Since we started AACreATively in October, we have enjoyed getting to talk to and share ideas with some amazing parents and professionals. This is our way of saying “Thanks!” to those of you who have supported the blog.
Shrunken Treasures shortens 9 literary masterpieces into beautifully illustrated verse that is appropriate for children of all ages.
The book includes:
- The Odyssey
- Frankenstien (The illustrated monster is adorable.)
- Moby-Dick (Written to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.)
- Jane Eyre (Written to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”.)
- A Thousand and One Nights
- Don Quixote
- The Metamorphosis
- Remembrance of Things Past
- About the Stories (Short, funny blurbs written by the author about each story.)
Good luck and we hope you enjoy this wonderful book!
Lauren and Amanda
Finding ways to motivate older students can be difficult. You want to be age respectful while also providing instruction that is cognitively appropriate. I created this Facebook activity as a way to increase student motivation during writing activities.
Students can write a status at the beginning or end of the day. The teacher can write the morning message as a status. Students can “Like” the status, they can use an emoji to show how they are feeling, check-in at their current location, or tag a classmate.
Click here to download the activity.
This is the main board for the activity (it is called “Facebook”). The other files are pop-up boards.
As part of our “Read The Sentence” predictable chart writing lesson (you can find the 5 plan here), we have been using tap-lights and a Boardmaker activity to increase student engagement. The tap-lights can be purchased on Amazon, hardware stores, CVS, etc. and you can lay out one tap light for each word (the words can be on or above the light). During the lesson, the student says each word and turns on the corresponding light. Our tap-lights decided to give us a little trouble so I made a back-up Boardmaker activity (download here).
The title page introduces the activities and allows students to turn a light on to practice.
The first page has the sentence with the final word blank. Each box will turn yellow and the text will turn black when it is selected. When the board is in “use” mode you can type in the message display bar and when the box surrounding it is selected it will light up.
Recently, a discussion among friends in our AAC community came up, about whether or not we should be customizing devices for AAC users to only include words they understand. To clarify, “understand” seemed to refer to the user’s ability to fully comprehend the meaning of the word. One school of thought was to remove words if the user did not have this “understanding.” Our school of thought is absolutely not! For example, Lauren and I have a context for the word “astrophysics” and might say it when talking about last night’s episode of “The Big Bang Theory;” but if you asked us to describe it or tell you about it… we couldn’t. This does not mean that we can’t use the word. Following this train of thought, we believe our AAC users have the right to say any word they want even if they don’t necessarily know the meaning of it. This creates wonderful, unexpected teaching opportunities.
A point I’d like to make about these teaching opportunities is that they don’t necessarily mean the AAC user will walk away with an understanding of the word. And that’s ok! Their verbal peers might not understand your explanation either, but they can still say the word if they choose to! My cousin recently used a swear word and when asked by her mother if she knew what that word meant, she said “no.” Her mother’s reply was simply, don’t use that word again! Verbal speakers use words they don’t understand, so AAC users can too! There may also be times when you have to level your explanation for the user. For example, when young children ask “where do babies come from?” their parents and teachers don’t usually tell the whole story! Depending on the child’s abilities, you may choose to provide a simplified explanation!