Have you ever tried to teach describing and felt like you were hitting a brick wall?  Was it a hard concept for your kiddos to really understand?  Did you try attribute cards, visual aids, cuing/prompting/questioning, etc and still found that your client/child was struggling?  If so, maybe a sensory box is the ticket for you (and your child).  I like to teach describing using our 5 senses.  This week, I will be blogging about one sense per day.  At the end of the week, I'll also attach the describing worksheet that I use to track my clients' progress.

Personally, I think that starting with the sense of sight is the easiest for most kids.  Our eyes tell us characteristics such as:  color, shape, size, number, parts, etc.  Kids (even very young children) can usually at least name the color, shape, and size of an object.  That gives the kids the feeling of success early in the describing game.  

First we talk about all of the characteristics that our eyes can tell us about an object.  I then take out an object and we talk about each of these characteristics pertaining to the object.  For example:  This pinwheel is...
  • colorful
  • long/tall/big
  • has two parts: fan/wheel and the stem/stick
  • The wheel is round
  • There is only one pinwheel
As you can see in the picture below, I chose 4 objects to include for the "sight" sense.  I tried to pick objects that varied in the different characteristic categories to give the kids a clear understanding of the differences while describing.  

As the week goes on, you will see that some of my items will overlap into other categories.  Also, remember that these are merely SUGGESTIONS.  You can pick any items that you would like!  Start looking around your house and collecting up things to put into your sensory box.  

A sensory box is also very useful when working on listening comprehension.  You can use it to saying things like:  "find the red item", "find the round item", etc.  It will give you varying items all in one box!
You can see the items that I chose to the left.  They represent the following characteristics:

Size:  big, small, tall, thin/skinny, fat/wide
Color:  colorful, dark, shiny
Shape:  Rectangle, round, triangular
Parts:  some have many parts and some are only one solid piece
Number:  Although I only have one of each item (I could cut more triangles), the ant/rattle has four legs, four bells, two antennae, etc.  The car also has four wheels, one steering wheel, etc.

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