With interactive picture books, Valentine’s Day can be an exciting and effective learning opportunity for students with special needs. They give you a novel way to introduce language skills while also. teaching about holiday customs and expectations. The interactive elements stabilize focus, foster early literacy skills and encourage fine motor development; helping to build confidence and engagement in learning during this celebration of love. I use them in morning meeting, direct instruction, story time and so many other times during the day!
As you can see to the left, there are 2 sets of interactive picture books. One uses clip art and one uses photographs.
The content of the adapted books are similar, although not completely identical. The format for each one is the same.
How Are the Interactive Picture Books Structured?
Essentially there are 3 adapted books with near-identical content in each set. I focused these picture books on verbs, but they can certainly be used to teach a variety of nouns as well.
Each adapted book has a repetitive phrase, “We can all celebrate Valentine’s Day” on each page. This allows you to record that phrase on a speech generating device so that students who need augmentative communication can read the book.
Each interactive picture book also has a picture (either on the page or that the student adds to the page) representing a verb in the sentence on the page. Students then match the picture to the page with that action or fill in the blank from the sentence with expressive use of the verb.
What Verbs Are Included?
For the illustrated interactive picture books (Clipart), the verbs are: giving, mailing, painting, coloring, buying, decorating and drawing. For the interactive book with photos, the verbs are: giving, mailing, cooking, sharing, creating, signing, and dining.
There are 7 vocabulary pages and an introduction and closing page as well as the matching pictures for the two books that need them. Each book has its own title page as well with author name so you can address literacy of title and author as well. This helps to work on functional literacy skills.
These Interactive Picture Books Target 3 Types of Vocabulary Skills
- Matching picture-to-picture with the exact picture on the page
- Receptive identification by locating and adding the picture to the page with just the text, and
- Expressive identification by stating or writing in the verbs based on the picture on the page
Both the illustrated and the photographic interactive picture book sets have a book that focuses on matching with pages like the ones below. Simply cut out the corresponding pictures, put Velcro on laminated pages and students match picture to picture.
Each set also includes a Receptive ID book in which the students read the text (or have it read to them) and have to identify the picture that matches the sentence. This book is set up so that there is no picture cue on the page as below.
And finally, each set interactive picture book has one book that focuses on expressive ID / fill-in-the-blank, or intraverbals depending on what you are teaching. These books have the pictures on the page and a blank in the sentence. Students can say the missing word or could write it in with a dry erase marker if you have it in a page protector or laminated, like those below.
Ways to Use Interactive Picture Books for Valentine’s Day Activities
The books can be used in a variety of ways.
- Read them with group activities. There are manipulative pieces for 2 of the books and students can respond with choral response to fill in the blank in the other.
- In a group activity, for the 2 books with matching pictures, have students choose one of the pictures and then identify (e.g., raise their hand, hold up the picture) when the reader turns to the page and then place it on the page.
- Use the books for independent work systems or time where the students can match the pictures or write in the missing words.
- They are great for inclusion buddy reading activities where typical peers read the story to a student with disabilities who can participate by matching the picture or using a speech generating device.
- Use them in individual instruction for vocabulary and literacy. Have students identify the title of the book and the author. Have them describe the pictures. Cover up the text and have the students describe the pictures.
- Use them for explicit instruction by using the matching pictures for students to tell you what the participants are doing, name items in the picture (e.g., mailbox), or give you the picture that depicts a specific activity.
Grab Your Set in my TPT Store
Each set of books (illustrated or photographic) is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. You can purchase them by clicking on the picture. The photo book is a bit more expensive because of the cost of the photos that are used.
So how does your class celebrate Valentine’s day? Until then,