I love using adapted books with my students because they are engaging and make learning fun while still working on important language skills. I try to pick themes or topics which interest my students while still focusing on different skills sets they need. Recently, I created a set of three vehicle themed adapted books which focus on skills such as attending to a task, following directions, color concepts, number concepts, matching, and expanding utterances. The set of adapted books includes “What Vehicle Do You See?”, “What Color is the Vehicle?”, and “How Many Vehicles Do You See?” I paired each book with a fun follow-up vehicle themed activity. So far the books have been a win with my students!
I think the easiest book in the series is “What Vehicle Do You See?” Along the top of the page it reads “What vehicle do you see?” Then along the bottom of the page it tells you what vehicle to select and place on the road, in the water, or in the sky. For example, “Look! A car on the road.” The student then looks at all the vehicles and finds the car and places it on the road. The skills they are working on is attending to the book, finding the correct vehicle, and following the direction to place it on the page. They do not have to place the vehicle on a specific spot on the page. Wherever you put the Velcro on the road, in the sky, or in the water is where the student can place the vehicle.
You can always change the level of prompting to meet the needs of your student. If you are working on your student attending to the book and simply matching you can reduce the visual field of choices. For one of my students, I had to hide all the vehicles because not only was it too distracting for him but it was also too many for him to discriminate between. He would just grab any vehicle on the page without even looking. For this student, I flipped the pieces page behind the book and placed 2 vehicles on the table for him to choose between. For example, “Look! A fire truck on the road.” Then I placed the dump truck and the fire truck on the table for the student to choice from those 2 vehicles.
You could also have your students choose between 3 vehicles. “Look a school bus on the road.” Instead of looking through all the vehicles; I placed the jeep, school bus, and airplane on the table. Reducing the visual field helped my student find the correct vehicle and actually feel successful.
The book also helps build up vehicle vocabulary terms. I used common vehicles which should be more familiar to most students and the vehicle is either on the road, in the water, or in the sky. The repetitive nature of the book might also help your student participate in reading the book. Maybe they can say the words as they point to each box on the page.
After we finished reading the book we did a big/small vehicle sort. This activity is super simple to set up and use. Print, laminate and cut out all the vehicles and you are ready to go! There are 20 big vehicles with 20 corresponding small vehicles. Place the “Big” and “Small” labels on the table. Model those “big” and “small” size concepts as you place the vehicle under the correct label. You could also attach the labels on a basket and have the students sort them into baskets instead of on a table. It just depends on what works for you and your students.
You can change the task and level of prompting depending on your student’s skill level and what you want to focus on for this activity. Some of my students are still learning about size concepts so they needed a lot of prompting to help them place the vehicle in the correct pile. The focus for these students is attending to the vehicles and sorting them by size.
You can also use this activity to work on following directions. I showed my student a big and small vehicle and said “take big” or “take small”. After the student selects the correct vehicle they place it under the correct label. To make it more challenging you can also place 3-4 vehicles on the table and give a direction such as “find the big dump truck”. Now the student needs to find both the size concept and the correct vehicle type.
Another option is to work on expressive language skills with this activity. When targeting those expressive skills, I just held up a vehicle and had my student verbally or with their AAC device request the vehicle including the size concept. They can just say “big” or “small” and then I hand them the vehicle and he/she can place it in the correct pile. You can also work on your students expanding their utterances such as “I want big” or “I want small”. Maybe your student can also give the vehicle name such as “big car” or “big pink car.” It’s an easy and flexible activity to use with your students.