What Doesn’t Belong?
I introduce negation using “What Doesn’t Belong” task cards. The Autism Helper has an awesome set here (shown to the right), but there are many sellers that have similar materials. I like to use decks from TAH and other sellers in combination to promote generalization and avoid possible memorization of a specific set of materials. I start with direct modeling and teaching. For example, with the card pictured on the left, I would say, “glue, glue stick, and tape are alllll sticky. The flag does not belong because it is not sticky.” I have used these materials with non-verbal communicators. They are able to answer “What doesn’t belong?” by pointing. To add an expressive language component, I pair a “not” symbol with feature/function/category symbols so they can say, “not an animal” or “not for cleaning” (for example) to explain why.
Non-Example Task Cards
As students start to get the hang of “What doesn’t belong?”, I introduce Non-Example Task Cards. These cards are awesome. They target many of the same feature, function, and category vocabulary that my students previously mastered. This ensures that I am only teaching one new skill- negation. Some cards have more simple concepts like color and shape, which is a great place to start when introducing this task. To add an expressive component to this task, I have the student describe what the identified item is/does have. For example, on the third card to the left, I would say, “You’re right, the bubbles are not furniture. What are they?” to promote describing and reinforce the feature, function, category vocabulary.
I typically target negation in an IEP goal for one year. With weekly repetition and varied instruction, most of my students master negation fairly quickly! To ensure their comprehension and mastery, I use more complex negation tasks. Stay tuned for those activities and strategies next month!
If you want to read more about using non-examples, check out this great post from Sarah: Non-Example Task Cards!