Monday, December 15, 2008

Flower Gardening Together in Any Season

Are you looking for something that your child can do with a flower loving relative?  Perhaps they can sit at the computer and create flower gardens together.  Just click  anywhere once in the program below and flowers appear on the screen.  The computer gardeners can take turns clicking which can be done with no language at all but just some nonverbal gestures and gentle insistance. The computer gardeners can, make rules and use the language of negotiation and planning like This garden will be in a straight row, OK? or You can put your flowers on that side and I will put my flowers on this side The Gardeners can ooh and ahh and marvel over the garden that appears--which will help your child learn the art and language of commenting.  The adult gardener can model some new vocabulary of any kind to describe the garden that is appearing. This descriptive language might  include words like Wow! Pretty blue flowers!  or Those are tiny red flowers! or descriptive language can even be used (and taught) in a gentle tease as in, Heh! You can't have the pink flowers!  Those pink flowers are mine!

Encourage turn-taking, rule making, commenting, teasing and/or describing language (as appropriate to your child) rather than testing language.  This kind of language is playful, creative and fun.  Testing language, which you want the adult gardener to avoid is: What color is that flower?  Is that a big flower?  How many flowers are there?  Testing language is not very bonding, often stressful for your child, and not fun at all.  The other problem is that children do not learn much language from adults who test all the time.

One more hint: Use your right click to zoom in or print your pictures.

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