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Language and Communication Three key word expression with adjectives  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Pupils use phrases with up to three key words, signs or symbols to communicate simple ideas, events or stories to others for example, 'I want a big chocolate ice cream'. Uses adjectives and nouns.

Early years skill:Speaking
Early years typical range:30-50m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Curriculum level:P7
TAP skill:Expressive Language
TAP level:TAP42
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
Develop use of adjectives in 3 word phrases: wet/dry

Symbols for the above adjectives

Pens, spoons, bricks and a bowl of water

1.Start by using objects. Collect a group of things which can get wet safely e.g. pens, spoons, lego bricks and put some in a bowl of water and some on the table near by.

2. Use the symbols for wet/dry and categorise the objects according to whether they are wet or dry.

3. Make a mistake sometimes and see if the child can catch you out!

4.Point out things in the child's everyday environment which are wet and dry

5.Can you give the child choices e.g 'Do you want a wet or a dry plate at dinner?'

The child needs to learn by experiencing real things which are wet and noisy etc.

Move on to using pictures of the adjectives when the child is familiar with real life situations

Teach adjectives in their pairs by pointing out the contrast between one and the other.

Extend understanding by generalising the target words into the child's everyday environment.

Develop use of adjectives in 3 word phrases: More/less

Soft toys

Pretend food

Cups of juice

Cups and a jug of water


Blue-tak and pictures

Play-dough and pots

1.Follow a procedure similar to the above.

2. Learn the adjectives through real life experience e.g.

-have cups of juice one with more and one with less, ask the child which cup he/she wants.

-set up a tea party for soft toys with pretend food, give some toys more food some less, comment on the amounts of food. Ask the child to give more food to one toy and to give less to another

-pour water/dried beans/pasta into cups and comment 'Look...........this cup has more and this cup has less. Show me less me more.'

'Put more in this cup and less in this cup'

3.Use blue-tak to stick pictures onto a page - can the child comment on/ask for more/less blue-tak.

4.Use play-doh and push it into containers that are too big or too small. Ask the child to comment and request more/less play-doh.

Develop use of adjectives in 3 word phrases: Quiet/noisy

Drum and shakers and bells


Picture books

1.Explore the concepts using musical instruments. Use the symbols to label some drum beats or shakers or bell rings as quiet/noisy etc.

2. In the playground practice noisy talking and label with the symbol and quiet talking and label with the symbol.

3.Role play quiet/noisy talk with soft toys - label with the symbols.

4.Find stories with characters or events which can be labelled quiet/noisy e.g. pictures of crying babies (noisy) pictures of birds singing ( quiet) lorries (noisy) bikes(quiet)

Develop use of adjectives in 3 word phrases: Wet/dry, More/less, Quiet/noisy

Miniature figures for role play

1. Use miniature figures to tell very simple stories which include the target words e.g

'The dog jumped into the water. He was wet. Mum was cross. Mum dried the dog with a towel.' E.g.

'It is John's birthday. He eats 2 bits of cake. He wants more cake . He eats 2 more bits of cake. He feels ill. Mum says 'John... you must eat less cake next birthday . One bit is enough!' e.g.

'The children went to a disco. The music was noisy. They danced and sang. It got more and more noisy. Mum said 'Time for the disco to finish - time for the music to stop- time for quiet.'Dad says 'I like the quiet - we can go to sleep now.'

2.Tell the story using the figures. Can the child use the figures to re-tell the story? Give help and prompts as needed.

3.This activity can be extended by drawing pictures about the story and labelling e.g. noisy party, John wants more cake, wet dog etc.

4. If 2 or more pictures are draw to illustrate a story they can be sequenced and labelled with short 3 word phrases (including target words) and put into a 'book' form.

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