Monday, November 19, 2012

Teaching Colors Using Multi-Sensory Instruction

If you are working with a student who is having difficulty learning his colors, implementing a multi-sensory approach might be effective.

Pair each color with a song. The following songs are nice because each color song has a different tune:

Black Color Song
Red Color Song
Yellow Color Song
Blue Color Song
Green Color Song
Purple Color Song
Orange Color Song

Pair each color with a scent. (The child can even smell the appropriate scent while she sings each color song). Scented markers are great and are available at Amazon.

Black- Licorice                Red-Cherry             Blue-Blueberry
Yellow-Lemon                Green-Mint              Orange-Orange
Brown-Cinnamon         Purple-Grape          Pink-Melon
Turquoise-Mango      Dark Green-Apple    Magenta-Raspberry

Photo Credit Salvatore Vuono @

Connect the color with something meaningful. "Goldfish snacks are orange. The ball in the therapy room is blue." Food is especially good because it pulls in the sense of taste...."lemons are yellow, orange juice is orange."

Here's an example of an approach I used in therapy:

The student sits on the red therapy ball and tosses several red balls into a red bucket as I sing or play the "red song". Then we move to a table and the child colors a picture of a red firetruck  using the red scented marker while the "red song" is playing in the background.

Eventually, the pairing should not be necessary, but initially the goal is to help the student associate the smells, songs, etc. with the particular colors. At some point, when the child sees the color green, the song & smell for green should come to mind and this will help them remember "that's the color green." 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Multi-Sensory Instruction for Handwriting: Stencils and Raised Letter Cards

Here is a simple way to make letter stencils and raised letter cards. All you will need are several sheets of craft foam, available at craft stores or on Amazon, a pair of scissors and card stock paper (old file folders also work well). Choose the letters for the stencils. A student that I have been working with is learning the capital letters L and F, so I made stencils/raised letter cards for those letters. 

Write the letter on the foam and cut it out. Take care to keep the letter “cut out” intact. To make your raised letter cards, just glue the “cut out” to a rectangular piece of card stock. (I like to laminate the card stock first). 

 First, have the child trace the raised letter card with their index finger. While tracing, pair the motion with verbal cues for forming the letter. The “Handwriting Without Tears” language is good. For example, for an F, say “long line down, top across, middle across.”

After several tracing trials, have the student write the letter using the stencil while verbally repeating “long line down, top across, middle across.” For tracing, the child can use a marker, crayon, or even a “squiggle” pen. You want it to be fun! 
 Finally, have the student write the letter without the stencil using the verbal prompts. Gradually fade your verbal prompting.

The great thing about these materials is that you can use them over and over again!

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Live Your Most Authentic Life

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