I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and time off to enjoy with friends and family. I know having even just a few extra days off from work always helps me recharge and feel refreshed. Now I’m getting everything set up for December and looking forward to having a great month before my Winter Break! I like to prepare some different materials to use throughout the month for therapy and to share ideas with my teachers. Here are some Christmas adapted books I created to use during this time of the year which may be useful for your students too. The series includes; “Let’s Build a Gingerbread House!”, “Where is the Present?” and “What is Santa Doing?”
“Let’s Build a Gingerbread House!” focuses on color concepts, number concepts, and different candy items. For this book the students have to find the correct color and candy item and attach the correct number of those items onto the gingerbread house.
For example, “put 3 purple candy canes on the gingerbread house.” The student have to find the purple candy canes and add 3 of those candy canes onto the house. The second direction is “put 3 yellow circles on the gingerbread house.” Now the student has to look for the yellow circles and add 3 of the yellow circles onto the gingerbread house. The final direction is “put 2 red hearts on the gingerbread house.” Now that gingerbread house is complete!
“Where is the Present?” targets the prepositional concepts “above”, “under”, “beside”, and “on”. This is great to work on these different prepositional concepts and target some seasonal vocabulary terms. The students also have to select the correct present for each page.
I like all the different style presents. The students really have to focus to visually discriminate between all the different presents.
Finally, “What is Santa Doing?” focuses on the students identifying different action verbs which describe the Santa picture. For this book the students have to listen to what Santa is doing such as “dancing to music” and find the correct Santa picture to match the description. I have been working on action verbs with many of my students.
The book also target sequencing skills. There are 2 sequencing question pages which you could attach in the back of the book to review what Santa did in the correct order. The first sequencing question page focuses on what Santa did 1st-4th.
The second sequencing question page focuses on what Santa did 5th-8th. Another option is you could attach the 1st -4th sequencing question page after what Santa did 4th and have the students only focus on remember 4 actions at a time. Then attach the second sequencing question page 5th-8th at the end of the book. Have the students look back in the book to help answer the questions.
Here another identification picture board. This board consists of holiday items and I like to use it as a follow-up activity to work on following directions and reviewing vocabulary concepts. Here is a copy of my Christmas Identification Board.
For my lower functioning students I often fold the paper over so the student can only see one row a time. Then we point to each picture in row 1 and I say each holiday item – “wreath, reindeer, present”. If the student is verbal I have the student try to name the pictures after I say them. If the student is not verbal I just model the words for the student.
Then I break the directions up in simple commands. For example, “touch wreath” and after the student correctly identifies the wreath I provide the rest of the direction, “color green”. I often only give the student a choice of 2 colors of crayons if we are still working on color concepts. If the student does not know colors I just give student the correct color and model the color concept several time.
For my higher functioning students, I have the student name all the pictures on the board or receptively identify all the pictures as I say the word. For example, while looking at all the pictures I say “find the present” or to make it even more challenging “find something you wrap”. Then I give more complex directions such as “find the present and color it purple”. I either have the students go row by row or I have the students work on looking at all 12 pictures. Sometimes I even have my students take turns giving the directions to each other. Then the students get to choice what to find and what color to color it. They love doing that and it works great for students working on both expressive and pragmatic language skills.