Thursday, November 1, 2007

Read and Sing: A Story for Halloween

I added the book, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams and Harper Collins Publishers to my recommendations. One of the teachers I work with had been using the story and thought that I might have some unique instrument sounds that would complement the text. I used the story several times with great success! I was amazed that even my small group of three boys with autism was able to follow the story with good attention and even perform their assigned sounds at the right times.

The story lends itself well to the special education setting. The author, Ms. Williams, skillfully repeats the sounds each character makes while at the same time sequencing new characters and sounds into the story. I think that the interlude between each repeating section is short enough that it allows the children who have disabilities to maintain their attention until it is time to play their instruments. I used a drum for "clomp, clomp," a thunder tube for "wiggle, wiggle," an African shekere for "shake, shake," sand blocks for "clap, clap," a laughter tube for "nod, nod" and a Big Mac switch for "boo, boo." I am sure that there are a variety of instruments that can be used, but the key for success is to make them unique and somehow related to the sounds in the story. The story should also be read with a predictable rhythm and cadence so that the children can anticipate better their chance to play the instruments. Sequencing skills, turn-taking, waiting, following directions, and focus of attention are all good things to keep track of for data on IEP objectives during this activity.

Get ready...set...BOO!

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