How to Play Super Sentences
Place all the items on the table. Allow the child to touch and explore the items as you name them and talk about how they feel, look, what they are used for, where you find them, what parts they have, what they are made of, and anything else that comes to mind.
- Place the green picture cards face down on the table, pick one up and hold it so the child can’t see it.
- Read the sentence at the top of the picture card or modify it to suit your teaching purposes.
- Wait for the child to arrange the items as best they understand. Avoid intervening even if they are making a mistake.
When they are done, show them the picture card. If they arranged the items correctly, great. They understood everything you said. If not, identify what went wrong and employ some receptive language teaching strategies.
Continue being the speaker until the child understands the sentences at that level about 80% of the time.
- Then switch roles and ask the child to be the speaker so they can practice their expressive language skills.
- Position the objects exactly as the child describes even if you know they are saying it incorrectly.
When you are done arranging, have the child show you the picture card. If they described the image correctly, great! If not, identify what went wrong and employ some expressive language teaching strategies.
- Move to the next level when the child is about 80% successful being the listener and speaker.
Bonus Activity – Story Telling
- There are 3 stories included with the 60 picture cards – they have a purple border.
- Each story has the same two characters (Liz & Leo) and 4 parts to it.
- The 5th card has some WH comprehension questions, and a suggestion to have the child re-sequence the cards and then re-tell the story in their own words.
- There are many ways to engage children in this activity. One way is to lay the first story card face up on the table and read it to the child. The child will likely want to arrange the objects exactly like the picture card and thereby start to act the story out with real objects. This is an amazing way to facilitate story comprehension! Continue to lay each card down one by one as you read them and allow the child to move the items around to reflect the story content.
- When the story is finished, ask the comprehension questions to evaluate how well they understood the story, how well they understand each WH question form and how well they can answer a WH question.
- Mix up the picture cards and ask the child to re-sequence the story. Model the use of “time” words like beginning, end, before, after, first, second, third, last as they are putting them in the right order.
- Once the cards have been put in the right order, ask the child to re-tell the story in their own words. Are they using any of the “time” words you just modeled? Are they able to state the main idea and details in the story? Are they able to speak in grammatically correct sentences?
- Consider using each story as a starting point for another, related story. For example, in the story Liz & Leo Play Hide & Seek, Liz is hiding and Leo is looking for her. When that story is over you could suggest that it’s Leo’s turn to hide now and make up a little story about that. Then maybe one of the dogs has a turn to hide…
- Make up new stories. You can do this “on the fly” and just make up stories as you go or you can do this in a more focused manner by planning the story, arranging the items, taking photos, and then adding the print to the photos. This is a great literacy activity for students in grades 1-3.
- Check out our website each month for a new story you can download for free. The feature is called Learn & Grow with Liz & Leo. Feel free to submit your stories too!