Tuesday, April 24, 2012

WH Questions: Part Two

This is a follow up to my previous post about getting students to answer WH questions.  Knowing how to answer questions isn't enough.  After students have basic question answering skills they need to apply those skills to comprehension and fact recall questions.  After all, that's what we need to be able to do in conversation. 

There are lots of ways to do this.  I like to start at the level of sentences and work my way up.  It's actually amazing how many of my kids can't do the following task:

Read the story "Cindy has a small yellow car."
Who has a car?
What color is the car?
Is the car big or small?

Although, no longer surprised, when my student's can't do this, I'm always amazed at how they make it through the school day.  So much of our learning is through auditory input and we test it by requiring them to answer questions.

Link to document is below.
There is a lot of practice material at the sentence level out there.  Super Duper has a Auditory Memory for Details in Sentences deck that isn't in my possession, but is on my wish list.  Their Auditory Adventures Pack does have a few pages of practice material at this level.  As I am working on this skill with groups of 3-4 students, I quickly ran out of practice material.  As a solution, so I made a list of my own.  The Google Doc is here.

After kids pass the sentences level there are lots of things you can do.  Super duper has a bunch of other card decks that I use frequently.  The Auditory Memory for Short Stories is great for elementary ages, where the Auditory Memory For Science Stories and the Auditory Memory for Science Stories are great for my 6th through 8th grade students.  The No-Glamour Listening Comphrension Book by Linguisystems has a lot of stories at varying levels.

As fun as the fancy card decks and materials are, my absolute favorite thing to use in therapy is picture books.  There are so many questions you can ask about the stories and they are a GREAT way to engage kids in the therapy sessions. My favorite series are the Clifford and Bernstein Bears book.  I love Clifford for the variety of topics, the clear sentences have the right amount of content and the pictures are great for lower levels of questions in mixed groups.  Bernstein Bears are a little more wordy, and you will spend more time reading, but they are FANTASTIC for discussing social skills for your middle and higher functioning autism students.  (I pair them with the Berenstein Bears Learn to Share Game and have been getting excellent connections).

For older kids I really enjoy the Dorreen Cronin Books.  They have just the right amount of higher level vocabulary for good dicsussion with some of my lower level and ELL students.  I have been doing push in sessions in a 5th grade special education / ELL groups and these books have been a huge hit.  We did Duck for President during their Government unit and they all had a lot of fun.  I've done a couple of her other books with them and they really enjoyed them. 

Another big hit was a Christmas Present from a friend of mine.  It was a great book for discussing what was happening, the effects of large amounts of penguins and making predictions about what would happen if more penguins kept arriving.  I did it about a month ago and my students are still talking about it!  I recommend it for grades 4-6.

I'm entering to win free apps and you should too! 
And another app giveaway

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