PrAACtically September: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words
Are you supporting AAC learners who have SGDs or communication boards/books with high-frequency words? If so, join us as we work to model, practice, and teach these words throughout the day. It can feel overwhelming, so we tend to focus on a subset of words each month.
The Year of Core Vocabulary approach isn’t a developmental list of words to be introduced in a specific order, but rather a way of gradually exposing learners to more and more words over time. We do that by modeling them on their device or communication aid when we talk, and plan specific instructional activities to teach word meanings, play games to help them better recognize and understand the symbols for those words, and, elicit them frequently from those who are just learning their AAC systems. Our AAC friends need practice, practice, and more practice. Over time, they will gain more fluency and automaticity with the words in their AAC system.
Whether you are following along with the first set of core words (2013; 12 words/month) or the second set (2014; 16 words/month), or just getting started, here are some helpful resources. Our words for this month are as follows.
- Set 1 (2013): almost, call, listen, name, nice, over, place, sit, time, we, write
- Set 2 (2014): around, bug, cool, far, fly, hair, kind, less, lunch, middle, money, open, orange, sometimes, through, tomorrow
We can model and elicit them on their own or in sentences like these (download here).
Thanks to the support of PrAACtical AAC readers from near and far, we’ve assembled some resources for a range of AAC symbols.
- Templates for you to plug in your own symbols: Set 1 words, Set 2 words
- Speak for Yourself: Set 1 words; Set 2 words
- Minspeak/Unity version: Set 1 words
- PCS versions: Set 1 words, Set 2 words
- Lesson Pix: Set 1 words
- Symbol Stix: Set 1 words
- 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)
As we all know, story reading is a great way to highlight core words, build fluency with AAC, and support literacy development. Here’s a book list, courtesy of Yukiko Okuma, that can be used to model and elicit the first set of core words (2013). Happy reading!
- Bird and Bear, by Ann James (Author, Illustrator) – we, over, take, time
- Virginia Wolf, by Kyo Maclear (Author), Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator) – name, we, write
- Pie in the Sky, by Lois Ehlert (Author) – Target Word: almost, over, we
- Doughnuts for a Dragon (George’s Amazing Adventures), by Adam Guillain (Author), Charlotte Guillain (Author), Lee Wildish (Illustrator) – call, listen, nice, take, time
- Two Girls Want a Puppy, by Evie Cordell (Author), Ryan Cordell (Author), Maple Lam (Illustrator) – call, take, we, write
- Froggy Goes to School, by Jonathan London (Author), Frank Remkiewicz (Illustrator) – almost, name, place, sit, time
- Llama Llama Misses Mama, by Anna Dewdney (Author) – call, listen, take, time
- I.Q., It’s Time, by Mary Ann Fraser (Author, Illustrator) – listen, over, time
- Jessie’s Island, by Sheryl McFarlane (Author), Sheena Lott (Illustrator) – name, place, write
- Almost, by Richard Torrey (Author, Illustrator) – Target Word: almost, time
- Daddy Calls Me Man (Richard Jackson Books (Orchard), by Angela Johnson (Author), Rhonda Mitchell (Illustrator) – call, listen, name, sit
- Don’t Call Me Sweet!, by Smriti Prasadam-Halls (Author), Angie Rozelaar (Illustrator) – call, name, nice
- Listen, Listen!, by Phillis Gershator (Author), Alison Jay (Illustrator) – listen, sit
- Junket Is Nice, by Dorothy Kunhardt (Author, Illustrator) – almost, nice, sit
- Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef, by Marianne Berkes (Author), Jeanette Canyon (Illustrator) – over, name, take,
- Curious George Takes a Train, by H. A. Rey (Author), Margret Rey (Author), Martha Weston (Illustrator) – listen, over, sit, take
- Coyote Places the Stars, by Harriet Peck Taylor (Author) – almost, name, place
Need more ideas? Check out Rachael Langley’s calendar for some wonderfully prAACtical ideas. She’s done an amazing job with these perpetual calendars (just write in the numbers). You can download it here.
Here’s a set of fun and easy activities for the Set 2 words (click here to download). The dates won’t match up but all the playful ideas for AAC practice are as relevant as ever.
Much appreciation to Bill and Lori Binko, Brian Whitmer, Nancy Inman, Lisa Timm, Eric Sailers, Rachael Langley, Heidi LoStracco, Alison Wade, Russell Cross, Gail Van Tatenhove, Yukiko Okuma, and all the others who have made these resources and allowed us to share them.
This post was written by Carole Zangari