Picture books are a flexible, age-appropriate, functional tool for teaching core vocabulary in your speech therapy sessions because they offer exposure to targeted words within meaningful contexts for our students and AAC users.
Core vocabulary words are frequently used words that are applicable across various contexts. These words form the foundation of communication, enabling AAC users to share a wide variety of thoughts and messages using a smaller set of words.
While we always want to be modeling fringe words and words/phrases that are personal and motivating to each student, structuring your therapy sessions around core vocabulary can be an effective strategy, so to me, it makes sense to find activities and books that center around these flexible, motivating words!
Criteria for Book Selection
The selection criteria for my recommended books include:
- Repetition of Core Vocabulary: Books that use the core vocabulary word over and over (or provide really easy/clear modeling opportunities).
- Shorter: Shorter and simpler sentences and text. This helps our students focus more on the simple, repetitive structure of many of these stories and the targeted core vocabulary word.
- Engaging Content: Stories that are interesting and engaging!
- Diverse Contexts: Books that use the core vocabulary words in a variety of ways, improving generalization and engagement.
Without further ado, here’s some of my top recommended books to target specific core vocabulary words:
Picture Books to Target “Not”
If you are looking for another amazing AAC resource, I’d highly recommend checking out my AAC Implementation Toolkit. It contains everything you need to make AAC work in your schools. You’ll get everything you need to train staff and parents, with tons of handouts, resources, and even a training presentation! Best of all, the packet now includes activity pages for 18 core words, with all my best ideas to get lots of practice using these all important words.
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AAC Implementation Toolkit
One of the most important parts of AAC implementation is making sure that the entire team (family members, staff) is using simple but effective AAC strategies such as consistent AAC access, modeling, and core vocabulary throughout the entire day! This resource will help you educate others about four foundational, research-based, strategies (or “best practices”) for implementing and teaching AAC.More Info
Books can be such a valuable tool for engaging AAC users while modeling core vocabulary! But these are just my favorites! I’d love to hear what books you love to use when targeting core vocabulary words!
Thanks for reading! ❤️