WHAT: Vocabulary Password (Musselwhite, 2017) is a great way to support students who use AAC. This is based on the work of Gail van Tatenhove, who suggests using the ‘Descriptive Teaching Method’ to help students understand low-frequency or fringe words, also called Tier 3 words www.vantatenhove.com For example, you could pick a fringe word such as ‘metamorphosis’ and use simpler words, including core words, to define it (CHANGE FROM ONE FORM TO ANOTHER). We make this a game, collecting fringe words during reading, and using simpler words to explain them.
HOW: Harvest words from your reading that are not on the device, but you can explain. Use simple words to explain each word, modeling on the AAC device. For example, litter = TRASH EVERYWHERE. Write the words on a whiteboard or an app such as Doodle Buddy.
|Paddle Board from Dollartree|
|Doodle Buddy app|
This is a great activity to support the vocabulary assessment with Readtopia® (http://www.donjohnston.com/ ). After students match the word to the picture, you can play password, giving clues using the AAC system(s) of the student(s). The examples below used the Doodle Buddy app with stickers.
Vocabulary Assessment, Dr. Dolittle:
Krista, an adult who uses AAC, is a tutor for Alyssa, a teen who uses an eye gaze communication device. Krista uses her device to give clues:
I WANT TO SEE IT. IT IS A PLACE. IT IS BIG (Africa)
WE NEED IT TO BUY SOMETHING. COUNT IT. (money)
IT IS A PET AND IT IS RED. (parrot)
Vocabulary Assessment: Gold Bug:
Note the use of stickers with the Doodle Buddy app.
This vocabulary assessment presents words and pictures to match. Think of clues (using high frequency words) for each image:
Check out the password tip at the
AAC Intervention website.
Tip # 3, 2017
View this tip as a downloadable pdf: