There are many ways to work on developing language skills and concepts at home. Describing by using attributes and salient features is a skill that can be done in day-to-day life. It builds vocabulary skills, as well as helps the student work on receptive language (comprehension) and expressive language (speaking).
When describing something, try to identify the following:
- Function (what is it used for?)
- Material (what is it made out of?)
- Parts (what parts does it have?)
- Category (what type of thing is it?)
- Color (what color is it?)
- Location (where can you find it?)
- Size (what is its size?)
- Shape (what shape is it?)
- ...and more!
Mug - something we drink out of (function), has a handle (parts), can be found in a kitchen cupboard (location), has a smooth surface (texture), and is ceramic (material).
Apple - a type of fruit (category), round (shape), can be red or yellow or green (color), grows on trees (location), has a stem and seeds (parts), tastes sweet and crunchy
- For a helpful visual support, download the "Describing Helper Handout" [link] in my Files & Forms section.
- There is a paid app that I found, called "Describe it to me" [link] on the Apple App Store. It can be a fun way to work on describing if you wish to purchase it.
Example Home Activities:
- Play "I Spy" while reading a book with pictures. For example, "I spy something on this page that is made of wood and can be used for sitting on." You can also play this game when you're taking a nature walk.
- Write down descriptors/features of an object in mind, and have your child pick the object from a set of pictures/words, or have your child draw it.
- Draw an object and have your child write down the descriptors that go with the object. To make the task easier, you can write choices (e.g., is it a type of animal or clothing? smooth or rough? big or small?) and have your child circle the descriptor that matches the object.
I hope that this post is a helpful resource!
Jasmin Wang, M.A., CCC-SLP