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Saturday April 14, 2018

This famous parde in Downtown Washington DC is a highlight of the Cherry Blossom Festival.  This guide will help you bring some speech-language spirit to your Cherry Blossom Festival exprience


EXPLORE: Expressive Grammar
ENRICH: Use of Conjunctions

ENGAGE: The ability to answer "why" questions with "because"


As you watch the parade, comment on the variety of floats, balloons, and performances. After the parade is finished, engage your child in a conversation about favorite parts of the parade.



  • Ask your child, "Which part of the parade was your favorite?" Encourage him/her to use a complete sentence to respond: My favorite part of the parade was ___.

  • Then, ask your child, "Why was ___ your favorite part?" Remind him/her to use a complete sentence and the word "because" in their answer: I liked ___ because ___.


BONUS: Compare/Contrast. Watch a video of Parade Hilights from this parade from the past. Ask your child, "How is that parade different from the parade we just saw?" They can use the pattern sentence, "This parade is different from the one we saw because ___"


EXPLORE: Listening Comprehension
ENRICH: Understanding Oral Passages

ENGAGE: The ability to listen for details


Either before or after attending the parade, watch this video about the history of the parade in Washington DC and practice oral comprehension skills with your child.



  • Watch the video in the link above with your child.

  • Next, watch the video again. Before watching the second time, tell your child you want them to listen for the answers to three questions:

    • ​When did the Cherry Trees first arrive in America?

    • Which country gave us these trees?

    • How many trees are there now around the Mall?

    • After watching the video, have your child answer the three questions in complete sentences. If your child does not know the answer to a question, you can use one of two strategies:

    • ​1) Replay the video until the answer to the question is stated, then pause the video and ask your child the question again.

    • 2) Give your child verbal choices. For example, "Where did the trees come from? Japan or Brazil?"


EXPLORE: Phonological Skills
ENRICH: Appropriate Speech Patterns

ENGAGE: The ability to produce final stop consonants


Producing final stop consonants (sounds made by blocking and then releasing airflow, such as /p b t d k g/) is an important skill that contributes to a child being easily understood by others when speaking. You can practice this skill at the parade by talking about things in the parade that end in stop consonants.



  • Remind your child that he/she needs to pronounce strong sounds at the ends of words so that others know what he/she is saying. Give them an example, such as "white" - without a strong /t/ sound, someone might think you are saying "why."

  • As you watch the parade, have your child practice the following ten words in complete sentences with strong final sounds:

    • /p/ - claP

    • ​/t/ - streeT, floaT

    • /d/ - paraDe, banD, crowD

    • /k/ - biKe, musiC

    • /g/ - lonG, doG

\EXPLORE: Social Pragmatic Skills
ENRICH: Perspective-Taking

ENGAGE: The ability to give appropriate background information


Telling someone a story about a fun event is a social language activity that is motivating to many children because they can talk about their own personal experiences. Use the parade experience as a means of practicing re-telling a story and providing appropriate background information to a listener who is unfamiliar with the parade.



  • After the parade, have your child pick a friend or family member to recount his/her experience to. Remind your child, "Remember, ___ did not go to the parade with us. (S)he might not even know that we went to the parade. You have to start by filling him/her in with that important information before you tell the story."

  • Have your child use the following framework, if needed, to give adequate background information:

    • When - yesterday, on Saturday, last weekend, etc.

    • Who - I, Daddy and I, my family, etc.

    • What - went to a parade, watched a Cherry Blossom parade, etc.

    • Where - in Washington DC, near the monuments, in the street, etc.

    • For example, "Yesterday, Mom and I went to a Cherry Blossom parade in DC."


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