EDUDEAF: Language Development Ideas for Everyday

Key Words: Curriculum Materials, language, k- 6

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Subj: Summer Calendar Project
Date: 97-04-23 11:49:24 EDT
From: CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU (Cathy Brandt)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Hi folks,

One of the things I want to send home this summer is a calendar of simple activities which will promote language interaction, reading and basic language development through the summer.

I would like the input and assistance from the parents, teachers, students etc on this list. The idea would be this:

Each of us submit several activities to the list. I will keep a compilation of all activities. In a few weeks I will then create a June/July/August calendar. I will place various activities on various dates - allowing some FREE dates with nothing specific planned.

Once completed I'll then upload and share it with the list. I'll attempt to do this by the third week in May. This will give teachers an opportunity to take it and adapt it any way they choose. They may then send it home with their students for optional or required summer work.

I'd love to see a VARIETY of ideas from simple five minute tasks to more complex projects which might be added. I've envisioned (nothing set in stone) specific activities on specific dates such as holidays etc. I also thought I would include a few projects which would occur over a few day period and could be incorporated based on family plans (activities which would accompany vacations, trips, visits to relatives etc).

So, would you be willing to share some ideas? Here are a few to give you an idea of what I was thinking - please do NOT let that stifle YOUR creativity if you have other kinds of ideas for summer work.

One Day Project - Watch your favorite TV Show. Write a letter to one of the characters telling him/her why you liked the show. Have a parent help you find the address and mail it.

Choose a classmate you've not seen since school was out. Write them a letter.

Write your teacher a letter.

Project for more than a day - Make a chart to put on your refrigerator. Along the side write the times: 6 a.m. - noon, noon - 6 p.m., 6 p.m. - midnight. Along the top write the days of the week for which you are doing the project. Tally each time someone opens the refrigerator door. After 3 or 5 days total the tallys and create a bar graph to show the frequency of times your refrigerator is opened. What does this say about your family's eating habits? What does this say about WHEN folks use the refrigerator. (You may also add names to see WHO is in the frig the most, what people are getting out of the refrigerator by food groups etc)

Looking forward to your ideas.

Thanks,
Cathy

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Subj: Summer Ideas
Date: 97-04-23 12:03:10 EDT
From: CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU (Cathy Brandt)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Some folks have already sent some ideas to me personally. I've written them and requested permission to forward their ideas to the list. I'd like for the ideas to be posted here now so we can begin to take advantage of some of these activities if we want. I'll then save them to compile and put in calendar form.

Here are a few ideas to get us started.

These ideas are found in the 1997 May edition of Family Fun. Even though I'm single and have no children of my own I love this magazine. Has wonderful ideas in it.

Here are a few ideas for the Summer Calendar:

Written Language Ideas
Invite all members of the family to participate to create a newsletter. Ask each family member to write a one-paragraph story about a recent event and then cut photos from old magazines to illustrate them. Fit and glue the pieces on a sheet of white paper. Then, have it photocopied to mail out to family and friends.
(If you have a computer at home you might want to create the newsletter using the computer)

Through the Air Language (Signed or Oral)
Instead of keeping all of the child's prized pictures in an album, your child can display them collage style on a personalized pillow perfect for taking along on long car rides or sleep overs. The project involves two steps - first, making a collage, and second, taking it to a photocopy shop to have the image transferred onto a pillowcase (the average fee is about $12). Once your child has selected the photos he wants to use, ask him to cut out the images with a pair of scissors and arrange them on a sheet of plain white paper of scissors and arrange them on a sheet of plain white paper. When he is happy with his design, have him glue the cutouts in place, and the collage will be ready to take to the copy shop. There ask the clerk to make a slightly reduced color photocopy of the collage to sharpen the images and then to transfer the photocopy image onto a pillowcase (you'll need to supply your own) or a piece of washable fabric you can sew into a cover.
At home your child can finish off his pillow by sewing on trinkets, beads, buttons or tassels.

Cathy's Note: You might want to do this as an activity to simply talk about various photos of past events and occasions. Use this time to talk with your child about people in your family, things they do, how they interact with the family etc. JUST TALKING/SIGNING WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT EVERYDAY THINGS IS CRITICAL.

Teachers, this would be a neat back to school activity also. Have kids bring in pictures from their summer. As the students create the collages this gives them an opportunity to share about their summer. Once the pillows are finished you can keep them in the reading corner of the classroom.

Vocabulary Development
...Every day we surprise the kids with a Word of the Day on our scrolling screen saver. We stick to words and names appropriate to their reading levels.

General Language and Fun!
While traveling by car or plane, my kids entertain themselves by creating their own postcards. Before the trip, I buy blank, prestamped postcards from the post office. Once we are underway, the kids draw pictures on the cards - usually of things they have done on vacation or are looking forward to doing. We address the cards to relatives and friends and drop them in the mail making sure we send a few home for our own travel journal. This activity has been so successful for our family that we now give friends travel kits of the prestamped cards and crayons as a bonvoyage gift.

Through The Air Langauge
Last Fall, when my girls started the school year with a few weeks of unusually smooth mornings, I was determined not to let their efforts go unnoticed. So, at the close of one Sunday dinner, I announced it was Family Awards Night. For their good deeds, I presented each of my daughters with a simple trophy (can of soda). Lanie got the Generosity Award for saving her allowance to buy her sister a birthday gift, while Jackie received the Safety Award for helping younger kids board the school bus. My husband and I have made it a Sunday night tradition to recognize the admirable qualities and good behavior of our daughters. Recent honors have included awards for: kindness, fitness, elbow grease, sister support, and patience.

Cathy's Note: You might want to do funny awards - Silliest Face of the Week, Goofiest Idea etc. You could have your child make up and give out awards for the week also. You might use certificates made on the computer, candy bars, or home made awards by the kids.

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Subj: Re: Summer Calendar Project (fwd)
Date: 97-04-23 14:21:22 EDT
From: CBRAN00@UKCC.UKY.EDU (Cathy Brandt)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Here's some ideas from Susan!

I've seen a sort of "Diary Bear" that people give to a friend. The stuffed animal has a diary attached and his guardian (of the week, month, day, whichever time limit you want) has to write the bear's adventure.

Example:
Give child #1 the stuffed animal with attached diary on the last day of school. Child #1 takes it home and writes (in first person for the bear) "Dear Diary, today I went home with Child #1 and we rode in a ____(color) car. For dinner I watched him/her eat ____. I slept in the ______(room). We watched television together. My favorite show was ____. Child's family took us to ____(park/zoo/beach). I touched ___(sand/lion/seashell). Tomorrow I am going to _____(child #2)."

Of course this can be modified from a fill-in-the-blank activity to a full writing assignment. The logistics of students exchanging the bear over the summer might be difficult. It would require a good plan with follow up by the teacher to make sure that no one forgets and "keeps" the bear. A variation would that each child would have a bear and a diary.

Older children may be able to make a newspaper with the events of the summer. Sports section would include spectator or participation information. Entertainment could be reviews of the movies/videos watched over the summer. Travel reporter could discuss a family trip. News might be family, neighborhood, or current events they followed. They could cut and paste their writing, photos, comics, onto a posterboard to make a jumbo newspaper.

Susan Carey
Interpreter
Middle School

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Subj: Re: Summer Calendar Project
Date: 97-04-24 13:34:22 EDT
From: jwright@KNOX.NET (jean wright)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

One of my favorite language skills games was all the various forms of 'Lotto' or matching games. We might play matching, maybe variations of 'go fish' or we just look at the different themes of the cards and talk about what is the same, what's different? Which one would you like to have in your house? Which one is too big to fit in your car? Which food do you like? Which one looks like you? Which one would you like to be? Sometimes the cards would sit unnoticed on the table while we talked about other things that came up in the 'why?' phase of the discussion.

We also played math/sign language games in the car. From the front seat, I would raise a hand to show a number, and ask what number's next, or what number was before that? Or flash math, 3 + 2 = ? Of course, the kids get older, and flash algebra is harder to manage in the car, but we do still play sometimes. Suppose I have three mice, one male, two female, and ... at the end of six months, how many mice will we have in our kitchen? Interestingly enough, we've gotten some pretty crazy 'suppose' games going.

Turn-taking stories are fun, too, but I think I saw those listed here recently. One person starts the story, another adds the second paragraph, third, fourth, fifth... Rules are flexible, but no complaining or groaning is permitted, even when the 'trekkie' brings Captain Picard into the story of mice, and language must be creative. No sibling put-downs are allowed, either.

Exposure is the key, the more language we have contact with, the more language we can handle.

Take care,
Jean Wright .
jwright@knox.net

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Subj: Re: Summer Calendar Project
Date: 97-04-25 10:32:54 EDT
From: ckrepel@POST.ITS.MCW.EDU (Candace Krepel)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

A permutation of the matching game is to challenge the kids to come up with diferent ways to group the same set of objects. The cow might be grouped with the chicken because they are both alive. Or it might be grouped with the table because they are both brown and have 4 legs. It's amazing what kinds of things kids will come up with.

Candy Krepel

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Subj: Re: Summer Calendar Ideas
Date: 97-04-28 09:38:33 EDT
From: jwright@KNOX.NET (jean wright)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

Our family strives to manage dinner-table conversation at least once a week, but with 3 teens, it does not always happen. One of the ways we have encouraged it is by celebrating when we do all sit down to eat together, and by NOT discussing infractions, impending discipline or misbehavior at the table. (Mine or theirs) All are expected to remain until excused, but all understand that they will have their turn to talk, laugh and listen. I think we all look forward to it.

One of our favorite stories involves the visiting child who watched and listened to our wild, distinctly lunatic style of dinner table conversation, eyes widening as we worked in three languages, covered at least six major topics, frequently MOST irreverently (especially for a preacher's table) and at last said, "You know? At our house, we just eat." with a sad little face, as if she knew there was something missing from her life.

Jean Wright
jwright@knox.net

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Subj: summer calendar
Date: 97-04-30 02:58:50 EDT
From: adrianne.davis@access.crcn.net (Adrianne Davis)
Sender: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
Reply-to: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education)
To: EDUDEAF@LSV.UKY.EDU (Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF)

About meal times, here are a couple of interesting activities around mealtimes, adapted from a program run at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

If you sit and eat together...
Place a picture of something under each person's plate. Announce what you have done only after there is risk of minimal spillage from the plates being lifted! It could be a picture of where you were planning to go tomorrow, or simply a funny cartoon, or something that connects to a concept your kids were trying comprehend.

Candles at the dinner table can create a different atmosphere (and a later dinner, so it is darker!) There are lots of ideas that go along with these items, blowing, flame, flicker, composition of ..., use of electricity long ago, scent, description words, theme candles, and the idea of a fancy dinner, too! Placemats of different description can also be used in a similar way.

Our family sometimes plays "same and different" around the table. It is a game where one person says two objects, for example, shoe and lettuce. The person next to him must give one example of how those objects are the same and how they are different. Then the next person has a chance to say how they are the same and different. This game stretches the imagination to the limits sometimes.

It is a good simple car game, too. (I dislike "I Spy" as it is fairly mindless.)

Plan a dinner or lunch where you do not use any utensils. Plates are allowed, but the idea is to have only finger food. What can you serve besides sandwiches??

Have a word collection over the month. Try to find all the words that associate with summer/sun and put them in a big hat? picnic basket? Read through the words on a rainy day and see how many you can put into one funny picture. (a school activity is to collect all the words that mean BIG and SMALL there are thousands!)

Cheers!
Adrianne Davis

Uploaded by: BJ Lawrence/ Kent State University/ Deafed Major