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Listening for Basic Concepts All Year 'Round
Ages: 5-8   Grades: K-3

Lovable Brennan Bear brings fun, unique concept lessons to the classroom every week, from September through May. 



  • Understand basic concepts for the classroom
  • Improve listening skills for the classroom
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*The CD contains the complete book.  All pages are printable.
** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

Teach concepts centered on exciting, seasonal themes.  The concepts are introduced and reinforced through heartwarming, humorous stories about Brennan Bear.  Children listen for the target concepts in the stories, story questions, and activity directions.  

The weekly activities keep your group buzzing with laughter and learning.  Most of the activities are ready to teach.  The activities and materials include:

  • creative stories
  • fun worksheets for following directions
  • materials and instructions for hands-on activities
  • monthly take home letters and activities
  • progress rechecks

A total of 86 concepts are taught in forty weekly lessons.  There are two activities in each lesson.  Some of the concept pairs/groups are:   

  • next to/away from
  • forward/backward
  • through/around
  • half/whole
  • most/fewest
  • row/first/next/last
  • several/some/many
  • beginning/middle/end
  • big/medium-sized/small

Copyright © 1990

186 pages
  • Students need to understand semantic connections among words.  It may be necessary to target understanding of basic concepts that underpin the vocabulary required to access the curriculum (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • In-depth knowledge of word meaning helps students comprehend what they read and helps them use words accurately in speaking and reading (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Students who struggle with vocabulary acquisition need more trials than typical language learners to maximize vocabulary growth (Montgomery, 2007).
  • A systematic approach to teaching vocabulary, including direct and indirect instruction, teaches students that vocabulary is important for learning language and for reading (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
  • Klein and Freitag (1991) found that instructional games enhance the motivation of students in the areas of attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction, without sacrificing performance.
  • Impairment in the ability to comprehend concepts will negatively affect communication and should be targeted for intervention (ASHA, 2000).

Listening for Basic Concepts All Year 'Round incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2000). Guidelines for roles and responsibilities of the school-based speech-language pathologist. Retrieved March 16, 2010, from

Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford Press.

Klein, J.D., & Freitag, E. (1991). Effects of using an instructional game on motivation and performance. Journal of Educational Research, 84(5), 303-308.

Montgomery, J. (2007, November). Vocabulary interventions for RTI: Tiers 1, 2, 3. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Boston: MA.

Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.


Brenda Brumbaugh, Nan Thompson-Trenta


Brenda Brumbaugh, M.A., CCC, is a speech-language pathologist for the Perry Local School System in Massillon, Ohio.  She works with children from preschool through high school who have communication disorders. 

Nan Thompson-Trenta, M.A., is also a speech-language pathologist for the Perry Local School System in Massillon, Ohio.  She works with children from kindergarten through high school who have communication disorders.   

Listening for Basic Concepts All Year 'Round is Brenda and Nan's first publication with Linguisystems.


Several years ago, our kindergarten teachers expressed a need for classroom language and listening lessons.  We decided our mission was to fill this need by creating something fun and unique our teachers and children would love.  After researching the kindergarten language arts curriculum, we came up with a list of basic language concepts taught at that level.  We arranged the concepts in order of difficulty; designed fun stories, creative worksheets, and periodic checks to teach and reinforce these concepts; and created friendly parent letters.  We put everything tighter in a nice neat package, and viola . . . Listening for Basic Concepts All Year 'Round!

Listening for Basic Concepts All Year 'Round provides language instructors with a series of fun weekly lessons that build children's understanding of basic concepts through good listening.  The listening activities will capture your children's hearts and attention!

Each month of the school year covers four or five concepts, beginning with the easier concepts in September and finishing with the more difficult concepts in May.  At the end of each month is a letter and worksheet you can give to the children's parents.  The letter lets parents know what concepts you've been working on and gives them a fun exercise to do with their children to reinforce these new concepts.  At the end of each three months is a Concept Check.  Use these periodic checks to check on your children's progress and retention of new concepts.  Your children will enjoy seeing how many new concepts they've learned as they decorate their worksheets.

You'll find a variety of listening activities throughout the year, from listening to stories to listening for worksheet directions to playing Simon Says.  Most of the activities require very little preparation and are ready to teach.  Many exercises require the children to color on the worksheets provided.  In most of these cases, children need a box of eight crayons to complete the exercises.  We recommend that you read the instructions for these worksheets aloud twice to insure that your children have a chance to hear everything you say.  Also, we choose a good listener in each class every week to be presented with a special award.  This award is a great motivator!

Listening for Basic Concepts All Year 'Round has delightful art you and your child will love.  You'll soon begin to recognize a familiar character appearing on many of the pages—Brennan Bear.  We encourage you to address these lessons with enthusiasm, imagination, and creativity.  Have fun with Brennan!

Brenda and Nan