(Student= Child, Teacher=Parent)


    General Communication Guidelines: 

    *TALK TIME:  Take the time to allow a student to create and state a message.

    * LISTEN TIME:  Take the time to listen to a message.




    When communicating with a student, the teacher should affirm understanding of the student’s spoken message by repeating the student response while expanding the statement with additional details, descriptive information, accurate grammar, sentence word order, etc.   This is a positive way to affirm student efforts at communication while providing accurate and appropriate feedback and language models. 

    Ex.  Student:  The truck goed.  Teacher:  Yes, the red truck went down the street.

    Ex.  Student:  I am gone to a birthday parties.  Teacher:   I understand that you went to a birthday party.


    1)      Visualize and Verbalize spoken and written language (Lindamood-Bell):  The student should draw a picture to represent a presented visual target, sentence or paragraph.  This activity encourages development of visual images that represent spoken and written language as well as promoting comprehension of presented verbal/written information.


    ·         Visual target:  The teacher should have a relatively simple picture from a coloring book or children’s story book as a reference.  The student should not be allowed to see the picture or the cover of the book.  The student will then ask questions regarding what they perceive might be in the picture.  The student should be encouraged to “visualize” what is in the picture as it is being described. Questions might initially be rather broad, but should narrow in scope as details are refined. The student should be encouraged to ask questions such as: Is there a “dog” in the picture.  The teacher would then respond with something along the lines of: Yes (or no), there is a dog (or 2 dogs) in the picture.  The student would then be encouraged to ask questions that would determine what the “dogs” are doing, what they look like, where there are etc.  Questioning would continue in that same vein in order to determine all visual elements within the target picture. Throughout the student questioning cycle, the teacher consistently recalls and lists all of the visual details as they are discovered. The student should be asked to continually visualize what the picture may look like.  When all questioning is completed, the student should then draw the picture as they perceive it, given the details determined through questioning.  When the student is finished, they may then see the target picture.  Details included or omitted should be reviewed and discussed.


    ·         Sentence and Paragraph level practice: The student can illustrate presented sentences and/or paragraphs.  The student and/or teacher should read a sentence and/or paragraph.  Each person would then draw a picture that they believe represents the visual details within the sentence or paragraph. It would be a good idea for the student as well as the “teacher” to do separate illustrations and then compare pictures/details when finished.



    2)      Paraphrasing:  Using the philosophy stated in the general communication guidelines, it is helpful for a student to hear their narrative comments paraphrased so they can learn that one idea can be expressed in a number of ways while still retaining message intent.

    Ex.  I was sad that it rained during the party yesterday.

    Paraphrased statement:   I understand that you were very disappointed that the celebration was ruined by the weather on Wednesday.


    ·         Paraphrasing skill development:  The student to selects a “noun” word (ex. rain) and then creates and states a sentence that contains that word.  A different person then must restate the same sentence but using a paraphrased format.  This activity can be done round robin style with each person having the opportunity to create the original sentence as well as paraphrase statements created by others within the group. 

    Ex. I think it will rain tomorrow.

    Paraphrased statement:   I believe that it might rain on Friday.


    3)      Statement and Question Building:  Have a student determine a “noun” type word (ex. house) and then everyone in the group needs to create and state a sentence or question that contains the target word.


    Statement:  Ex.  The student selects the word “house.”  The student then creates and states a sentence that includes that word.  Ex. My family lives in a house.  All others within the communication group can then create and state their own sentence that includes the word “house.”  If any presented statements contain language usage errors, the teacher should use the general communication guidelines to positively affirm the communication attempt while providing an accurate language model for the student.


    Question:  The process for creating and stating questions can be the same as those identified above. 

    An additional idea would be for the student to be given a specific question word that would have to be used in conjunction with the selected “noun” word.

    Ex. WHO:  Who lives in the house?

    Ex. WHERE:  Where is your house?

    Ex. WHEN:  When was your house painted?

    Ex. DO:  Do you know who used to live in your house?


    4)      Dictionary Game:  A dictionary is provided and as it is each person’s turn, they look through the dictionary, trying to find a word that they believe no one else in the group will know the meaning of/definition for.  Once they have selected a word, everyone else in the group tries to define the word and tell the meaning of the word.  If no one in the group is able to correctly define the word, then the person with the dictionary can give clues to help the group determine word meaning.  As each word is defined, the dictionary is passed from person to person so that everyone has an opportunity to select a word to try and “stump” the group. 





    5)      30 Second/ 1 Minute Talk:  The student selects a “noun” word (ex. door) and then has a 30 second or 1 minute time cycle to describe/tell everything they know about that object.   When the time period is completed, others within the group can contribute other descriptive ideas not mentioned in the original time cycle.  Students can be encouraged to beat their own descriptive “record” or they can try to tie or beat the teacher’s descriptive “record.”  ie. If the teacher is able to describe an object with 12 details, the student tries to describe an object with 12 or more details.


    6)      Storytelling:  The student selects 3-5 “noun” type words (ex. rabbit, spoon, umbrella, banana, boat).  These words may then be placed in any order that the student wishes.  The student then must create and state a story that includes and adds the “noun” words to the story in the order determined by the student. Students should be encouraged to create stories that have appropriate sequence of ideas, grammar and sentence word order.  The teacher can do sentence starters, cueing and models to assist the student.  When this activity is completed, other students within the group can create their own original stories using the same objects in the same order or by rearranging the order of the objects.  Stories can be created and produced using spoken and/or written language.


    Ex. Once there was a rabbit that was very hungry.  He had a spoon to eat with, but no food to eat. He decided that he needed to go to the store to get some food.  It was raining outside, so the rabbit used his umbrella as he walked to the store.  The rabbit bought some cereal and bananas at the store.  When the rabbit returned home he ate the food he had bought at the store while he watched a movie about a big boat that sailed to Africa.


    7)      Build a Sentence/Question #1:  Using either word magnets or words printed on paper/cardstock, students can create sentences/questions using the words available.  Students should have a significant number of words to select from. 


    8)      Build a Sentence #2:  This is an activity that is done in a round robin style and is best suited to a small group.  The first student has to select a “noun” type word (ex. boy) and then start a sentence with a “WHO” phrase.  The next person in the group extends the sentence with “WHAT” phrase.  The third person adds to the sentence with “WHY” phrase.  The fourth person extends the sentence with a “WHEN” phrase.  The final person finishes the statement with a “WHERE” phrase.



     WHO:  The boy

     WHAT:  climbed into an airplane

     WHY:  for a vacation

    WHEN:  last summer

    WHERE:  in New York