate into my plan what I was going to discuss and ask as I read the story.
Possible Related Activities – I have briefly summarized the activities here with some possible language targets. Many of these can be adapted to meet your needs and session time.
- Recreate story sequence with magnets on board: As a class, we recreated the story using magnetic animal and location pictures. You can have the children re-sequence the story. Which animal did the frog and the duck ask first? Second, etc. You can give each child a magnet to place on the board in the correct location and practice describing where each animal hid using irregular past tense and prepositions. “The duck and the frog hid in the pond” “The rabbit hid in her hole.”
- Each child makes their own picture scene: After making the magnet scene, I also had each child make their own picture similar to the one pictured below, but without color. The children glue the animals in the correct location on the picture sheet. You can do the picture scene activity all together as a group and have children respond in unison to get multiple repetitions or you can let the children color the pictures while you and other staff rotate through to help each child individually. (Some animal pictures were printed from do2learn.com picture program View2do. I am not affiliated with the company, just like the program). After being at the circle time area for the book, to make their pictures, I had them transition to tables to work. To transition to table, possible transitions:
- What is your favorite game? My favorite game is…
- What was your favorite animal in the story? “My favorite animal was…”
- Follow directions to take on thing on the board, “Clean up a green animal that hops” “I cleaned up the….”
- Acting out the story: Depending on how many children you have in the group, you can have one child be each animal. I made each area of the classroom one of the locations – tree, pond, grass, wall, rabbit hole, etc. Acting out the story gets the children up and moving. Like the above activities, they can also practice remembering the sequence of the story, practice asking questions “What game shall we play?” and practice responding, “I don’t know, let’s go and ask…..” After acting out the story, you can practice using past tense forms to talk about who each child was and what they did. “I was the rabbit and I hid in my rabbit hole”
- Hide stuffed animals in the room: One of my favorite activities is to hide things around the room. I was lucky to work in a school with a variety of stuffed animals! I hid stuffed animals like the book characters around the room: stuffed frog, owl, rabbit, fox, duck, mouse, squirrel. I told the children that some animals were hiding in the classroom and we have to find them. If it’s a small group, you can have all children look for an animal at the same time. Once they find an animal, have them come back to the circle and take turns asking each other, “Where did you find the ____” “I found it under the ____” Again, another opportunity to practice asking questions, answering using irregular past tense, using prepositions.
You could also give each child clues one at a time to find each animal: “The owl is hiding in something we build with” So the child might have to go to the block area to find the owl. Depending on ability level, you can have one child hide an animal and then give another child clues, so one child practices describing and the other child has to listen and follow their directions. Once the animal is found, the child who hid the animal could practice saying “I hid the frog in the ___.” The child who found the animal says where it was. If it’s a large group, to keep everyone engaged, you can have all children ask in unison “Where was the _____?”
- Beginning, middle, end page: If you have smaller groups, another activity could be sequencing the story and teaching the concepts of beginning, middle, end of the story. Even though the book is repetitive, I think it lends itself nicely to that structure. How you structure this activity can vary depending on the needs of the individuals. Some children may be able to practice making summary statements that you write in for them, whereas others children may need to practice sequencing the pictures you give them and matching the picture to the words. You can have the children practice retelling the story to one another and check each others work.
For the wrap up, each child could bring their picture scene to the circle and compare. Discuss how we all made a picture and that the pictures all look similar because all the animals are in the right spots. I like to take the wrap up time to give reinforcement of what was done well. You can have children the complement each other’s pictures. “Tell a friend one thing you like about their picture.” “I like….” You can have them compare pictures – Find one thing that is the same and one thing that is different.
Transition out – hand me your picture for your folder and tell me one thing about it.
I know I do not have a lot of book activities up right now on the site. I hope to change that and make more of these activities available as well as updating the site more often. I hope to also get some first weeks of school activities up as well. There are some in an older post that is searchable.