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Friday, April 28, 2017

Speech Therapy Activities to Teach Basic Concepts Using "Rosie's Walk"

Basic Concepts are essential for success in school. Early concept development begins as young as six to nine months with “more juice” and “all gone.” For school age children, basic concept knowledge is needed for following directions and participation in every aspect of the classroom.

Here is a list of basic concept categories that students need to comprehend and use in the classroom. Most concepts should be well developed by first grade (age 7-8 years).

  • Size (big, little, huge, tiny)
  • Shape (round, flat, rectangular)
  • Basic Colors (red, green, blue)
  • Quantity (some, more, all, none)
  • Emotional state (happy, sad, tired, mad)
  • Sequence (first, next, then, last)
  • Textures (smooth, rough, bumpy)
  • Time/temporal (morning, afternoon, early, late)
  • Spatial/positional (next to, on, under, over)
  • Directional (through, around)
  • Temperature (hot, cold, warm, chilly)
  • Weight (heavy, light)
  • State of matter (full, empty, wet, dry)

Students with speech and language impairments often exhibit weaknesses or deficits in concept development.  Targeted remediation may improve both academic and functional language skills for students receiving speech therapy services.

Use story books to introduce spatial concepts

Basic ConceptsOne of my favorite books to target Spatial Concepts is Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins. The story of a hen who goes for a walk around the farm uses simple text and vibrant illustrations to narrate her stroll across the yard, around the pond, over the haystack, past the mill, through the fence, and under the beehive.

Use props and toys to teach basic concepts

Rosie's Walk
I typically use Rosie’s Walk with Pre-K, Kinder and first grade speech and language groups. Activities can also be modified to use with students enrolled in an adapted curriculum classroom if age appropriate. I pulled toys from my farm set (chickens, trees, hay, tractor, fence, and barn). We took turns retelling and acting out the story. Students also both gave and followed one and two step directions with basic concepts. For example, “Put Rosie next to the hay.” “Put Rosie in front of the tractor,” Put Rosie on top of the haystack.” I also asked “Where?” questions and students responded in complete sentences (example: “Rosie is on the haystack.”).

Plan a craftivity to reinforce basic concepts

Story Puppets and Rosie's Walk
Students can make simple puppets and story props using craft sticks, paper lunch sacks, and printed pictures. To make a bag puppet of any animal or character, look online for a coloring page that can be easily cut into two sections below the head. Your animal or character will need to be facing forward for the puppet to open and close its “mouth.” Color the two pieces then glue the head at the top of the bag. Lift the flap and glue the bottom section of the coloring page just underneath. This creates the perfect puppet for just about any story character. Have students follow or give oral directions using story characters.

Extension activities for basic concepts

I typically target spatial concepts when reading Rosie's Walk. However there are many more concepts that can be introduced using this classic story. These may include:

  • Temporal/time concepts (first, next, then, last)
  • Emotions (silly, frustrated, worried, happy)
  • Quantity (many bees, two frogs)
  • State of matter (wet fox, heavy sack)
  • Time of Day (“Rosie got back in time for dinner.”)

When you read stories to children, you build background knowledge while they make connections and create meaningful experiences. Story books can be a launching point for introduction and remediation of basic concepts.

What is your favorite story book for teaching basic concepts?

I'd love to hear from you. Comment below or send me an email with your wonderful ideas.

Don't forget to sign up for my email list and subscribe to my blog for more ideas and therapy tips.

Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for the complete Rosie's Walk Book Companion as well as other basic concept resources.

Lisa, SLP

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