Last week, I noticed several of my teachers were doing lessons on Community Helpers. I know it is a popular theme around this time of the school year, so I will be using my Vehicles book in the next week for therapy (after Talk Like a Pirate Week, of course!). I love this Vehicles book and my students do as well. <3
The book talks about all kinds of vehicles… 19 to be exact! And it also talks about the people who drive/operate the vehicles such as a fireman, a busdriver, a policeman, a mail carrier, a garbage man, a paramedic, and lots of others. The book comes with matching pieces for the vehicles and also matching pieces of the people who drive them. And the story has a very cool ending that the kids really love.
I use this book several different ways. Sometimes I read the story and have the students match picture-to-picture. Sometimes I review the matching pieces as vocabulary words prior to reading the story. And sometimes I hand out a vehicle to each of my students, prior to reading the story, so they will have to pay extra attention to when the page with their vehicle comes up. I am always asking lots and lots of WHAT, WHO, WHERE, and yes/no questions:
WHAT vehicle does a busdriver drive?
WHO drives a bus?
WHERE does a bus driver go?
What color is the bus?
Do you ride a bus?
Is a bus big or small?
WHO rides on a bus?
As you can see, you can pull lots of language out of just one page. And non-verbal students can answer questions by pointing, exchanging a picture, using an assistive technology device, etc. I also like to use the app Sound Touch (I recommended this a few days ago when I discussed my favorite Barefoot Books and The Animal Boogie). This app is perfect for the Vehicles book as well because of the vehicle category with twelve different types of vehicles. And again, when you tap the screen, a picture of a real life vehicle with sound appears. I usually use this after reading the story, then ask my students to find a particular vehicle or ask them what their favorite vehicle is.
And don’t forget to use their peers during this portion of a language circle. If John says he likes a helicopter, then ask Susie, “What was John’s favorite vehicle?” If she was paying attention and provided the correct answer, then praise her… “Oh’ I like how you were listening and paying attention to what your friend was saying!” It’s always so important that they are engaged even when it is not their turn. 🙂