Have you read Little Hoot?
I was not expecting Joey to become so engaged in this story about a small owl who just wants to go to sleep. Poor Hoot’s parents want him to stay up late like all owls should, and Hoot is forced to play and play while he waits for bedtime.
What first drew me to the book were the core words repeated throughout the book.
The book begins with listing the things Little Hoot likes. Like is a word I’m hoping Joey will begin to use in a two to three word phrase, so this is a perfect way to model using the sentence. “He likes…” and filling in the rest verbally.
In the middle of the book we learn that Little Hoot just wants to go to sleep. Want is another word I hope to focus on with Joey, and so this is a great opportunity to model using ‘want’. I’ve added an AAC sentence to these pages so that us grown ups who read the book to Joey will remember to use the device for these core words.
After Little Hoot learns he is required to stay up late and follow his house rules, he starts playing. Again, this is a great time to model using the word play on the AAC device for Joey.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much Joey enjoys this book. I use a stuffed owl throughout the book, and Joey loves holding the owl up, and announcing to us that the owl is UP. He even verbally began saying “owl” throughout the lesson. We put the owl to bed and woke him up again in a fun series of back and forth play.
Joey did not, however, use the words ‘want’, ‘play’, or ‘like’ on the AAC device during our first sessions with the book. This is not out of the ordinary, because often Joey seems to almost refuse to use a new word when I introduce it. Often, during the next session he will use the word without prompting. We’ll keep modeling the words so that these words become a part of his receptive vocabulary, and hopefully we will begin to see them enter his expressive vocabulary, either through using his AAC device, or verbally saying them.