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101 Language Activities
Ages: 10-18   Grades: 5-Adult

Mature-looking language activities appeal to upper elementary through high school students with language/learning disorders.  The varied activities help them develop essential classroom language skills.

Outcomes

  • Develop the language skills needed for classroom success
  • Learn language skills in the context of the curriculum
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#31023
$37.95
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** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

These ready-to-use language lessons reinforce academic goals with curricular content.  Students learn to communicate with accurate, specific language.  The 101 lessons are organized by these language skills:

  • Adjectives
  • Antonyms/Synonyms
  • Attributes and Functions
  • Categories
  • Comparisons
  • Describing and Defining
  • Paraphrasing

Each skill area/unit includes:

  • introduction to the activities
  • IEP goals and objectives
  • motivational helps
  • repetitive task structure

Task types include:

  • matching
  • elimination
  • describing
  • cloze sentences
  • grids for board games
  • pie charts
  • using accurate, specific language

Copyright © 2004

Components
125 pages, answer key
  • Summarization is a skill that helps students identify main ideas, generalize what they've read, and recall information needed to answer comprehension questions (NRP, 2000).
  • 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).
  • Five components of instruction needed to address older students who are struggling to read include word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and motivation (Roberts, Torgesen, Boardman, & Scammacca, 2008).
  • Dockrell, Lindsay, and Connelly (2009) found that adolescents with specific language impairment (SLI) showed limited growth in their written language abilities in the middle school years, which is associated with limited oral vocabulary development.
  • Effective vocabulary instruction strategies engage the student and require higher-level cognitive processing.  These strategies include using new words in novel sentences based on connections to prior knowledge, identifying synonyms and antonyms, analyzing word features, and using visual aids (Kester-Phillips, Foote, & Harper, 2008).

101 Language Activities incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.

References

Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. Solving problems in the teaching of literacy. New York: Guilford Press.

Dockrell, J.E., Lindsay, G., & Connelly, V. (2009). The impact of specific language impairment on adolescents' written text. Exceptional Children, 75(4), 427-446.

Kester-Phillips, D.C., Foote, C.J., & Harper, L.J. (2008). Strategies for effective vocabulary instruction. Reading Improvement, 45(2), 62-68.

National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. Retrieved February 25, 2010, from www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/nrp/upload/report.pdf

Roberts, G., Torgesen, J.K., Boardman, A., & Scammacca, N. (2008). Evidence-based strategies for reading instruction of older students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research, 23(2), 63-69.

Author(s)

Paul Morris

Biography

Paul Morris, M.S., CCC-SLP, has worked in a variety of public school settings for the past seven years.  Since graduating from Central Missouri State University, he has worked in schools in Oregon and in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Paul has a special interest in working with late elementary and secondary students with language delays.

101 Language Activities is Paul's first publication with LinguiSystems.

Introduction

Repetition is a key factor in reading instruction, and repetition is also necessary for successful language acquisition.  One hurdle children with language learning disorders must overcome is a lack of interest in practicing skills that require repetition for effective learning.  Varying exposures to essential language acquisition skills, as well as varying the means of repetition, is a valuable way to learn difficult language skills.

One difference between successful and unsuccessful reading and language achievement is that practicing in isolation is not a helpful means to learn language.  Normally developing children learn language only through repeated exposure to and practice with language in different contexts.  The same is true with children with language learning difficulties.

The varied activities in this book are meant to promote the skills necessary to communicate effectively in the classroom.  Too often, children with language difficulties simply give up when faced with a challenging task.  Kids with communication deficits often simply remain quiet when asked to explain their knowledge, even when that knowledge exists.  For some children, language is a wonderful tool that can open countless doors, while for others, it stands as a frustrating wall between themselves and the rest of the world.  The activities in this book are meant to chip away at that wall.

How to Use this Book
Each chapter begins with a short introduction that includes these elements:

  • Types of Activities: an overview of the activities included in the chapter and additional instructions for their use
  • IEP Goals and Objectives: sample IEP goals to guide your instruction and aid accountability
  • Statements to Motivate: brief statements to share with your students in order to help them understand the importance of the skill and the rationale for practicing it

101 Language Activities is organized by language goal areas with similar activities divided into separate chapters.  While some minimal explanations are included on many of the worksheets, the instructions required for a language impaired student to understand the concepts tend to be effective when presented orally with individualized modifications.

The activities in this book are not meant to be used exclusively.  They are most beneficial when used as supplementary material to increase understanding and for repetition after the instructor has introduced the target concept through other means.

Vocabulary and the Curriculum
Vocabulary words from the curriculum have been integrated into each activity.  The words included in 101 Language Activities are intended to be representative of words that students throughout the United States should know.  For kids who are specifically working on vocabulary, these words may be a starting point.  For example, an instructor can try to discuss the word government with a fifth-grader and quickly ascertain that student's level of knowledge with this fourth-grade curriculum word.  If the student is able to associate words such as vote or leaders with government, then it's not necessary to work on that word.  If, however, the student has no clue what government is, targeted practice with that word is necessary.  Activities such as the ones in this book will provide another situation in which the student can talk about specific vocabulary and associated words.  Students with language learning difficulties often need additional practice using and understanding vocabulary expected to be mastered at much younger grades.

Because the acquisition and successful use of separate language skills are so interdependent on other skills, it is often beneficial to address an area even when it is not a direct target of daily practice.  Research has consistently shown that retention of material is greatly improved when the timing of stimulus presentations are spread out rather than presented at one time.  This phenomenon, known as the spacing effect, "has been observed in virtually every experimental learning paradigm, and with all sorts of traditional research materials" (Dempster & Farris, 1990, p. 97).

Tips for Using the Activities
Some of the activities in this book are competitive.  Competition is a great motivator, but it is often necessary to manipulate activities so that weaker participants don't feel bad about losing and stronger participants don't lose track of the purpose of the activity.  One good way to do this is to stop the activity just before either person has had a chance to actually win.

Often children will dispute an answer.  This is good—as long as the argument is reasonable and not excessive.  It means that the student is developing important skills in critical thinking and persuasion.  If the student can make a valid point and offer support for that point, then credit should be given.

Many of the activities are intended to be challenging.  Students often will not be able to dive right in and be successful without prior preparation.  It is generally effective to quickly discuss some of the concepts ahead of time so students will have a greater chance of success with an activity.  Encourage your students to use good thinking skills, along with trial and error, to complete these activities.

Have fun!