An easy group attention activity this week. Sound Touch Lite is a free app which has pages of animals and transport pictures and each one makes a realistic sound when pressed. I tried this activity using the farm animals page with primary school aged children who had early language skills and difficulties with attention and listening.
I hid the ipad under a box and pressed one of the animals to make the sound. The children were encouraged to listen and then make the sign or attempt to say the name of the animal. After the animal is pressed, it creates a full screen photo which can be shown to the group and the sign/word reinforced. It occurs to me I’ve spent years attempting to make animal/transport sounds during preschool activities but there’s never any harm in actually using the real thing for a change. You can upgrade to lots more vocabulary pages for £2.99.
I recently ran some sessions with my verbal primary ASD group to work on sequencing skills using motivating activities that the students could do themselves. The Story Creator app lets you take pictures very easily while you are doing an activity and provides a stimulus (pictures and spoken words) for discussion afterwards. Am also planning to run this session with some of my preschool caseload.
A session using Vinegar Volcano went as follows:
- First, I carried out the activity step by step in front of the group – using clear and simple sentences to describe each stage. (Language used can be adapted to the level of the individual/group). Another member of staff took photos of the activity with the iPad. Steps are as follows:
- Make a mound of soil and put a small pot in the middle. Those old camera film cases work really well but a yoghurt pot would be just as good.
- Pour vinegar into the pot, right up to the rim.
- With a bit of a fanfare, add a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda to the pot
- Enjoy the explosion!
- I set up a story of myself doing the activity using Story Creator/Add Story and inserted photos from library into the app (this can be done before the session to save time). I then prompted the students to comment on each photo.
- Students took turns to carry out the activity and I took photos of each stage on the ipad. (This doesn’t work if the group is too big!)
- We showed the story on the big screen and students took turns to comment on what was happening and say what would happen next. The app has the facility for recording sound so you can adapt by asking the students to record their own words onto the story – especially useful for recapping or telling someone else about what happened.
Step 3: adding ‘white powder’
Step 4: The explosion!