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Language and Communication use single words signs or symbols for actions 2  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Pupil understands and uses single words, signs or symbols for familiar actions

Early years skill:Communication and Language
Early years typical range:8-20m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:English Speaking
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P4
TAP skill:Language Expression
TAP level:TAP24
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
What's missing?

Pictures of common actions

1. Put a range of pictures of actions in front of the child.

2. Check the child can pick up/point to the action you name.

3. Ask the child to have a really good look at the cards.

4. Ask the child to close their eyes or turn their back.

5. Take one card away.

6. Ask the child to uncover their eyes and say what's missing.

The child needs a good visual memory to do this activity.

Secret card

Action cards


Picture books showing a range of actions.

You could ask questions like "Who's crying?".

To encourage speaking, you could talk about the picture leaving (long) pauses in your speaking where the child could add their own comments, you could even try making the occasional errors in your descriptions (especially if the child is understanding the names for actions) and see if the child corrects you (correct yourself if they don't).


Pictures of actions with paper clips attached.

Magnetic fishing rod - you can make one yourself with a stick or pencil, piece of string and a magnet.

Box or blue sheet of paper to represent a fish tank or pond (optional).

Some children may need help with the fishing rod - a shorter line can make it easier for some children with motor difficulties, larger paperclips or less cards can also make it easier.

If the child has difficulty understanding, you can reduce the number of cards or give a prompt.


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