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Language and Communication Four key word understanding  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


To follow requests and instructions with 4-5 key words

Early years skill:Understanding
Early years typical range:30-50m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:English Listening
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P7
TAP skill:Language Understanding
TAP level:TAP42
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info

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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Barrier Games (pictures)

Sheets from Black Sheep press or listen and do

Or a page from a colouring book

Coloured pencils or crayons

Barrier e.g. folder

Each person has a copy of the picture;

Put the barrier up between the two children

Explain to the child that you are going to tell them to draw something on their paper

Adult gives an instruction to the children which contains four key words e.g. draw a red hat on the stripy cat - the adult draws it on their copy also so the child can't see it

Compare pictures

This activity has implicit feedback - the child knows whether they have understood the instruction when the pictures are compared

You can also use other things to make a Barrier Game. E.g. making patterns from 2D shapes, describing a picture for the other person to draw.

Simon Says

Some example instructions to make sure you have 4-5 key words in the request. (e.g. 'Touch your head, and pull your ear' 'sit down, clap your hands, and nod your head'


This is best played with at least one other child.


This is a good way to practise following instructions in a fun and relevant activity.


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