Spring Animal Language and Learner Lessons

I love this time of year when you start to hear the birds and frogs outside and the weather is a bit warmer.  I think everyone can use a little freshen up and sunshine here lately!  I recently took a trip to the Dollar Tree and it did not disappoint.  While I don’t support ALWAYS buying new things, I couldn’t pass up these colorful trucks and animal themed eggs! So many fun little language lessons to use these objects within the month of April (or really anytime).  Check out some fun ways I have been incorporating core language and basic learner skills with these fun new objects!

Literacy and matching skills

Sometimes it takes a while to build print skills and engagement with books.  I find that while we are practicing interest in books, using objects while reading not only helps with engagement but it also works on other important basic learner skills such as visual performance and generalization.  If you are unfamiliar with basic learner skills, check out my post here.  Using some color books and basic early word books such as First Words, as I read the book with my student, we practice matching the color eggs and trucks to the color on the page, or even the animal to animal.  While the animals are more abstract in the eggs, it’s important to still practice generalization of an object (ie: a tiger is a tiger when it looks this way in a book or as a silly egg).  You can practice making the animal sounds, labeling of the color and showing how to match it to the book.  I love using language such as, “Look it’s a green frog, hop hop hop!” or just “frog, frog, frog!” as I label it and hand it to the child or allow them to find it from the basket.  Simply placing objects in a clear baggie or a fun spring basket can add a level of engagement to reading the book.

Core Language Fun

When I saw these animals in the eggs, popper bunny and the bunny wind up I literally felt like I had struck gold with core language opportunities!  My favorites are definitely the little animals inside the eggs.  You can target so many core words but for this specific lesson I was focusing on the words “open” and “out”.  It’s always important to keep instructor control of the materials or else you could possibly have grabbing of the materials and lose the focus of your lesson.  This also teaches some delay and patience and can create opportunities for other words like, “I want!”.  I like to shake the little basket or bag the eggs are in and model the core word “out” or maybe you’re working on “I want” and you’re enticing with the objects.  As soon as your student gestures or indicates “I want” you can let them choose an egg while modeling the words. The next time you can have them touch or point to the words on the board with you.  It really all depends on where you are at with the words.  The same can be done with the popper bunny and the words “go” and “my turn”. Again, keep control of the bunny if you’re working on the word “go”.  You can exclaim and point to the word, “go!” and then pop the ball out of the bunny.  Next, have your student either point to the word, or maybe they are pairing it with the sound of /g/ or word approximation of “go”.  You want to pair these attempts with the popping of the ball to show the connection of the word and the request.  Repeat the same for using of the wind-up bunny and the trucks!  The main goal is…have fun with communication! 

Happy spring teaching! 

Gina Russell, B.S , M.Ed
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  1. Love this! Where did you get the animal eggs and trucks?

  2. Hi Leslie!

    I found them at our local Dollar Tree! Thanks for reading!

    Gina 🙂


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