PrAACtically September: Resources for a Year of Core Vocabulary
It’s wonderful to hear so many stories of AAC interventionists who are providing learners with access to a larger lexicon, including a growing set of core words. If you are looking for ways to model, practice, and teach these words, it can help to narrow the focus to a subset of words so that there are plenty of learning opportunities. The Year of Core 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 prAACtical 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
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
- 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) – Target Words: we, over, time
- Virginia Wolf, by Kyo Maclear (Author), Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator) – Target Word: we
- Pie in the Sky, by Lois Ehlert (Author) – Target Word: we
- Doughnuts for a Dragon (George’s Amazing Adventures), by Adam Guillain (Author), Charlotte Guillain (Author), Lee Wildish (Illustrator) – Target Word: time
- Two Girls Want a Puppy, by Evie Cordell (Author), Ryan Cordell (Author), Maple Lam (Illustrator) – Target Words: we, write, call
- Froggy Goes to School, by Jonathan London (Author), Frank Remkiewicz (Illustrator) – Target Words: name, sit, time
- Llama Llama Misses Mama, by Anna Dewdney (Author) – Target Word: time
- I.Q., It’s Time, by Mary Ann Fraser (Author, Illustrator) – Target Word: time
- Jessie’s Island, by Sheryl McFarlane (Author), Sheena Lott (Illustrator) – Target Word: write
- Almost, by Richard Torrey (Author, Illustrator) – Target Word: almost
- Daddy Calls Me Man (Richard Jackson Books (Orchard), by Angela Johnson (Author), Rhonda Mitchell (Illustrator) – Target Word: call
- Don’t Call Me Sweet!, by Smriti Prasadam-Halls (Author), Angie Rozelaar (Illustrator) – Target Word: call
- Listen, Listen!, by Phillis Gershator (Author), Alison Jay (Illustrator) – Target Word: listen
- Junket Is Nice, by Dorothy Kunhardt (Author, Illustrator) – Target Word: nice
- Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef, by Marianne Berkes (Author), Jeanette Canyon (Illustrator) – Target Word: over
- Curious George Takes a Train, by H. A. Rey (Author), Margret Rey (Author), Martha Weston (Illustrator) – Target Word: take
- Coyote Places the Stars, by Harriet Peck Taylor (Author) –Target Word: place
Need more ideas? Check out Rachael Langley’s calendar for some wonderfully prAACtical ideas. Here’s a set of fun and easy activities for the Set 1 words (click here to download).
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