Friday, December 18, 2015

Using Core Vocabulary to Express Feelings with Inside Out

I'm most definitely on the core vocabulary bandwagon.  Anytime I see an opportunity to engage students in using their augmentative and alternative devices, I jump at the chance.  While perusing Facebook, I came across a post featuring the Inside Out characters written by Rachael M. Langley.  She has been using the hashtag #ICanDoMoreThanRequest to emphasize that communication is much more than requesting/asking for things.  (FYI, the hashtag is on Twitter too.)  

To do this activity, I used SMART Notebook (you can use PowerPoint or Google Slides) and copied pictures from Google Images.  I did this push-in activity with two groups (12-20 kids).  First, we brainstormed and listed Things that Make Us Feel ____ (anger, fear, disgust, sadness, and joy).  Then we listed Things that We Say When We Feel _____.  I provided a sheet with talking bubbles for each feeling.  The kids had to write in at least four per feeling.

The kids were really engaged and provided a lot of comments for my AAC users to use.  The comments were age-appropriate and used much of the core vocabulary.  The AAC users were able to provide some novel, spontaneous responses to the questions (e.g. "What are some things that make you feel fear?").  I did this activity for three weeks (45 minute sessions).  We finished off the lesson with a video modeling project by demonstrating what we say when we experience these emotions.  I'd love to show you the finished product, but I don't have permission from all of my families.  Just picture it as something awesome.  The kids love seeing themselves up on the SMARTBoard and it reinforced the skill that was taught.  After I showed them their video, I showed them a JibJab video with the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams starring the students.  If you haven't done JibJab with your students, it's a must do.

Overall, I'd say our favorite emotion to talk about was disgust.  We were certainly able to list many disgusting things.  After talking about disgust, I came up with even more ideas.  I'll share those in a future blog post.  How about you?