Saturday, August 10, 2013

Corduroy!  No, not the fabric, the BEAR!  If you work with children, you probably know all about Corduroy. He is an adorable, lovable character who is the central character in several books written by author/illustrator Don Freeman. The original Corduroy book was published in 1968. Corduroy is innocent and loving--characteristics that appeal to all--especially children. Freeman wrote two other books, "A Pocket for Corduroy," and "Corduroy Lost and Found." All three books are very appealing both in terms of the characters and the inner messages conveyed.

Books are a favorite tool of speech language pathologists who work with children. The series of Corduroy books are a wonderful resource to engage children in speech and language tasks. With that in mind, I created a book companion, which can be found here:

The packet contains what I consider to be essential elements when using a book for language and speech therapy. One important aspect is the ability to understand the vocabulary used in the book. It can be very difficult to understand a story if a child is unfamiliar with the vocabulary. There are a total of 32 vocabulary cards and definitions.  Eight of the cards are key words with pictures that are essential to comprehending the story. The remaining vocabulary items help refine the details of the story. The second task is sequencing - which I consider to be the heart of teaching with a book. This packet contains eight picture sequencing cards depicting essential elements in the story. I also included a set of frames containing 8 connector words-samples shown below:

The child takes the sequencing cards and can either place them on top of the connector words (which you will cut apart) or below them while USING the words before they describe the card. Many of you already know that children with language difficulties overuse "and" when telling a story. This activity provides an opportunity to teach other, more useful connector words. I would emphasize inclusion of the connector words every time a child retells the story. BTW-this skill transfers over to written language-like many other verbal skills.

This packet also contains 30 comprehension questions derived from the story. You can use these as a simple drill task, or you can use the generic game board included for reinforcement and motivation.

Social skills and pragmatic language have become an important part of speech and language therapy.  The story about Corduroy offers many opportunities to pose situations and questions for children to think about and discuss. A total of 18 questions and scenarios that relate to the story are included.

Children need the opportunity to retell a story in their own words, as stated earlier. There are 11 story props included for use with retelling the story using a role-playing approach. These could also be used with a reader's theater activity.

Many children need practice with straightforward YES/NO questions, so there are 24 included. The cards have icons for children who need a "point-to" format.

Next, there are 2 types of story maps included. One is for children who are not yet ready to write out their answers. This story map contains the basic elements- characters, setting, problem, events, resolution of the problem-all in picture form. The pictures can be used as a cut and paste task, or laminated with velcro attached so they can be re-used. The second story map contains the same basic elements and allows the child to write down answers.

Finally, there is a grammar activity using three characters from the book. The activity focuses on pronouns + has/have verb forms (He has a book, she has a book, etc). Many children have difficulty with this task and this provides an opportunity to practice using characters from the story.

I hope you enjoy this packet!


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