WHAT ARE BASIC CONCEPTS? WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
Basic concepts are the fundamentals of language and an important aspect of academic tasks and instructions. Being able to comprehend and use basic concepts are the foundation of communicating and comprehending language. Their understanding and correct usage is critical for effective communication and success in all other areas of life, including school. For example, basic concepts encompass: following directions and routines, understanding mathematical terminology, and literacy.
Example types of basic concepts:
- Qualitative: big, little, same, different, separate
- Positional: up, down, next to, behind
- Temporal: first, then, last, before, after
- Quantitative: more, less, all
- Negation: not, no
- Emotions: happy, excited, upset
- Characteristics: hot/cold, awake/asleep, old/new
- Patterns: stripes, polka dots
- Textures: smooth, liquid, rough
IDEAS TO TARGET BASIC CONCEPTS IN SPEECH THERAPY:
The great thing about basic concepts is they are common and the base of our language – so you can work on them by doing tons of different activities!
- Teach pairs which oftentimes are opposite concepts, for example, big/little, full/empty, happy/sad, up/down
- Model descriptive words: incorporate basic concept words into everyday life. Find opportunities to use basic concepts in the child’s environment and expand their language. For example, if the child says “I’m happy!” you can expand emotional concepts by replying “Yes, you’re excited!”
- Get physical! Use your body to get “on” the chair or go “fast”
- Books: Many books incorporate basic concepts. Highlight them or use the pictures to discuss developing concepts. Ask WH questions to encourage use of concepts!
- Crafts: If you enjoy doing crafts, this is a fun way to work on temporal concepts (first, next, last, before) or discussing textures, colors, shapes.
- Playhouse: Dollhouses are an easy, functional way to incorporate tons of concepts into play. Read an in-depth post on using a playhouse.
- Play kitchen: Food is a great way to work on basic concepts, such as hot/cold, colors, textures. Read an in-depth post on using a play kitchen.
- Wind-up toys: fast/slow, positional concepts. Read an in-depth post on using wind up toys.
- Barrier games: These types of games are made to work on concepts! Colors, prepositions, vocabulary, and more. Read about barrier games here and download a free one!
SPECIFIC SPEECH THERAPY RESOURCES:
- Smarty Symbols Basic Concepts Screener
- Chipper Chat Basic Concepts
- Basic Concepts Bundle: Temporal, Qualitative, Quantitative, Negation
- Basic Concepts Bundle 2: Adjectives, Categories, Social Emotional, Patterns and Textures
- Spatial Concepts Bundle
How do you work on basic concepts in speech therapy? Tell me in the comments!
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