- School-age (or slightly below)
Goal: The child will be able to understand and/ or use nouns to identify and talk about items in their everyday environment.
- Have a discussion with the family about what items might be important for the child to understand and use. You want to create a shared list with the parents. It could be things such as, clothing items, foods, utensils, toys. Try to make a list of 10-20 nouns that the child could potentially use on a daily basis.
- From the list select 4-5 words to focus on.
- Go on a hunt with the child and collect these items. As you look for them you want to talk about their location, and repeat the word as much as you can.”. Hmmm a toothbrush, that will be in the bathroom, let’s find a toothbrush in the bathroom”
- Tick the items off your list together, when you have them all together have a discussion about each one. You want to describe and repeat the word as much as you can. Talk about:
- Function: What do you do with it?
- Who uses it? When do they use it?
- What does it look like? (Colour size, shape)
Follow the child’s lead. if they are looking at the bristles of the toothbrush, talk about those. If they move onto another object then talk about that instead.
- Talk about similarities and differences between the different objects. E.g a towel and a toothbrush both go in the bathroom, but a towel is big and a toothbrush is small.
- Prompt the child to use the noun by asking questions. Avoid “testing questions” (Questions that you know the answer to) good examples: What one is your favourite? What goes with the towel best? Shall we try to find all of the blue ones?
- Repeat step three as you return all of the items to their original places.
- Tell the parents what you have worked on, and talk about how they might be able to use multiple repeats to help the child embed their learning from your session. You can give them the Hanen handout Tips to build vocabulary.
Variation: Use different items. You might like to focus on important nouns in one location. I.e all the bedroom things or all the things in the living room.
- Include more nouns.
- See if the child can make their own links between items. E.G “Which ones are the same and why?”
- Focus on steps three, four and five. If the child repeats the noun that is great but try to remove any pressure or expectation on them to do so.
- Tips to build vocabulary handouts.
- Items from a child’s everyday environment.