At my recent assignment at the middle school, I did push-in speech therapy sessions with the life-skills classroom. Students had a variety of skill levels. It can be a challenge to find activities everyone can do and enjoy. There was not a curriculum or materials available to me so I ended up using my ingenuity to make lessons. That is when I was thankful for the history I have posted here. I dug back to the beginning of my post archives. I did find some inspiration but it was also an eye opener. My posts have come along way since then and the post really didn’t look to appealing. I thought a revision would be helpful since it is unlikely many are finding it from six years back.
The original post was labeled Concept Group 12. A real catchy title uh. That was before I realized the importance of a title for search engines or appeal. It was a time when I was pushing into Kindergarten classes and teaching concepts using group activities. Although each lesson focused on concept vocabulary, we also worked on taking turns, asking questions, and following directions. The lesson I used this last week with my middle school life skill students focused on the concepts of right, left, top bottom, half, whole, and match. The class still benefitted from working on social pragmatic skills, following directions, and concept vocabulary.
You need some old alphabet animal cards for this activity. Prepare the cards ahead for use in the classroom.
The ones I used came from an old reading program that was taken out of circulation. There are two free downloads available on the internet from Jason’s Online Classroom and Jan Brett’s blog.
To prepare the cards, I cut them in half.
Divide them into two piles. One pile should have the upper halves and the other pile the bottom halves. Count out the number of cards to the number of students. There is a possibility of 26 matched sets so you may not need all of them. Do make sure you have the matches in the two piles.
In the classroom, pass out the top halves of the cards to students and talk about how it is only the top half of the card or animal. Show them that you have the other bottom half of their cards.
Mix up the 2nd pile of bottom half cards and place them in a box. Let the students draw a random card and match it to the card they already have. This creates a somewhat cooky animal which often elicits some laughter. You can take this opportunity to ask them if they have a match and how do they know it is not a match. You can also talk about bottom and top.
The next part works best if students are seated in a circle. It involves following one and two part directions as you direct them to pass the top or bottom to the student on the left or right. I vary the directions according to the ability level of the group. They may not be able to handle two part directions such as hand the top card to the person on the right. in that case I bring it down to one step such as pass the bottom card and direct the direction. After each pass they look to see if they have a match. If they get a whole set they can keep it and discontinue the passing. Keep going until everyone has found their whole card.