Last week I mentioned that at the preschool where I work, I began implementing a new curriculum. As discussed in the last post
, the lessons created focus on our daily walk around the school campus, which serves many purposes:
- calming sensory-enriched experience for the children, such as smelling the flowers, listening for birds and airplanes, etc.
- reinforces basic safety rules, such as looking before crossing the street and minding stop signs
- brings to life basic vocabulary words and concepts that surround the children everyday (i.e. trees, birds, flowers, sky, clouds, etc.)
Below is a list of the various skills and lessons that I have been able to introduce and reinforce with the students using the "outdoor" vocabulary that I've created:
- Naming and Identifying the Vocabulary—Simple and straightforward and always using a combination of words, pictures and signs—"Point to/Circle the ____", "What is this?" etc.
- Sentence Development—Using the core vocabulary to make simple sentences (i.e. "I picked the/a ______", "I see a ______.").
- Yes/no Questions—("Yes, we saw ______ on the walk. No, we did not see _________ on the walk"). For this skill, I try to once again keep everything very visual and we categorize the vocabulary into things we saw and things we did NOT see. For this I added silly items, such as a monkey and a Christmas tree as the things we did NOT see on our walk. Also reinforces the concept of "not".
- BINGO Game with the Vocabulary—I created simple BINGO boards for the class to use during our speech time. Fun way to reinforce the vocabulary and practice following simple 1-2 step directions.
- Describing and Categorizing—This allows the children to use some of the vocabulary that they have learned and apply a new way of looking at it. "Put all the things that fly here, all the things that you can ride on here", etc. We also have talked about color as a way to describe our world—"Trees and grass are green", "The sky is blue", etc.
As you can see, just by using some core vocabulary, I have been able to create numerous activities with information that is pertinent to the children's IEP goals as well as their daily environment. The possibilities for the skills and lessons are truly vast and I plan on revisiting it throughout our summer school session.
Through these lessons, the children are making attempts to talk and sign the words. In addition, it has brought the walks to life and the experience has truly become meaningful for the students. Overall, it was been a very successful adventure for all of us!