PrAACtically April – AAC Resources for A Year of Core Words: The Learn-at-Home Edition
We’re entering a new era in AAC learning, one that’s centered around learning at home. Whether you are a parent trying to keep your child’s AAC skills up in the absence of their regular therapy and schooling, or a professional who is providing AAC support from afar, we hope that our monthly Year of Core Vocabulary Learn-at-Home Edition posts help you stay focused and keep your learners using their AAC skills. In today’s post, we share some ideas for boosting core word learning throughout the week with a focus on a small set of words. Whether you are following along with the Set 1 (12 words/month) or the Set 2 words (16 words/month; Different than the previous core words), or are just getting started, this post has some helpful resources.
Our words for this month are as follows.
- Set 1 List: big, busy, do, drink, feel, he, in, make, out, some, tell, who
- Set 2 List: blue, brother, close, family, head, last, long, no, old, right, scared, soft, thing, top, wash, whole
We have some specific ideas for how to build a learning routine around these words, but before we get into that, here are some resources to help with implementation.
- Templates for you to plug in your own symbols: Set 1 words, Set 2 words
- Minspeak/Unity version: Set 1
- PCS versions: Set 1; Set 2
- Symbol Stix version: Set 1
- Lesson Pix: Set 1 Words
- Speak for Yourself: Set 1, Set 2
- Smarty Symbols: Set 1 words, Set 2 words
- CoughDrop: Set 1 words; Set 2 words
- WordPower: Set 1 words (Note: This is a large file that contains the resources for several versions of WordPower)
- WordPower: Set 2 Words in Symbol Stix and PCS (Both are large files that have sets for different versions of WordPower
The beauty of core words is that we can use them all throughout the day. Here are some activity ideas to get you started. Click on the links for more concrete information about how to use each of these to build communication.
- Everyday: Check the calendar (below) and complete the activity of the day.
- Monday: Sing along with a video featuring the word drink. Read a book from the list below. Take a walk or play in the yard if conditions permit. Make a simple recipe.
- Tuesday: Do a language experience survey. Play with shaving cream. Play ball. Sing along with a video featuring the word ‘he.’
- Wednesday: Make art. Read a book from the list below. Make an avatar. Sing along with a video featuring the word ‘who.’
- Thursday: Create a picture collage or talking photo. Sing along with a video featuring the word ‘make.’ Video chat with a friend or family member and have a catch-up conversation. Tune in to an animal webcam and tell others about it.
- Friday: Read a book from the list below. Use online storytelling tools like Tellagami to share your experiences with others. Watch a video featuring the word ‘out.’ Make your own online comic strip.
- Saturday: Build a word cloud. Browse through a magazine. Get out some puzzles. Practice the word ‘some’ with this song on handwashing.
- Sunday: Do some scrapbooking. Play with toy cars and bubbles. Read a book from the list below. Sing along with a video featuring the word ‘feel.’ Make a rainbow.
While engaging in those activities, you’ll want to model core words in sentences. Here are some suggestions.
Looking for ideas to model these words and/or have AAC learners practice using them? Rachael Langley has a month of wonderful ideas for us in this perpetual calendar. Click on the image to download a printer-friendly copy, add the dates for 2020, and you are set to go.
You can access calendars from previous years via the images below.
Reading is a great way to model and elicit core words. Here are some book suggestions for each core word list. Check your public library’s website to see how to access digital books.
Books for Set 1 (big, busy, do, drink, feel, he, in, make, out, some, tell, who)
- Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina: busy, do, feel, he, in, make, some, tell
- Koala Lou by Mem Fox: do, feel, in, out, some, tell
- Stone Soup by Marcia Brown: big, do, drink, feel, he, in, make, out, some, tell
- The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant: big, busy, do, in, make, out, some, tell, who
- The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle: big, busy, do, feel, he, in, tell, who
Books for Set 2 (blue, brother, close, family, head, last, long, no, old, right, scared, soft, thing, top, wash, whole)
- Brave Irene by William Steig: blue, close, family, head, long, no, old, right, scared, thing, top, wash
- Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen: close, head, long, no, old, scared, thing, whole
- Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell: close, family, head, long, right, scared, thing, whole
- The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell: brother, close, family, long, no, scared, whole
We’re grateful to Nancy Inman, Brian Whitmer, Tina Lombardi, Barbara Fernandes, Russell Cross, Gail Van Tatenhove, Allison Wade, Eric Sailers, Bill and Lori Binko, Heidi LoStracco, Rachael Langley, and all the others who have contributed to this effort.
This post was written by Carole Zangari