AACtual Therapy with Shareka Bentham: Let’s Get POPPING!!

April 16, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

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We are headed to Barbados with this post, to hear how SLP Shareka Bentham and her prAACtical friends are making popcorn and building language skills. You can see AACtual Therapy with Shareka Bentham: Let’s Get POPPING!!Shareka’s earlier posts here. I love the ease and versatility of this activity which could be a fun way for AAC learners to practice core vocabulary with a manual communication board/book, SGD, or PODD book.


I revisited this activity this week and thought that it would be a great one to share. It’s fun, functional and filling! What more do you need? Making popcorn together is not only one of the best group activities I’ve done, it’s also one of the most fun, and interactive AAC activities I’ve done.  It’s a chance to learn and use new vocabulary, take turns using the AAC device and to do some requesting and describing. Initially, when I worked on this activity I only used a Quicktalker 12 with one board (which I adapted from BoardmakerOnline), so although it was fun and we got to target some goals, there were still many limitations in the types of questions I could ask and the types of responses I could elicit.  We were still able to elicit interactive phrases such as “put in the microwave” “it’s ready”,  “I want to taste”  etc.”

AACtual Therapy with Shareka Bentham: Let’s Get POPPING!!

However I wanted a board that allowed for more describing skills.  I added a visual which students were able to use to follow questions to describe the popcorn, then they chose different (no-tech) words/symbols to describe such as hard/soft, salty, delicious, yucky, white, pop etc.

AACtual Therapy with Shareka Bentham: Let’s Get POPPING!!

Everyone enjoyed the activity, they got to take turns choosing, describing, and eating. We even had a popcorn song (pop, pop, pop) and dance (fingers closing together and dancing) to the sound of the popcorn in the microwave.

I’m currently working on merging the information from the two AAC modes into an integrated program on a high tech communication device so we will also see how that works out.  Feel free to try out the activity and let me know how it works for you.



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This post was written by Carole Zangari

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