One of the most important skills kindergarten teachers tell me they look for in children to determine school readiness is their listening skills. Can they sit, pay attention and listen? “Listen to Clues” taps into those skills as partners playing have to describe, listen, and clarify to make a match of sequenced pictures on their strip. Four illustrated game strips of 8 sequenced pictures tap the themes of a little boy and his puppy, patterns of varied numbers of butterflies, a caterpillar playing with a leaf, and objects and animals well-known to children. The listener lays his strip down for everyone to see, while the speaker describes the game cards stacked up with the colored dots side up. Based on the description, the listener sets it next to the picture he thinks has been accurately described. When finished, the listener flips over the game strip to see if the colored dots match in sequence. Kids love the “reveal” as hopefully all the colored dots match, signifying some sharp language skills as kids have to think of clues that that will narrow down the possible pictures. We found that the listener, also becomes the talker as he has to clarify an answer. “The caterpillar is eating the leaf” but is he eating on the right or left side? My little friend responded, “What is right and left?” Great opportunity for some learning. Kids got into a bit more elaboration on the story strip of the boy and his dog, “The boy is hiding and the dog is trying to call for him.” The butterfly series taps number concepts and colors as the pictures only vary by those 2 qualities. The object and animal series can elicit great descriptive words, “something fluffy” (sheep), “something cuddly” (teddy bear), something you live in” (a house). Kids loved the game and had no idea they were learning to build their language and listening skills along the way.
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