Dr. Brenda K. Gorman, Contributing Author
Speech-language pathologists are increasingly designing their language interventions to align with school curricula. Of course, this is easier for school-based clinicians who have more communication with classroom teachers and easier access to classroom goals and lesson plans. For clinic-based clinicians, it may be somewhat more challenging to find out what their young clients are learning in the classroom, although parents often have access to this information which they can share with clinicians.
I am a strong supporter of language intervention that expands children’s language skills while also supporting their world and background knowledge. February is African American History Month during which the country celebrates the innumerable contributions that African Americans have made to the economic, cultural, social, and political developmental of the United States. If you are looking for ideas for language intervention themes this month, African American history is the perfect topic for clients of all ages. Think of all the rich content knowledge and vocabulary related to social studies and social language that you can incorporate: historical figures, government, geography, maps, cultures, timelines, feelings, and so many more.
For example, one of the common core standards for second graders (ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3) indicates that children will describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. For third graders (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3), it states that children that children will describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect. According to one standard for sixth through eighth graders (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.10), students will read and comprehend history/social studies texts complexity band proficiently.
There are excellent resources available on the web, including children’s books and lesson plans, to help you plan intervention this month. Just a few are listed below. Enjoy African American History!