Children who struggle with speech and language skills may be intimidated with learning new vocabulary. To assist with this, it’s crucial to be creative and actively engage students. Vocabulary collages are a nice way to do this and it’s flexible to work with many age levels. Collages may also be done in a variety of ways depending on the current skills being worked on for children. Older students may need collages with synonyms of vocabulary words that are being worked on in class. Younger children may be focusing on adding words that have specific start sounds that address articulation goals.
Before you get started, you will need some supplies to use within your sessions. These include construction paper, crayons/markers/colored pencils, scissors, old magazines, and ads from old newspapers. Contact people that you know and send home a note to parents asking them for magazines, toy catalogs, newspapers, ads, and travel brochures that they no longer need. Be sure to look through whatever you gather to make sure that they are appropriate to use with children. Some magazines may have ads that could be pulled out and then used without a problem.
When working on collage activities, it is easy to personalize the focus for the individual student goals. One child may be struggling with science vocabulary and need variations or clues to help them with the meaning. Another child may need to work on using different skills like articulation. Multiple collage pages may be put together to make a book that can be laminated to take home for practice. Some possible vocabulary collage ideas include:
- Items that are a certain color
- Rhyming words
- Pictures of synonyms
- Opposites on the left and right of a page
- Words that all have the same start sound |f| |st| |cl| or whatever the child is working on
As everyone is working on the collages, talk through the process. What steps are they following? Going over this can help work on words used to describe sequencing steps and boost their confidence talking in groups. Take time to help everyone label items so they will be available when home. It may be helpful to have translations for multilingual learners. Once the collages are finished and everyone has had time to share them, they may be brought home for reinforcement of the skills being addressed. Since they helped to make them, they are more likely to use them when working on speech and language skills.
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