Monday, October 26, 2015

A Story Retold … and Retold Well!

“How did you make it?” Ashton asks his older sister, Katie.

We had just finished making Instant Pudding and had been using our Mealtime placemats while we ate our pudding.

Katie’s food preparation activity was conducted in a low tech format … using a non-electronic communication display (a matrix-16 Food Prep display plus recipe-specific Dual=Representation Supplemental Symbols) worn by the Facilitator on a Velcro-receptive apron. 

Aided Language Stimulation was the teaching model used throughout this interactive hands-on food preparation activity.  

Ashton’s comment, however, was a beautiful segue into my planned follow-up activity, i.e., using the Animated Step-by-Step™Instant Pudding on the iPad (Microsoft PowerPoint app) to ‘tell the story’ of how Katie made that delicious pudding.

Knowing in advance that I was going to introduce an Animated Step-by-Step™ as a follow-up ‘story’, I was careful to follow the exact same sequence of steps when Katie and I made the pudding.  As these PowerPoints are animated, they lend themselves well to ‘retelling’ a story in an interactive way. The act of activating the animations (I typically use a Bluetooth switch to simplify the motor response) provides just the right amount of audience participation to make the story interesting. I also personalized the story by liberally using the children’s names throughout the story.

To better address Katie’s needs, I altered the PowerPoint in advance to have the symbols appear when the page opened instead of after the page animations were completed. This allowed me to ‘read’ the story using the symbols (Note: symbols typically appear at the end of the animation sequence, especially important when literacy is the major focus of the group lesson). Please refer to the  08/03/2015 blog post, What if you want the symbols to appear upfront? for detailed information on how to make the symbols appear as soon as the page opens.

Here’s a peek into the story about Katie making pudding for Ashton.

(referring to the cover page) 

"Oh look, Katie, I see your brother, Ashton, eating the vanilla pudding we made! (sheer coincidence that the graphic does indeed look like her brother) 

Looks like he likes it!  …. (Ashton verbally confirms that the vanilla pudding was indeed delicious) …

Ashton, here are all the ingredients Katie needed to make your pudding.  Katie needed …  1 package of instant PUDDING MIX (trigger the animation). She found that on the counter (showing the COUNTER supplemental symbol)…. 1 cup of MILK (trigger the animation). Katie,  can Ashton guess where we found the MILK?  We found the MILK in the (expectant pause) (showing the FRIDGE supplemental symbol).

First, Katie OPENED the BOX of PUDDING (pointing to the symbols as you speak)(Ashton triggers animation)
READY, SET, OPEN. (Katie triggers animation)
Then Katie noticed, HEH THERE IS a BAG INSIDE …(Ashton triggers animation)

 Let’s see what happened next in our story...

(Note: the ‘pinch to zoom in’ feature IOS system is being used to enlarge the symbols for Katie)

Using an Animated Step-by-Step™ to tell a story about what you did,  is a great way to share the experience and provide additional exposure to the language and the symbols used in a previously accomplished activity.  It’s also a great way to promote sibling and peer interaction! In short , Animated Step-by-Steps™ allow you to retell an experiential story in a fun and interactive way.

…‘til the next post ... (new posts every Monday)

© 2015 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator
Author and International Speaker

Symbols used in illustrations:
SymbolStix 2015
Used with permission
PO Box 550
Huron OH 44839