Hey Hey SLPs! In this weeks episode you will learn ways that you can use a theme to teach vocabulary depth with your students who have language impairments. When we use themes it can help add in new words to those existing semantic networks. It can also make it easier for a child to learn new words if they can fit it into a system or category that a child has already learned well. So, if we use themes in our therapy rooms, we can build that background knowledge and semantic networks, thus making vocabulary growth easier for our students. Today, I am going to share 4 strategies for how you can build depth of vocabulary knowledge using themed words.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- Explicitly teaching the meaning of the words with kid friendly definitions
- Teaching about features or function to form category groups. For example, if you discuss a sand bucket, you can name the category of a beach toy, function – you put things inside it like sand, shells, shape- cylinder, made out of – plastic
- Multiple exposures to words in varied contexts – this is when you can give the child more opportunities to hear and engage with the word while reading a beach-themed book, or using beach vocabulary to build sentences, answer wh-questions, or create a hands on activity such as a sensory bin to use the beach vocabulary in a new context.
- Relating words thematically or in a taxonomy. Taxonomy – a bathing suit is an outfit for the beach, which you wear during summer, and is clothing. Thematic connection – beach you bring a swimsuit, towels, cooler with food, sand toys, boogie board, sunscreen, umbrella, etc.
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