There are increasing numbers of studies that support the use of literacy-based speech therapy. This allows you not only to show the real-life application of skills but also allows you to target multiple skill areas with one tool: a book. The first thing that comes to our minds is to read a few pages and answer questions. However, that is only the tip of what to do with books. There are many other things that must happen before we get there. Frontloading is the best pre-reading strategy.
1. Spend time on story grammar
Before you get to work on the story/narrative grammar, it is important that you introduce the topic and engage your children in it. hese elements should be understood by your students. This will allow them to break down the story into smaller chunks and not one big thing. These elements can also be used in personal narratives we share throughout the day. Because when we stop to think about it, all we do is tell stories. These stories can be shared about the weekend, recess, and other events. This structure can be understood by students while they are reading in your classroom. They will then be able to recognize the parts that are used in stories in the classroom.
Begin by showing students visuals of the story grammar elements. Next, use wordless picture books for children to learn how to identify the elements of the story.
2. Develop background knowledge
It is important to have background knowledge in order to use literacy-based therapy. However, this is something that our students might not have. You might struggle to help your children understand inferential or prediction questions if you live in a large city. Children can use pictures for some help, but it is not enough. A child who doesn’t have enough background knowledge to help them understand the story and connect it to their meaning won’t be able to use pictures to assist. Each book should be started with some background information about the key elements. Perhaps the setting is in a large city. If so, find some short clips about cities to show kids how tall buildings are stacked together. Then have them discuss the traffic noises and the architecture. Talk about gardening and show some videos showing how plants grow. It can help them build their background knowledge and connect information.
3. Vocabulary: Spend time
Okay, when it comes to books, we can get a bit too focused on the vocab words. You might have 15 words for a story. If you’re trying to help students, you can teach them all in one session. Choose five words that fit both of these criteria. You can go through the book to see which words are most frequently used. These words can be reviewed before they start to read. This will ensure that the word isn’t unfamiliar to the reader and allows them to use their word knowledge to understand the context. Word Mapping is a great strategy to improve vocabulary.
4. Take a walk
Before you start reading the book, take a picture tour of the whole book. As we have already discussed, this is a way to build background knowledge. However, it also helps us understand the story. Take a look at each image.
These tasks are essential for literacy-based and prompt therapy. You can still incorporate your therapy goals with these pre-reading activities into every session.