Moving Beyond Requesting (Part 4): Teaching Negation with Increased Complexity

Hey! This is is the fourth part in a series called Moving Beyond Requesting.  If you haven’t read Part 3: Teaching Negation, I encourage you to check it out!  Parts 1 & 2 discussed teacher feature, function, and category concepts and vocabulary in two levels of complexity. This post expands on post 3 by increasing the complexity of tasks targeting negation.

Non-Example Task Cards: Level 2

These task cards really ensure that the learner has a mastery of “not”.  To the right, there are two pictures comparing the Level 1 and Level 2 sets. In the Level 1 set, there are four pictures to choose from. Based on those pictures, many students are able to infer the correct answer.  In this Level 2 deck, there are only 2 choices. The student has to have a sound understanding of “not” as they are not able to use context to infer.  To generalize this task, I often use picture cards that I have around the classroom and make my own sets of 2 for increased trial diversity.  These task cards (if laminated) are great for centers/independent work to have the student circle their answer with a dry-erase marker.

Occupation and Recipe Negation Task Cards

These task cards are a favorite of mine and the students!  The occupation task cards have the student identify the item that the occupation does not need. These are especially difficult because there is no picture of the occupation. Student’s must rely on previously mastered knowledge of that job. The recipe cards follow an identical format. Students LOVE to get silly and imagine the item they don’t need in the recipe.  These cards are challenging and perfect for life-skills instruction/classrooms as well as centers, independent work, and therapy sessions. With lamination, the students can circle their answers which they usually find to be very motivating!

Negation can be really fun to teach for both teachers and learners. I typically target negation in an IEP goal for one year. I start with “What Doesn’t Belong” task cards and progress to non-examples, level 2 non-examples, and finally, the above “don’t” task cards. While this progress does not target every single form of negation, I have found that if a student can master these tasks, their comprehension is typically functional for every day interactions and often generalizes to other negative grammatical forms. I have also seen an increase in spontaneous “protesting”, which was the goal from the start- to move beyond requesting!

Stay tuned for the next segment- describing!

Sadie Bailey M.A. CCC-SLP
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