I’ve been having fun in therapy with my zoo themed adapted books and activities.  Last week I shared about the book “Zookeeper, Zookeeper What Do You See?” and how I paired it with a zoo bingo game.  This week I’m using the adapted book “Where are the Zoo Animals?” and pairing it with a Big/Small Zoo sort.  The focus this week is following directions with both prepositional and size concepts.   

“Where are the Zoo Animals?” targets the prepositional concepts “in”, “on”, “above”, “under”, “in front of”, “behind”, “next to”, and “between”.  The student has to select the correct preposition to identify “where” the zoo animal is in the picture.  Each preposition word is paired with the symbol to represent the prepositional concept.  The preposition icons are similar to the ones on core boards and AAC systems. 

I set up the book activity similar to how I do for many of my adapted book.  For my verbal students, I have them take turns pointing to the word boxes on each page and have them try reading/saying the words along with me.  Since the book is repetitive the students usually can help read/repeat some of the words, such as “where is the ….” and “look”.  I also have my non-verbal students try to point to some of the boxes and follow along as I read each word.         

We look at the picture and I wait to see if my student can use the correct prepositional phrase to describe where the zoo animal is within that picture.  For example, “Where is the dolphin?”   “Look!  The dolphin is above the fish”.  After some additional prompting, my student was able to identify the dolphin was “above” the fish and selected the “above” picture and place it in the box.      

You can provide your student a choice of 2 prepositions in they need.  For example, is the zebra “in front of” or “under” the tree?  Hopefully giving your student a choice of 2 prepositions paired with the visual will help your student identify the correct prepositional concept to describe the animal’s location.  I also use gestures and examples to help describe the different prepositional concepts to my students.    

I continue to model those prepositional concepts multiple times for each page and I have the student say the prepositional concept or find it on their device.  This is a great time to have your students work on navigating their device to find those different prepositional concepts.  I sometimes just have them find the preposition to pair with the book.  For example, I just had my student select “in” for the crocodile is in the water.  If your student is combing words they could say “in water” or “crocodile in” on their device.     

I also like using this book with students who have answering “what” and “where” questions as their goals.  After they finish the page you can ask a “what” or “where” question.  “Where is the giraffe?”  “What does the bear say?” or “What color is the bear?”

To continue working on following directions you can use this Free Big and Small Zoo Animal Sort.  I’ve made different themed big/small sorting activities.  This set contains 20 big animals and 20 corresponding small animals.  Just print, laminate, and cut out all the animals and you are ready to go!

Place the big and small cards on the table.  I used this as a following directions activity involving size concepts with some of my student.  I held up a big and small animal which were the same animal.  Then I provided the direction to my student involving a size concept.  For example, I held up the big and small hippo and gave the direction “take the small hippo”.  After my student selected the small hippo I had him place it in the correct pile.

To make it more challenging you can provide a larger visual field.  You can have your student select the correct animal including the size concept from a visual field of 3-4 animals.  For example, “find the big toucan”.  Now the student has to know both the size and animal concept.  Again, after they select the correct animal the student can place it in either the big or small pile. 

You can also have your student work on following directions involving feature concepts.  For example, I placed 3 animals on the table and gave a direction such as “find the animal with horns.”  Then the student selected rhino and place it in the correct size pile.  You can have them find the animal with a long neck, beak, trunk, or shell.  Lots of different feature concepts you can target. 

If your student does not know size concepts you can use this a following direction activity only focusing on the animal concepts.  You can show them 2 larger animals such as a giraffe and zebra.  Then tell your student what animals to take.  “Take the giraffe”.  After your student selects the giraffe picture they can still work on placing it in the correct size pile.

You can also just use this with your students as a sorting activity.  Hand the student an animals and have him or her determine if the animal is big or small and place it in the correct pile.  Continue to model those size and animal concepts for these students.  There are lots of different ways you can use this sorting activity with your students.  If you are interested in this Free sort click the link – Big and Small Zoo Animal Sort

The series of zoo adapted books includes; “Zookeeper, Zookeeper What Do You See?”, “Where are the Zoo Animals?”, and “Guess the Zoo Animal!”.  You can find this series on TPT with the link – Zoo Animal Adapted Book Series

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