Who’s on first, What’s on second, and I Don’t Know’s on third. It’s an old Abbott and Costello skit, but it can also be the frustrating reality of trying to talk to someone with language delays.
This week, we’re excited to bring you a Wordy Wednesday all about temporal sequencing! Putting events into chronological order may seem like a fairly straightforward task, but the ability to recount a string of events is actually a fairly complex cognitive and linguistic enterprise. Imagine that you want to tell someone what you did yesterday. You need to remember what you did. (I went to the grocery store. I walked the dog.) You also need to remember the sequence in which you did these things. (First, I went to the grocery store. Then, in the evening, I walked the dog.) In addition,you need to have the vocabulary to describe these events and the temporal language (first, last, next, before, after, then) to talk about the timing with which they took place.
Our images this week are eight sets of pictures (four pictures per set) that each follows a regular temporal sequence. Work on expressive language by presenting the images in the correct order and ask the child to tell you a story about the pictures. A story about the Bedtime set might go something like
First the kids take a bath. Then they brush their teeth. Next it’s time for a bedtime story! Finally, they go to sleep. See what creative elaborations your child can come up with!
Use the flashcards to work on receptive language, or comprehension of temporal terms. Give the child all four images in a set, and ask: “Which happens first?” “What comes next?” “Which one is last?”
With more linguistically sophisticated kids, you might ask more complex questions about temporal ordering. “What would happen if you folded the clothes before you washed them?” “Why can’t you ice the cake before you bake it?”
We’d love to hear how you use our images! Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth and Melanie