STEM is hot right now as we put the spotlight on science, technology, engineering and math. What is exciting to me is that language is right in the center of STEM, as curriculums increasingly require kids to tell the “why” and “how” they came to conclusions. When they solve a math word problem, they record in their math journal what worked and what didn’t and why. Because of this new push for building STEM skills I thought I would try out some great new science products in my speech therapy sessions.
Yesterday, new PAL Award winner, “Clifford the Big Red Dog Animal Science” came along with me to a session with a 5 year-old boy who is in the carryover stage of articulation therapy. I could have just as easily worked on language goals with all the talking that evolved from using this kit. We loved talking our way through the experiments, making edible play dough to form our animal tracks and using the little animal figures to learn about what they eat. Kids learn some great vocabulary along the way that might just be coordinated with a science unit for language delayed kids. Here is my full review:
The Young Scientists Club invites children 3 and up to joining Clifford the Big Red Dog and pal Emily to perform 14 fun experiments, learning about animal science. Not only do kids learn the language of general science like lab tray, measuring and magnifying but also vocabulary specific to animal study–habitats, animal tracks, fossils, bugs, camouflage, life cycle, carnivores and more.What do you see in the habitat? Is it wet or dry? is followed by an “Explanation” section which provides parents with great topics for further discussion located at the bottom of the activity page. My little friends loved the activities which included putting reusable stickers on the window of the 6 habitats while placing associated animals in them, mixing and making edible play dough to cast an animal track, creating their own fossils, hiding cut-out animals for camouflage hide and seek, discovering the inside of an egg, making a bird feeder and habitat diorama. Most of the props and ingredients are included in the box which makes moms happy. After a few experiments, my friend declared, “I want to do more science!” Isn’t that just what we want to hear as language skills are exercised in learning new concepts and vocabulary, making predictions and observing changes through experiments?
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