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Language and Communication Follow 4 key word instructions with before and after  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child will follow instructions of 4 key words using 'before' and 'after'.

Early years skill:Understanding
Early years typical range:40-60+m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Listening
P-scales/Curriculum level:P8
TAP skill:Understanding of Language/Comprehension
TAP level:TAP48
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Sammy and Marvin's Picnic

Two toys, one to be Sammy and the other to be Marvin

Picnic 'blanket' (optional)

Toy food

Pictures of the toy food, and pictures of Sammy and Marvin (can be very rough!)

1. Explain that Sammy and Marvin are going to have a picnic.

2. Have the child give them the food following your instructions.

3. Give instructions using 'before' and 'after' e.g. 'give Sammy an apple before you give one to Marvin'.

4. Select the pictures of the food you mentioned, and put them with the pictures of Sammy and Marvin in the right order (for who should have got the food first and who should have got the food second). Do not let the child see.

5. When the child has given the toys the food, have them check your pictures to see if they got it right.

Filming the child carrying out the instruction can help them to decide if they got it right by watching it back.

The sentence in (4) is four key words because:

a) You could say Sammy or Marvin in either order = 1 key word (because if the first one you said was Marvin, the second one the child would expect you to say is Sammy - so they wouldn't need to listen to this word to still get the instruction right).

b) You could say 'before' or 'after' = 1 key word.

c) You are using the names of two foods - which could be the same or different = 2 more key words the child needs to listen for.

Total number of key words = 1+1+2 =4.

Queue Game

Several different animals or toy people

One or two exciting vehicles, e.g. fire engine and police car

1. Explain to the child that the animals are lining up to go on the vehicles.

2. Have them make the line following your instructions, e.g. 'the chicken is before the cow in the line'.

3. Give the child a turn to tell you how to make the line

Vary this by having the animals get into the vehicles. You may need to only use one vehicle for this. E.g. 'the horse gets in after the cow'.

To make this four key words, have two lines - for example one to get in the fire engine and the other to get in the police car. Have some animals which are the same but in different queues. Now give instructions like "put the horse before the cow in the fire engine line".

Super Simon Says

Laminated cue sheet with a picture of a person and then pictures of several actions e.g. jump, sit down, turn around, clap your hands. For example:

Dry wipe marker

1. Give the child an instruction using 'before' or 'after' e.g. 'touch your head before you jump'

2. Use the marker to circle on the cue sheet the actions you told the child to do and number it 1 and 2.

3. Have the child check the cue sheet to see if they got it right.

4. Give them a turn to give an instruction. You may have to do it!

You could film this using a digital camera so that the child can watch it back and check what they did.

To make this four key words you will need to combine more actions: for example "clap your hands and sit down after turning around".

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