A Day at the Zoo – Zoo Animal PECs

Spring is here, and there’s no better time to visit the zoo than in the spring.  The zoo offers a ton of opportunities to practice PECs and build vocabulary.

Andrew and I took the kiddos to the Austin Zoo on Sunday.  Quite frankly I usually find the zoo to be oh-so boring, but this time it was different.  Maybe it was just because I had missed my family so much while I was in San Antonio at the TSHA Convention learning about things like orthographics, or maybe it was because of the laid back environment and open spaces at the Austin Zoo, or MAYBE it was because I went prepared with a binder full of Zoo Animal PECs to keep Noah and me busy while we walked from animal to animal.

For the  Zoo Animal PECs, I printed off the animal PECs I thought we might see at the zoo and also a PEC of Noah, which I labeled “I” and a PEC for “see.”  I put those two PECs on the velcro strip at the bottom of my binder and had all the animlal PECs attached with velcro to a blank board (laminated and 3-hole punched sheet of paper inserted into binder).  Noah would choose the animal PEC that matched the animal we were seeing and he would put it next to the “I see” PECs.  Then I would point, sign and say the PEC sentence, “I see (pig),” and Noah would sign with me.  He would have become resistant if I made him go through the process for each animal, so there were times I would simply point to the PEC that matched the animal we were seeing and I would say and sign it.  He would sign along with me.

Plan B:  We could have placed the “I see” PECs at the top of a blank PEC board and just added the animals one by one as we encountered them, so the board would have read “I see turtle, monkey, bird, tiger, etc.”

On the Air:  What are your favorite activities that capture teachable moments at the zoo?


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