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Language and Communication use single words signs or symbols for actions 1  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Pupils understand and use single words, signs or symbols for familiar actions

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Early years skill:Speaking
Early years typical range:8-20m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Curriculum level:P4
TAP skill:Expressive Language
TAP level:TAP24
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
Play with miniatures

Give a commentary on what the child is doing, for example "Dolly's drinking", "Mohammed is pushing the car", "the car crashed!".

Make toy animals/teddy/doll do various actions

The child listens and does the actions, then the child indicates what actions you or another child should do.

Simon Says type game

Children take it in turns to tell what others in the group should do, for example 'clap', 'jump', 'sit down'.

You can use pictures as prompts to help children give commands.

Checking pupils understanding of verbs being targeted

Check the child's understanding of the verbs you are working on before working on expression by spreading out four to six pictures of actions in front of them and asking them to find particular actions, e.g. 'who is jumping?

You might need to check also that the child associates the picture with the actual action that they can see happening or can experience - with familiar pictures some children may learn to associate words with those particular pictures rather than with something they can do or experience.

Posting games

Pictures of verbs, post box

Understanding: find the card from a verbal command and post it.

Expression: turn over a card, say it or sign it - then post the card.

Give the pupil time to name the action. Help them by giving a prompt (e.g. a forced alternative, the first sound. or the word or sign to repeat)


Pictures of verbs on a die

Roll the die and say, sign or do the action which comes up.

Feely bag

Bag containing objects, which you can do actions with.

Take out objects and say or sign what you do with them (e.g. eat (it), drink (from it)).

Verb pictures

Pictures of actions on cards

Turn over and say and/or sign the action on the card.

Throw the beanbag

Pictures of actions on cards


Place around six pictures on the floor.

Children take it in turns to throw the beanbag onto one of the pictures. They then imitate the action and say and/or sign it.

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