Using an Actions ChoicePad

Building up vocabulary

Great for

- Early Years

- Can also be adapted for more experienced MyChoicePad users to reinforce new vocabulary

Verbs vs Nouns

Action words (or verbs) describe what is happening. Nouns are used in labelling or naming an object and they tend to look the same across different contexts. MyChoicePad users may find it difficult to learn and use new verbs because they refer to the motions or movements of objects and they tend to look different in each new environment.

How to use the ChoicePad

You can use this ChoicePad to support the MyChoicePad user to respond to simple questions (for example ‘what is teddy doing?’), to initiate interaction or start a conversation by signing what they can see (for example ‘teddy eating’) or to learn new vocabulary.

1) Activity : For the MyChoicePad user to respond to simple questions

You could have a teddy and a dolly and take it in turns to have them carry out simple actions such as making the teddy go to sleep. You ask ‘what is teddy doing?’ and the child or MyChoicePad user can respond by choosing the appropriate symbol, by signing or saying the word.

Step up: Ask ‘what is happening?’ and the user must identify and sign who + action (for example ‘teddy sleep’)

2) Activity : For the MyChoicePad user to start a conversation

When playing or reading together - observe, wait and listen - watch what they are doing and wait for them to look at you and initiate an interaction by signing what is happening. Remember - you can edit the grid depending on what you are doing at the time. If you are reading ‘The Very Lazy Ladybird’ together include signs for the appropriate animals and actions (for example ladybird, monkey, bear, jump, swing etc).

3) Activity : Introducing new vocabulary

Decide which new signs to work on this week and make up the grid. Take it in turns to create stories using the symbols and signs and you could reinforce the new vocabulary with an arts and crafts activity (for example using play dough or drawing and colouring).


Customise for the person you are supporting

When using MyChoicePad as a language development tool it is important to remember the following:

- Focus on up to 5 new signs at a time - you can select which signs to include in the choicepad each week

- Try to keep activities as simple as possible to help the user to focus on the vocabulary

- Short, regular practise sessions (10-15 minutes per day) will help new signs and words to be transferred to the user’s long term memory

- Keep everyone involved and encourage the MyChoicePad user to interact with a range of different people