Here are some fun activities to help students make vocabulary connections and develop semantic organization.
Using the “Connect It” category wheels students categorize household items according to where they belong in a house. Students connect relevant items to the home category at the center of the wheel using a length of ribbon/string/bootlace.
The categories included in this pack are:
kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, garage, backyard.
“CONNECT IT” CATEGORY WHEELS
To make the wheels:
Print pages 4-9 onto cardstock. Cut around the large circles; cut out the notches.
You will also need a length of ribbon, string or a bootlace at least 52 inches [130cm] long.
Fix the ribbon/bootlace in the center of the back of the card and pass it through the long notch so that it emerges from the central picture on the front of the card. (See thumbnail photo on right.)
Directions for the “Connect It” activity:
Wind the ribbon over the face of the card from the central category picture to an item from that category. Pass the ribbon through the adjoining notch, bringing it back up behind the central picture and passing it back through the large notch to the front of the card again, ready to connect to another item.
Repeat until all items in the category have been found.
You can make this activity self-correcting by placing colored dots on the reverse side of the wheel above the notches of relevant items. The student can turn over the card to check that the ribbon has passed through the correct notches...
....although, beware!... the students' own experiences are likely to influence their perceptions of connections within categories, so be prepared for some discussion and negotiation about what belongs where!
This pack also includes CATEGORY SORTING MATS and ITEM CARDS for each of the categories. There are 60 household item cards in this pack (10 item cards for each of the 6 categories) – some item cards may fit more than one household category. Students can practice expressive language skills by explaining 'unexpected' choices!
Some suggestions for use of the sorting mats and cards: -
1. Spread item cards on table and students sort onto picture mats.
2. Attach a small piece of magnetic tape to the cards. Secure household category picture mats on small cookie sheets or magnetic whiteboards. Hide cards around the room. Allocate each student a picture mat; students search for items that belong to their category. The magnetic tape will ensure the cards will stick to the picture mat while the student searches for more items.
3. Play Bingo: Allocate each student a household category picture mat. According to the number of players, place a selection of relevant household item cards face-down on table. Students take turns to flip over a card. If the item belongs in his category, he places it on his mat. If the item does not belong, he returns it face-down on the table. The first player to place five items on his mat is the winner.
4. Visualization: Provide student with a picture mat or “Connect It” wheel, the student visualizes that space in his own home and then suggests/draws three or four more items that belong in that space. Encourage expressive language skills by having the student identify and explain similarities and differences between the pictures and his own home and contents.