Tag Archives: activities for How Will We Get to the Beach

PECs – Photos, Picture Symbols, or Both?

When I first entertained the idea of intergrating PECs (picture cards) into Noah’s communication strategies, it made sense to me to use real photos.  I mean, if I want Noah to know what something is, it just makes sense for him to learn it through a photo of the actual object versus a drawing or symbol of the same object.

Ah, but that was before I read up on Picture Exchange Communication Symbols and realized there is a well-developed train of thought behind using drawings or symbols versus photos.

If you think about it, words are really “symbols” or  representations of an object.  The word is not really the object, it’s just a combination of letters that we learn represents the named object.

Photos are the very easiest way for a child to recognize an object (other than looking at the actual object).  A photograph is a representation, a “symbol” of the actual object.  Photos and real objects are closely linked.   The relationship between the object and a drawing of the object is a little more abstract.  A black and white symbol that represents the object is even more of a distant relationship, and the actual spoken word is the most distant relationship from the object.  When we use PECS, PECs or picture cards (or any other way you want to label them), we are trying to inch closer and closer to recognizing the relationship between words and objects.

Depending on your child’s language or speech issue, you and your child’s speech therapist should carefully consider which symbols – photos or pictures – best support the spoken word/object relationship  to your child.

These days I’m finding that Noah’s understanding of words leaves his ability to communicate those words in the dust.  I dedicate most of my time with him to supporting his speech efforts, but I don’t want to neglect his acquisition of vocabulary, and I definately want to make sure that he knows what each object actually looks like versus just what an illustrated representation of that object looks like.

That’s what today’s freebie is all about.  I’ve taken some of the key words out of How Will We Get to the Beach by Brigitte Luciani and made a matching worksheet out of them.  Whether your child is familiar with the book or not, this matching exercise reinforces the idea that drawings of objects and pictures of objects both can represent the same word.  Simply print off the worksheet, laminate it if you want to reuse it at a later date, and have your child draw lines to match each drawing to it’s corresponding photo.  If your child is not familiar with these types of activities, draw dotted lines to match the objects and have your child trace your lines.  After a couple times tracing the lines, see if your child can draw the lines on his own accompanied by your prompting.  Remember, our goal is success – and it’s our job to give our children all the support they need to be successful.

How Will We Get to the Beach – Free Printable Activity

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.

how will we page 1how will we page 2

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:

how will we get to the beach - page 1

Thanks to www.mrsriley.com for making things like this so easy to put together!  Members can find the fully editable file here:  http://mrsriley.com/app/#fileID=64402

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.