My first few years of teaching I struggled to create literacy activities that could engage all of my students. I think literacy is so important but I struggled to think of ways for my students who are nonverbal and nonreaders to participate. Adapted books to the rescue! Fast forward a few years – an now I am overloaded with adapted books. Now when I say I have tons of adapted books, that may even be an under statement. I think I still have blisters on my hands from cutting out all the laminated pictures years ago.
Basically an adapted book has small velcro pictures to match within the story. You can make any book an adapted book or even make your own! This has worked great with my kids because they have something to do (match the picture) while listening to a story. It’s more hands on and the expectations are clear. Sometimes I think our kids don’t know what to do while listening to a story – do I look, do I sit, do I move my hands? Having the match-the-picture option gives a concrete task to be done.
There are a lot of types of adapted books that can target any type of student or skill set. Here are the types of adapted books you can utilize:
Adapt Story Books You Already Have: I have a made a ton of my own adapted books but also adapted some books we already loved. You can scan the book pages and create small images. Print, laminate, velcro, and you’re ready to go! Here is my Very Busy Spider adapted book:
Pretty much you can take any book and add some clip art pictures.
Make Your Own Adapted Books: I got a little crazy making my own books. I love being able to make books about topics my kids are interested in! Talk about motivating! We have books about dinosaurs, race cars, princesses, and (hate to admit it) a lot of books about food. Pizza Hut, Taco, McDonalds – you name it – we probably have a book for it. I know, I know, I know – I hate to encourage all this unhealthy eating … but if it’s going to motivate reading – I’ll take it.
Student Picture Adapted Books: You can include student pictures in the adapted books and make it all about them. These books can be highly motivating!
Adapted Books Choice Board: I made a choice board for my books! I made a PECS picture for each book, put strips of hard velcro on cardboard, and laminated a sentence strip. Then students can request what book they want!
Check out my pinterest board of adapted books for even more ideas and options!
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