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Basic Concept Pictures English and Spanish
Ages: 4-8   Grades: PreK-3

Make it easier for students to grasp abstract meanings with these rich full color cards presenting each concept in ten different contexts.  Stimuli on the back of the cards are written in English and Spanish.


  • Understand and express basic concepts of quantity, description, and position
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Forty concepts are depicted in ten different illustrations (400 cards total).  Students learn three categories of concepts: 

  • Quantity—100 cards teach concepts such as empty, full, more, less, whole, half, pair, and many
  • Descriptive—100 cards teach concepts such as big, little, old, new, same, different, tall, and short
  • Position—200 cards teach concepts such as on, off, top, bottom, over, under, together, apart, beside, between, and around

Stimulus items on the back of each card are written in English and Spanish.  The stimulus items progress in difficulty:

  1. Identify the concept in the picture—Show me the glass that is empty.
  2. Cloze sentences using the concept vocabulary—This glass is full, but this glass is _______.  (empty)
  3. Yes/no questions—If you were thirsty, would you choose the empty glass?  (No, I would choose the full glass.)
  4. Wh- questions and choice questions—What would you fill an empty glass with?  (Answers will vary.)

The instruction booklet has:

  • guidelines and steps for teaching language concepts
  • suggestions to extend concept practice into daily activities
  • pretest/posttest 
  • teacher checklist

Copyright © 2007

400 4¼" x 5½" double-sided, coated picture/stimuli cards; instruction booklet
  • Direct and indirect instruction of vocabulary words helps students boost reading comprehension and improve performance for semantic tasks (NRP, 2000).
  • 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 need to understand semantic connections among words (Taylor-Goh, 2005).

Basic Concept Pictures English and Spanish incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


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-reports of the subgroups. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from

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


Catherine E. Chamberlain


Catherine Chamberlain, M.A., CCC/SLP, maintains a private practice with her partner, Robin Strode Downing, in and around Lexington, Kentucky.  She has extensive experience as a public school clinician, presenter, and consultant.  She presently works with the preschool population and completes primary evaluations for the 0-3 population in the Bluegrass area.  Catherine has a special interest in working with children with the diagnoses of developmental verbal apraxia, PDD, autism, and Down Syndrome.  Catherine is the author/co-author of nine other publications with LinguiSystems, including Basic Concept Pictures Interactive Software, Basic Concept Workbook, Easy Does It for Apraxia and Motor Planning, Easy Does It for Apraxia Preschool, SPARC for Concepts, and The Source for Childhood Apraxia of Speech.


Basic Concept Pictures English and Spanish is a handy library of pictures to help teach basic concepts to children with various levels of language skills.  Understanding these concepts is vital to develop effective communication and academic skills.  These cards are designed to be used with children who speak English or Spanish (Mexican-American dialect) and present delayed concept development, including those diagnosed with autism, PDD, or developmental delays.

The rich variety of illustrations in this library present visual representations to help teach vital language concepts in different contexts.  The black-line illustrations were originally published in 1989 as The Best Concept Pictures Ever.  In 2003 the cards were produced as Basic Concept Pictures in full color, adding interest for students and expanding the variety of stimuli and contrasts. 

Though these cards were specifically designed to support concept development, they are also useful when teaching or improving skills such as the following:

  • auditory language comprehension
  • following directions
  • answering questions
  • completing sentences
  • formulating complete sentences
  • increasing sentence length
  • retelling simple stories or events
  • maintaining a conversation topic

The cards can also be used to facilitate comprehension and use of other language targets, such as pronouns, verb tenses, negation, and plurals.