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HERES ONE

Heres one I made earlier...


Cynthia Pelman with a low cost, flexible and fun suggestion Bookmaking
We therapists use narrative in many different ways - for assessment, to target skills such as story grammar, and to focus on specific aspects of phonology or language. Those working in schools are especially likely to use narrative, as so much of school work involves recalling and retelling past events in their correct sequence and in sufficient detail. Our emphasis is of course on oral and not written storytelling and language. But making a book does not mean taking away this emphasis; nor am I suggesting that the children should necessarily write their own books (although some really love to). I do, however, encourage children to make their own books. If we can record a story in a concrete way - through pictures (stick men drawings or downloaded images work equally well) and through the therapist scribing what the child has said, it provides a lovely way to celebrate the childs achievement. It creates a permanent record to take home, as well as offering opportunities for repeated oral output though retelling the story to family and friends. MATERIALS There are endless ways to make a book, and all are simple enough for the child to do most of the work (with supervision for use of glue and scissors). The children I work with use a range of different methods to create their books. There are some wonderful websites which provide clear instructions for bookmaking, and once you get into it your own imagination will take over. You dont need expensive materials - scraps of cardboard, cereal boxes, glue, glitter and coloured pens will take you a long way. The binding of the book is the most technical bit. The simplest way is to staple some pages together and make a cardboard cover. But children love to be able to create something more attractive and interesting, and to choose their own book design, so here are some more ideas: 1. An easy method is to use a few blank cards stapled or linked with treasury tags; the child can illustrate a cover and you have a book which can be taken home and re-told to their family. You can also use packaging labels (the ones with one hole pre-punched and strings attached) to make a fun little book. 2. Cut out as many pages as you will need, and cut a cardboard cover folded in half to contain the pages. Punch two holes through the left side of the pages and the cover. Hold a long elastic band at the back of the book and insert the top looped end from the back to the front into the top hole, and the other looped end into the bottom hole. Catch both loops with a pencil .That way you can always take the book apart, use the pencil to add more pictures, and put it together again! Make sure that the illustrated pages inside have a good 3cm margin on the left to allow for punching and bending. I usually draw the margin in so that the children are not tempted to draw right to the edge. 3. Another simple way to bind pages with two punched holes is to use a shiny narrow ribbon threaded through and tied in the front with a bow. Make sure to score and bend the front cover about 1cm to the right of the punched holes so that the cover opens properly. Craft shops sell lots of tiny pretty flowers on wire stems which you can wind around the ribbon. You can use shiny or fluorescent coloured card for the cover, or decorate with glitter and pictures. 4. Cut 3 pages of A4 in half or thirds lengthwise, and glue the ends together to make a very long thin strip of paper. Fold in a concertina style (like a fan) so that each fold gives you a decentsized page (about 7 cm wide). For the cover, fold a piece of card in two. Glue one end of the concertina to the front inside cover and the other end to the back inside cover and you have a book with lots of pages! Children love to open up the concertina, which is really long, and then to fold it back in. 5. An additional decorative detail, and one which usefully holds the concertina book closed, is to cut a thin strip of very unusual paper (wallpaper or gift wrap scraps are good) about 4 cm wide and long enough to go all around the book, to make a little sleeve into which you can slip the book. The sleeve should slip off easily so that the child can open the book quickly, but not be so loose that it falls off. 6. See http://www.makingbooks.com/hotdog.shtml for a quick, easy and inexpensive way to make a little book with a single sheet of A4. 7. Make a fabric cover for a simple stapled book. Furniture upholsterers and fabric shops often discard their old fabric sample books. The child can choose a fabric and cut it out to be the same size as a cardboard cover (old cereal boxes are good). To attach the fabric to the card, bend and score the card first so the fold is ready and then glue the fabric onto the cover with white glue while the cover is bent closed (otherwise the fabric will not be big enough to accommodate the fold and will distort the card). 8. You can make a wallet-type of cover with fabric and card which wraps around the book and is closed with a ribbon. The wallet cover is folded in three: each piece should be the same size as the book. The middle part goes over the back of the book and the two sides are left loose to wrap around the book. Use a colourful ribbon to tie it up; it is best to fix the ribbon with a stitch or split pin onto the edge of the front wrap so that it doesnt get lost. 9. A fun way to illustrate a front cover is to draw the characters in the story on the front and to glue plastic eyes onto the characters. Craft shops sell lovely little plastic eyes with moving bits for the pupil and a flat back for glueing. You can also use scissors which cut a wavy edge to give shape to the pages and the cover. RESOURCE More ideas at http://www.vickiblackwell.com/makingbooks.html IN PRACTICE The use of oral storytelling is of course primary, and is the earliest entry for the young child into the world of narrative. It is important however to keep in mind both input and output for narrative (as for any other therapy activity). If we are modelling a rich input by reading or telling a story, and by expanding the childs contributions, we risk taking up too much of the air time and not giving children the opportunity or time to create their own stories. Make sure that the child is given time and encouragement to make up their own stories and to tell and retell them to a range of listeners. I have found that providing extensive and frequent opportunities for output has made a big difference for children who were once shy or reluctant to make up their own stories; in addition, it sometimes develops their expressive language more effectively than modelling and expanding.
SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY IN PRACTICE summer 2011

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