A few weeks ago I was able to watch a webinar from Lauren Enders in regards to fun activities to jumpstart AAC learning. Last week I shared how much the need for making our lessons fun and connecting with our students resonated with me, particularly as we begin to meet with our students in person and may feel pressured to make up for lost time.
I loved many of the ideas Ender shared, and one that I cannot wait to use with Joey is to use wordless animated short videos. Although I have always loved wordless books it had never occurred to me to use wordless videos to encourage language use.
In order to get the most language out of using these videos, Enders sited Rachel Madel and Susan Berkowitz who recommended first setting your intention with your student, then watching, pausing the video, modeling the language using the AAC device, and then rewinding and watching again – either to repeat your model or to allow the student to produce the language themselves if they are ready.
First of all, not only had it never occurred to me to use these videos, I did not even know these videos were out there! I fell into a rabbit hole of watching wordless shorts and dreaming of all the possibilities. The best videos are the ones that are full of age-appropriate humor. Enders points out one called Jurassic Farts, which involves dinosaurs farting. May not be dinner-time conversation, but what young child doesn’t want to giggle and talk about farting dinosaurs?
I’m excited to try Ornie the Pig with Joey. The pig is determined to get a snack on top of the refrigerator. Think of the prepositions and verbs that you can use to tell what is going on as the pig struggles, as well as words that describe all the emotions the pig is feeling while he tries (and fails) to reach the cookies.
Take time to explore some of the wordless shorts out there and find ones that may be perfect for your communicator! There is so much potential for not just language, but for facilitating laughter with these short, silly videos! This blog also has a great list!