EXPLORE SPEECH & LANGUAGE AT....

Brookside Nature Center's

2016 Maple Sugaring Days

Saturdays in February at 10am, 1pm, & 3pm; Sundays at 1pm & 3pm

*Pre-registration and payment ($6/person) is highly recommended, due to the popularity of this event.

It's that time of the year again - maple sugaring time!

Brookside Nature Center's annual Maple Sugaring Festival, which has been extended to a month-long celebration this year, has been Montgomery County Parks and Recreation's famed winter educational experience for over 40 years. It is the perfect location to practice speech and language skills while learning about the process of making maple syrup and tasting the delicious fruits of your labors!

EXPLORE: The Use of Sequencing Words
ENRICH: Expressive Grammar

ENGAGE: Sequence the steps to make maple syrup

 

PARENT PROMPT:

  • As you explore the event, talk with your child about the steps needed to make maple syrup. Afterwards, help your child complete a sequencing activity:

    • Level 1 (early language learners): Download the "Sequencing 5 Steps" PDF document (first icon on the left). Ask your child to point to the steps on the document in the correct order (grow a tree, tap the tree, collect the sap, boil the sap down, maple syrup is finished) and use language at his/her language level to describe each step.

    • Level 2 (more advanced language learners): Download the "Sequencing 10 Steps" PDF document (second icon on the left). Ask your child to sequence the steps in making maple syrup using complete sentences and "first," "next," "then," or "last" to introduce each step. Afterwards, check to see if your child included all of the steps listed in the PDF document.

 

BONUS: Challenge your child to discuss the steps in another delicious process related to maple syrup - how to make pancakes! You can use this recipe sheet as a visual support.

TALKING

EXPLORE: Liquid Sounds
ENRICH: Articulation of Individual Sounds for Clear Communication

ENGAGE: Practice producing /l/

 

PARENT PROMPT:

  • Start the day by reminding your child how to produce the /l/ sound: Raise the tip of your tongue to the bumpy area right behind your top teeth (the alveolar ridge), then turn on your motor (vocal cords).

  • As you explore the festival, make a list of words that contain the /l/ sound, such as mapLe, boiL, Lid, coLLect, goLden, Leaf

  • Have your child practice these words at his/her ability level:

    • Level 1: Say each word in isolation five times, then use it in a short phrase (e.g. "boiLing sap")

    • Level 2: Use each word in a complete sentence. As a challenge, make up a sentence using two or three of the words. (e.g. "You can find a mapLe tree by Looking at its Leaves.")

 

BONUS: Work on the phonological process of syllable segmenting with the /l/ words you listed. Ask your child, "How many parts does the word have?" You can have him/her clap the syllables as a kinesthetic cue

(e.g. ma (clap) ple (clap) - "maple" has two syllables).

h Sounds

EXPLORE: Social Interactions
ENRICH: The Ability to Obtain Information From a Conversation Partner

ENGAGE: Initiating and asking questions

 

PARENT PROMPT: 

  • Asking questions to obtain information is often a difficult skill for children with social language difficulties. They can practice this skill by brainstorming three questions to ask the nature center staff about the process of making maple syrup.

    • Level 1: Have your child practice pointing and asking this simple question form: "What is this?" on three different occasions. For example, with your help, he/she can approach a nature center, guide, point to a maple syrup making tool and ask, "What is this?" to learn more details about the maple syrup making process.

    • Level 2: Review this wh- question guide with your child. Help him/her come up with three different wh- questions to ask about the maple syrup making process. For example, "What kinds of trees can be used to make syrup?" "When did people first start making maple syrup?" "Where is maple syrup made in the United States?"

 

BONUS: Work on greetings and introductions with the other children at the festival. Brainstorm a script for your child to use to introduce him/herself to someone new, such as "Hi! My name is ___. This festival is fun, isn't it?"

EXPLORE: Auditory Closure
ENRICH: Oral Comprehension

ENGAGE: The ability to process auditory messages with missing information

 

PARENT PROMPT:

  • After exploring the stations that allow you to see firsthand how maple syrup is made, use the following tasks to work on auditory closure, the ability to make sense of auditory messages when a piece of information is missing:

    • Level 1: For each step in the maple sugaring process, say a sentence to describe the step and leave out the last word. Give your child three verbal choices and have him/her pick which one should complete the sentence. If he/she has trouble, give a visual cue by pointing to the area of the station that shows the answer.

      • A hole is drilled in the _____. (ground, tree, leaves)

      • The tap lets us collect the tree's _____. (sap, roots, water)

      • The sap is boiled down in a large _____. (spoon, chimney, pot)

    • Level 2: Perform the activity explained above with your child, but do not give any verbal choices or visual cues. If your child has difficulty understanding the sentence or retrieving a vocabulary word, repeat the sentence and instead give the child the beginning sound of the word that completes the sentence. (E.g. The tap lets us collect the tree's ssss____).

 

BONUS: Do an auditory closure activity during a familiar routine at home. For example, when your child is taking a bath, you can say sentences like, "I wash my hair with ____," or "We're all done! Time to pull out the ____."

 

LISTENING

WORD PLAY

SOCIAL LANGUAGE SKILLS

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