Time to play Word Search!
By Deanna Wagner, Language and Literacy AACtivist
Matching a word to a picture is an important skill for people who use AAC. The words on a communication system are represented visually with picture supports for individuals who are learning to spell, and as a way to get to words faster than spelling them letter by letter. But if you think about it, a picture can be used for lots of different words. Instead of matching one word to one picture, let's play a game of finding many pictures that go with the same word.
Word Search using tools in your AAC system.
First, let's search for a couple of words in the AAC system. The most fun ones are used as a way to describe or comment. On Halloween, we chose the words SCARY and SILLY. This game works with 2 words, but you could also add another, like FUN!
Once you find the word in the AAC system, look at how it is spelled and write it down on a Post-it note. Having a reminder of what we are looking for helps us as we start the game. We can even model the word LOOK as we check the word on the Post-it and start our next search for the word.
Word Search for examples of times when the word could be used.
Now we need to pick another place to search for the word. You can search in a book, around the house, at the mall, or on the internet. We looked around some stores and did a Google images search, using "Halloween costume + SCARY/SILLY/FUN."
Once we collected some possible examples we talked about what we found. We took pictures so we could show other people what we found. We used our phones and we used iPads with screen captures. We even sent pictures to each other using AirDrop. Believe it or not, different people had different ideas about what is scary or silly! To see if somebody else can guess which picture is the best choice for one or the other, ask somebody! Practice asking, "Which one do you think XX decided is SILLY?" Try pointing to some of the words on an AAC system when you talk. Don't worry if you can't find all the words to make the sentence, just point to a few of them.
Who will you play Word Search with? This game works with different people, at different times, and using different devices. Playing the game more than once helps us memorize where to find words and integrate examples of how to use them. You can even use a poll on Facebook to ask all your friends. Once you have examples you can also use them to make your own book. Here is a screen capture from the book we wrote.
Have fun and remember to stay SILLY! It makes learning so much more interesting!!!
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For more information on AAC systems, check out these links for apps that include Word Search tools!
Avaz - https://www.avazapp.com/products-avaz-aac-app/
CoughDrop - https://blog.mycoughdrop.com
Crescendo 60 on Proloquo2Go – www.assistiveware.com
Grid with SuperCore - https://thinksmartbox.com
LAMP Words For Life (Full) or Unity – www.aaclanguagelab.com
Speak For Yourself - https://www.speakforyourself.org/features/
Snap + Core First – www.mytobiidynavox.com
Talk Suite (formerly titled TotalTalk) - link to be released soon!
TouchChat WordPower 60 Basic – www.satillo.com/chatcorner