Last week was T week, and I thought turtles would be a good subject to focus on. Turtle is one of those rare weird words that Noah can actually say pretty well, and I love the opportunity to hear him say his words. So turtles it was. That’s how we stumbled upon How Will We Get to the Beach? A Guessing Game Story by Brigitte Luciani, illustrated by Eve Tharlet. We found this at our local library, so chances are pretty good it’s on the shelves of your library as well. (At the bottom of the post you will find directions for using this activity without the book.)
This book was a jackpot for this mommy always on the lookout for language and cognitive practice for her little boy.
The story starts with Roxanne taking her baby to the beach on a beautiful summer day. She wanted to take five things with her; the turtle, the umbrella, the book, the ball and the baby.
Right here was the first jackpot – four out of five of those words are target speaking words for Noah.
The story follows Roxanne as she tries all different modes of transportation to get to the beach, but none of them enable her to bring all five things with her. So for each new mode of transportation, one item is left off while all the others are pictured.
The text follows the format of “‘Then we’ll ride the to the beach,’ said Roxanne. But something couldn’t go with them. What was it?”
The idea is the child should look at the picture and remember the five things Roxanne wanted to bring and determine which one is missing from the picture. Noah needed a visual and hands-on way to play this game, so I made some PEC cards and a sentence board for him to use. For the free printable download, go here: how will we get to the beach story board 1
This is a seven-page file with pages like this:
The first page of this file contains five PEC cards for you to laminate and cut. Place Velcro loop dots on the back of each cut PEC. Laminate the rest of the pages as well. In each blank space on the remaining pages, place a Velcro hook dot. (Sorry, couldn’t do page numbers, so you’ll have to keep the pages in order.) Read the story to your child, stopping at the end of each spread that asks what is missing. Use the PEC story board pages in order. Point to the first box on the story board, say the word, ask your child to say the word himself, and then ask him to find that object on the page in the original book. Move through each box on the page in that fashion, skipping the blank box. After all the items on the page have been found, ask your child what is missing. Show them the cut PECS and have them choose the object that is missing from the page. Place the appropriate PEC representing the missing object in the blank box. Repeat for the remaining book pages, stopping and using the PEC story board page that goes with each book page that asks the question, “But something couldn’t go with them. What was it?”
It would take just a tiny bit of modification to use this activity without the book – just follow the directions for laminating, cutting and Velcro; lay out the cut PECS, go through each page of the story board with your child, point to each picture on the story board and say the word, at the end of the page, ask them to choose from the cut PECS what is missing on their story board page and place the missing picture in the empty box.
You’ll find this to be a great activity for vocabulary building, speech practice, receptive language skills, critical thinking, short term memory and working memory. It’s just gravy that this book happens to be about going to the beach, and we’re just a few degrees away from summer here in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
All in a day’s work, Moms, all in a day’s work.