Stimulating Language Abilities of Internationally Adopted Children: Fun with Ready-Made Fall and Halloween Bingo
There are many fun language based activities parents can do at home with their newly (and not so newly) internationally adopted preschool and school aged children in the fall. One of my personal favorites is bingo. Boggles World, an online ESL teacher resource, actually has a number of ready-made materials, flashcards, and worksheets which can be adapted for such purposes. For example, their Fall and Halloween Bingo comes with both call out cards and a 3x3 and a 4x4 (as well as 3x3) card generator/boards. Clicking the refresh button will generate as many cards as you need, so the supply is endless! You can copy and paste the entire bingo board into a word document resize it and then print it out on reinforced paper or just laminate it.
Fall vocabulary words include: corn, crops, farmer, scarecrow, apples, acorns, oak leaf, maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, grapes, mushrooms, salmon, geese, squirrel, jacket, turkey, Jack-O'-Lantern, rake, pumpkins, harvest moon, hay, chestnuts, crow, and sparrow.
Halloween vocabulary words include: witch, ghost, skeleton, skull, spider, owl, Jack-O'-Lantern, devil, cobweb, graveyard, clown, pirate, robot, superhero, mummy, vampire, bat, black cat, trick or treaters, alien, werewolf.
Now the fun begins! Some suggested activities:
Vocabulary Labeling: Label the words for newly adopted IA children and get them to say the words after you.
Simple Sentences: Make up simple sentences such as A spider lives in a cobweb or A squirrel is eating an acorn.
Rhyming: what rhymes with cat/bat/ trick/leaf/ rake/moon?
For those children who are having articulation (speech) difficulties practice saying words with select sounds (/ch/, /sh/, /l/, etc) to improve their intelligibility (pronunciation).
Categorization Skills: Name some fall words, Halloween words, name some popular halloween costumes, name some popular fall activities, etc.
NamingAssociations: what goes with a witch (broom), what goes with a squirrel (acorn), etc.
Practice expanding vocabulary by providing Attributes (object characteristics): Take a noun-word (thing) such as "squirrel" and answer some questions about it: what is it? what does it do? where do you find it? what are its parts? What color/shape is it? does it make any sounds? what goes with it. Here's one example, (I see a pumpkin. It's a fruit/vegetable that you can plant, grow and eat. You find it on a farm. It's round and orange and is the size of a ball. Inside the pumpkin are seeds. You can carve it and make a jack o lantern out of it).
Practice expanding language by providing relevant Definitions: Tell me what a skeleton is. Tell me what a scarecrow is.
Practice improving their Problem Solving abilities by naming Similarities and Differences among semantically related items: How are pumpkin and apple alike? How are they different?
Help them understand that many words can have more than one meaning and explain Multiple Meaning words to them: A bat, witch, clown, can mean _____ and also mean _________
So join in the fun and start playing today!
Tatyana Elleseff MA CCC-SLP is a bilingual speech pathologist with a private practice (Smart Speech Therapy LLC) and a full-time hospital affiliation (UMDNJ) in Central, NJ. She received her MA from NYU and her Bilingual Extension Certification from Columbia University. She is licensed by the state of NJ and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA. She specializes in working with bilingual, multicultural, internationally and domestically adopted as well as at-risk children with complex medical, psychiatric, developmental, neurogenic, and acquired communication disorders.
For more information see Tatyana’s blog and website: www.smartspeechtherapy.com/blog/ or call her at 917-916-7487