Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Word Bank and Writing Strategy

This summer I have been working with a group of kindergarten through third grade students who have autism. Several of the students have writing goals that need to be addressed and all of them have expressive language goals that need to be addressed. If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that I am a big fan of digital photos to build play skills, critical thinking skills and oral language skills.

Since I find the digital photos so beneficial, I decided to pair that strategy with a manipulative word bank in the hopes of having my students build sentences that they would copy to create a simple paragraph. My goal was that they would build one topic sentence and two detail sentences. We started with modeling and a lot of physical prompts, but I'm hoping the level of prompting will decrease.

Here's what we did:

1) I printed several photos featuring sea life from www.flickr.com.

2) Each student chose a picture that we glued to a large sheet of construction paper.

3) The students were given a file folder with a word bank targeting words that made sense with their picture. (I met with their SLP and we color coded the post its to correspond with the colors and word categories that they already use on their manual communication boards based on Gail Van Tatenhove's system.)

4) Then the students built a sentence by moving the post its to a sentence strip (the sentence strip is just length of file folder cut down).

5) Next the students copied their sentence on a pre-cut piece of paper. (I did this to to visually define the space of the sentence for them. This way the letter spacing and formation is confined to an area that already "looks" like a sentence. )

6) Then they glued the sentence to the piece of construction paper to which we had previously glued their photo choice.

7) We cleared off the sentence strip and started to build another sentence and repeated the steps.

Here's what our first writing samples look like:


K E said...

This lesson is a impressive - it looks so simple, but your explanation shows the thought and planning you put in, behind it.

When you searched Flickr for photos, I hope you used advanced search for photos within the Creative Commons "Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon" photos, and gave photo credit.

I try to do a mini lesson on copyright every time we go to the Internet for images. Do you also know FlickrStorm? It's a useful way to stockpile your searches. Flickorama and findr are also fun, especially if you're using an interactive whiteboard to do the search, but you can't sort within copyright specs.

Michelle_special_ed_teacher said...

Hi KE-
Thanks for your comments. This particular strategy was a lot of fun for me to pull together because it required me to synthesize parts of strategies that were in place or that I knew about to make the lesson cohesive and relevant to my students.

I will have to check out the other links you included....I haven't explored them. I have an ActiveBoard in my classroom, so they could prove to be very fun for us.

Yikes! I did not give photo credit. Is there a standard way on blogs that is used? I did use the Flickr Creative Commons and the "find content to modify, etc." I will check out some of my favorite blogs and see how they give photo credit, but would appreciate any other input, too.