This activity could be a huge help for students with autism. Many studentswith autism tend to take other people’s words very literally. For example, if someone stated, “It’sraining cats and dogs out there,” the student with autism may truly expect cats and dogs to be fall-ing from the sky. This activity will help the student differentiate between the literal and figurativemeanings of the saying. Having the literal picture of a cloud with cats and dogs falling from it nextto the figurative picture of a really hard rainfall will allow the students to see what is really meant by the expression. Another expression that may confuse students with autism is “The cat’s out of the bag”. With this assignment, they can have the literal picture be a one of a cat crawling out of a bag while the figurative picture can be one of someone letting out a secret. These two picturesnext to each other will help students see the difference between what is actually meant by the id-iom. Explicitly learning the difference between idioms’ literal and figurative meanings will greatly benefit these students who take everything literally.
An activity that helps practice phonics is easily done if you have a magazine, scis-sors, glue, and a poster board. First, the students will peruse the magazine looking for pictures of any objects that interest them. After finding ten pictures that they like, the students should cut outthe pictures and glue them to the poster board while making sure to leave room underneath each picture to write a word. Once all ten pictures are glued on, the student should start with the first picture and write every syllable to that word. The student will then continue to do the same for ev-ery one of their ten pictures.
Learning how many syllables are in a word is such an important task for the begin-ning reader. It allows for them to sound out bigger words through the smaller segments of sylla- bles. According to CC.1.R.F.3.e, students in first grade should be able to decode two-syllablewords following basic patterns by breaking the words into syllables. The magazine picture activitywill allow for students to separate words into syllables by having students write down each sepa-rated syllable as well as clap to the syllables.
Since this activity relies heavily on pictorial representations, students withvisual impairments who cannot read small print are able to participate fully. Seeing large picturesin the magazine will allow them to decide what they want on their poster. Also, using markers or alarger utensil to write will help the student better see their writing when they separate the syllables.If using markers is not enough assistance, the teacher can ask the student to point to their pictureand separate the word into syllables by clapping at each syllable of the word. For example, if thestudent picked a picture of a basketball, the teacher would write it as bas-ket-ball. Then the teacher would have the student clap out the syllables by saying bas-ket-ball and clapping during each sylla- ble. This allows the student to see and hear the three syllables in the word. It also allows theteacher to know that the student still understands the concept of separating syllables.
My Pile, Your Pile
In the game that helps improve fluency, students are to quickly read aloud wordsthat are presented on an index card. Each of these notecards will be created by the teacher andhave a word specific for that grade level written on one side. There will be about 15 of these note-cards in a shuffled stack. Students in groups of two are to flip over a card from the stack, one at atime, so that they can try to read it aloud as quickly and as accurately as possible. Whichever stu-