Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Important Book

The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon) is a great book for teaching attributes and object description.  The book takes ordinary objects:  a spoon, daisy, rain, grass, snow, apple, wind, sky, shoe, and “you”/a person and describes in rich details how these things smell, feel, taste, look, are used, etc… 


Using this book, students can begin to look at using rich vocabulary to describe the color, shape, function, category, materials and parts of many different objects.  For example, the book states that the important thing about a spoon is “that you eat with it.  It’s like a little shovel (hello, compare and contrast activity), You put it in your hand, You can put it in your mouth, It isn’t flat, It’s hollow (tier 2 vocabulary), And it spoons things up.  But the important thing about a spoon is that you eat with it.”  The words flow in a poetic stanza, giving ideas of how one could describe such an ordinary object with lots of rich, detailed descriptors.  The pictures that are paired with each item are also fantastic!  Check out more of the text and illustrations at the Amazon link:

I like to pair this activity with the EET tool, and the Describe It app from Synapse apps.  It also works well with low-tech activities like picking other objects from the pictures in the book and doing it together with the student/group on the whiteboard:  clouds, hats, bird, tree, bee, and butterfly.  I like to write on the board “The important thing about a ________ is…” and then have the kids help me fill in the rest using attributes and object description.  Here is one we did today.  We looked at the picture of the cloud on the page about the sky, and here is what we came up with:

The students added the where category because they remembered it from the EET tool.  I had to look up what clouds are made of to make sure we were correct, but what a great way to pull in the internet and do a little research!  This can also be easily turned in to a worksheet that students can complete on their own while you work one-on-one with other students during a session.  The ideas for this book are limitless.  Have you used this book in your therapy sessions?

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