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NarrativeExpository Peer InteractionReadingWritingPre-SchoolEarly ElementaryUpper ElementaryMiddle/High SchoolTechnologyParent and Professional Information


March 02, 2011

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Dinosaurs, Narrative, and Flexible Thinking

Dinosaurs, Narrative, and Flexible Thinking

I always love finding resources that serve as a context for addressing many speech and language-related skills. The wonderful book Edwina — The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She was Extinct by Mo Willems is one of those resources; it can be used to target narrative and expository formulation, as well as social thinking skills in several areas.

To begin with, Edwina is a story that will engage and delight children from early to late elementary ages, beginning with its title and the name of the main character, Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. Reginald has a problem...

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January 31, 2011

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Interactive, Visual Resources to Complement Feelings Instruction (Internal Responses)

It's All About the Story CoverAs stated so well in It’s All About The Story, Book I of MindWing’s Autism Collection, “Tuning into one’s own Feelings as well as the Feelings of Others is extremely problematic to children with autism. The book provides visual flip charts, discussion prompts and an introduction to the Six Universal Feelings (happy, sad, mad, scared, surprised and disgusted), as well as ways to move beyond those Universal categories to more advanced feelings vocabulary—all of these resources give SLPs a great place to start...

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January 12, 2011

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Kick-Off the Kick-Off

In some recent posts I have described some visual and interactive activities to complement the instruction in It’s All About the Story establishing the concepts of character and setting. In keeping with the sequence of lessons in Mindwing’s Autism Collection, I’d like to move on to a few ways technology can help you introduce the Initiating Event or “Kick-Off “ of a narrative. As the lessons describe, you can discuss how in a particular setting, something happens to characters to “change the ‘Ho-Hum’ day” and start the story! An additional language strategy is to teach the words and phrases that signal a Kick-Off: suddenly, just then, etc. Taking a step beyond the visuals in the lessons, you can teach your students to apply the concept of the Kick-off using a few fun interactive technology resources...

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December 16, 2010

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Is Maryellen Actually “Maryellen Who?”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, was born in 1904 on Howard Street in Springfield, Massachusetts – which is right around the corner from MindWing’s office. The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden is located at the Springfield Museums near our office as well. The influence of Ted’s (Dr. Seuss’) memories of Springfield can be seen throughout his work.

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, we wanted to share a lesson idea from MindWing’s book: East Meets West for the Holidays by Maryellen Rooney Moreau and Judy K. Montgomery. This lesson is based on one of Dr. Seuss’ most beloved holiday stories: How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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November 08, 2010

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Comprehension Involves More Than Just the Beginning-Middle-End of a Story

Story Grammar Episode Organizer Poster

This is a MindWing Concepts Map of the components of a story taking into consideration “story grammar.” It is called “The SGM® Episode Organizer.” The story grammar components, making up the beginning/middle/end of a story are shown as icons. The Character, Setting, Kick-off (problem or excitement), Feeling and Plan are in the beginning. The actions (attempts) to carry out the plan make up the middle and the Consequence and resolution make up the end.

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October 12, 2010

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Use Google Search Stories tool to develop narrative and expository language

Every year during the Superbowl, a few commercials stick out from the sea of repetitive beer, snack food, and summer blockbuster ads.  This past year, one of the best was Google’s Parisian Love ad, which told the story of an American’s romance with a French woman in a simple and brilliant way, as an unseen character “Googled” various search terms that reflected events in his life.  A follow-up ad about a girl switching schools, which I never saw aired, would be even more relatable for kids and is definitely a great model of a complete episode.

These commercials were so popular that Google created a wonderful tool that allows users to make their own Search Stories. Simply pick your search terms and the type of search you want shown in your movie (e.g. web, image, product, map, etc), select the music and upload to a YouTube account (if you have Gmail, you already have a YouTube account)...

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September 27, 2010

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Setting Can be the Key to a Story

Shortcut by Donald Crews

My previous post discussed the narrative element of setting and the tendency of students on the autism spectrum (or with other language disorders) to leave out details about setting, causing listener confusion. One way to explore the importance of setting is to plan interventions using books with an integral setting- where the setting is key to the motivations of the characters and understanding of the plot.

One of my favorites in this vein is Donald Crews’ Shortcut, the story of a group of cousins who find themselves in unexpected danger after taking a shortcut home. Not only does the book serve as an excellent example of building suspense around a small moment in a personal narrative (great for students working on memoir), it also lends itself to being mapped both on a Setting Map and a literal, visual map to develop storytelling skills...

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