Cowboy Camp – Literature Extension Activities for Speech and Language Development

I finally decided what I want to be when I grow up.  For a while I thought it might be a teacher, a speech and language pathologist, maybe a nurse, but now I’m thinking what I really want to be is a children’s librarian.  Wouldn’t that be a blast???

In the meantime, since I already have the very, very best job in the whole wide world (being a wife of one and a mommy to seven), I’m going to try my hand at some literature extension activities that focus on Noah’s growing expressive and receptive language as well as visual and auditory comprehension, following directions, sequencing, emerging concept understanding, well, you get the picture.  The books  we’ll use are either our around-the-house favorites or borrowed from the local library.  One thing I’ve learned about library books is that the majority of books in the children’s section usually are found in most libraries, so be sure to check yours.

If literature extension activities with a focus on speech and language development are what you are looking for, please take a look at my Language-Rich Picture Books and Extension Activities Page for a complete listing of books, activities and general information and instructions on the different features you may find in these posts.  In other words, if you are looking for books to use in speech therapy or language play at home or in the clinic or classroom, you’ve come to the right place.  I’m starting this feature as of today, so although there may not be much as of December 2012, more is on its way.

I’ve been working on this set all weekend and it’s been SOOOO much fun!  I know, I know, I have a bad habit of starting new things, making promises of more to come and then, well, I drop the ball.  I’ve loved books for as long as I remember, and I’m enjoying teaching myself a little graphic design (if you can call it that); so I think this might actually stick.  I’ve started a new page entitled Language-Rich Children’s Books and Extension Activities.  Be sure to click here to visit the page and get a run-down on how to use the different sections.

We borrowed Cowboy Camp by Tammi Sauer from the library, and it gave me lots of material to work with.  You can really use the printables whether you read the book or not, especially if you are looking for something with a cowboy theme.  And who couldn’t stand to add cowboy and boots to their ASL vocabulary?

As usual, these materials are free, and I have made most of them in black and white.  I figure it’s easier to get somebody to help you color them in than it is to find a way to print color materials if you don’t have a color printer.  In case you ever wonder what chores you could possibly assign to your 6- or 7-year-old – this is a great one!  You’ll find links to websites and printables by clicking on the bold brown text.

Cowboy CampSynopsis:  Join Avery as he goes off to cowboy camp with a too-small hat, a too-big belt buckle and too-red boots.  He battles some pretty big insecurities and winds up being the hero of the camp.

Speech Words:  Ah-ah-ah choo!, boot, beans.  There is only one “Achoo” in the text, but sneezing is mentioned a couple other times.  Noah does a pretty good “Achoo” with gestures and all, so we practiced at each mention of sneezing to get in a good “Achoo.”    Same thing with beans and boots, just a couple mentions in the book, but there are several more opportunities to practice the word through the illustrations. 

American Sign Language (ASL)Cowboy Camp ASL – moon, hat, cow, horse, ASL video for boot – http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/BOOT, ASL video clip for cowboy – http://www.handspeak.com/word/index.php?dict=coo&signID=502.  Although the word “moon” is not prevalent in the text, many of the illustration pages have a moon on them, so we played a lot of “Where’s the Moon” and “What’s that?” (pointing to the moon.)

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Concepts – Big and Little:  cowboy camp big and little file folder game,  Your child places items in the  big or little column according to size.  This is a great time to work on two-word phrases.  The script goes like this, “What’s that?”  Answer – (signed or spoken) “Cow.”  “Is it a big cow or a little cow (gesturing or signing)?”  Answer:  “Big.”  Respond with “Big” as you prompt your child to do the same.  Immediately after your child responds, point to the object and prompt your child to name the object, so their answer should be, “Big cow.”           

Colors  – cowboy camp color word matching game.  Red boots are a theme throughout the book, The cowboys wear a variety of colors via their pants and bandanas, a perfect opportunity to quiz color words with questions like, “Who is wearing a blue bandana?”  Your child should respond by pointing to the appropriate cowboy.

Additional Resources (all free, all the time): 

http://www.pre-kpages.com/texas/ – Here you’ll find a TON of cowboy- and Texas-themed ideas for preschoolers and kindergarteners – printables, arts and craft activities, etc.

http://homeschoolcreations.com/CowboyPrintables.html – Here are those high-quality “tot” or preschool packs – pre-writing sheets, number puzzles, alphabet identification, labeling – all high quality adorable cowboy graphics.  This preschool pack even comes with a kindergarten expansion pack.

Have fun, and be sure to let me know what you think!

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