Book It, Part 12: Revving up the Actions!
Developing story grammar can have
many great intentional side effects that would not occur if we are only
focusing on the smaller (but important) things: vocabulary, morphemes, sentence
structure. By aiming to develop story in our clinical work, we can establish an
interesting context while still modeling and eliciting the
microstructure of language.
Indeed, the most recent ASHA
suggested this approach as resulting in more bang for our buck,
particularly when SLPs are involved in RTI activities: "The SLP provides Tier 1
supports in the classroom through modeled lessons with the whole class. In Tier
2-3, the SLP provides small, group-intensive intervention that simultaneously
targets story grammar and deficient language skills," (Rudebusch and Wiechmann,
Children who have language
difficulties at the microstructure level often also have very limited ability
to tell a story. For those who can give us some detail in a "heap" based on a
context provided (e.g., a book or series of pictures), Rhea Paul suggests using
books at the Action Sequence level, "in which there is a recurring theme but
the order of events doesn't matter," (Paul, 2007). In doing so, we can scaffold
students' ability to form a more sequenced, coherent narrative.
In doing so, I often like to pick
books where there is a whole lot of action going on! In this way, we can
reinforce children's comments, observations, and sentences that reflect what is
going on in the book, without enforcing a defined sequence of events. A few
excellent examples of visually stimulating books where exact sequence is less
important can be found in Robert Neubecker's Wow! School! and Wow!
City! (and others by the author).
These oversized books filled with
vibrant picture scenes are great attention-grabbers for youngsters, and share a
common character of Izzy, a redheaded girl who comes down "from the mountains"
to attend school for the first time and to visit the city, respectively.
Check out Neubecker's website for more examples of his art.
Each page tells a story of its
own, but overall can be woven into an elicited (and perhaps story-mapped)
narrative of what Izzy does first, then, next, after that, and finally! The
books have the added benefits of being filled with semantic and schematic
information to help kids develop categories, and correspond with some
curriculum themes such as communities.
I hope you enjoy Robert
Neubecker's books as much as my kiddos and I have!
Paul, R. (2007). Language
disorders from infancy through adolescence: assessment & intervention.
Edinburgh: Elsevier Mosby
J & Wiechmann, J. (2011, Aug 30). How to fit response to intervention into
a heavy workload.The ASHA leader, 16(10), 10-13.
more of Sean Sweeney at www.speechtechie.com