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D on Parade: A Thanksgiving Tradition

November 15, 2013

It all started with a Thanksgiving Parade and a little Google magic! In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday our speech group was reading a Thanksgiving story. One of our target words was PARADE, highlighting /d/ at the end of words. The kids loved talking about the parade float featured in the story and a teachable moment was born. Google Image was an invaluable tool in our tech toolbox and helped make the most of this moment. 

 

Since we don't typically see large Thanksgiving parades in our small corner of the world, the kids did not yet have a firm grasp on this concept. So what did we do when confronted with this new vocabulary word? We stopped and looked it up. Alan November states that when students have a question, the best way to teach media search skills is to stop and look it up within that teachable moment. (It's what we adults do all the time!)

 

A simple search of "Thanksgiving Parade" yielded amazing photographs of the Thanksgiving parade in New York City. The kids were in awe of the various floats moving up the street next to tall buildings. 

 

 

We used our classroom iPad to pull up Google Image to search our word. Our iPad was a convenient way to explore this concept in our small group setting. However, a desktop computer or even a device connected to a data projection system may be an ideal method for various group sizes and needs. The iPad provided a great way to enlarge pictures and scroll through them one-by-one, which brought greater focus to one picture and eliminated visual distractions. 

 

 

This activity helped us identify additional words highlighting our target sound within the context of a parade. While we watched, we incorporated many adult models giving the students frequent opportunities to hear correct productions of final /d words (auditory bombardment). An added benefit was the ease in which we introduced and discussed new vocabulary words within the framework of the activity. 

 

Here's a working list of the words that we used. Included are simple and advanced words for a variety of ages and vocabulary needs, as well as some sample sentences used to link the artic words to the activity. Feel free to leave a comment and share your own words to add to the list!

 

RIDE - People ride in the parade on moving floats.

ROAD - The parade moves down the road.

SIDE - People stand on the side of the road and watch.

MAD - She looks mad at the kid blocking her view.

TIRED - It is easy to get tired watching the parade.

EXCITED - I would be excited to march in a parade.

KID - That kid is pointing to Garfield.

HIDE - It was easy for Kermit to hide behind Ms. Piggy. He is smaller.

GOOD - They look like they are having a good time at the parade.

BAD - It looks like there is a bad storm coming and blowing the floats.

HAND - Kermit is waving his hand. 

BAND - I heard the band play their song.

AFRAID - He looks afraid of the giant float.

DAD - Your dad may take you to the parade.

GLAD - They are glad the parade finally started.

BUILD - It takes a lot of hard work to build a float.

CROWD - There is a large crowd watching the show.

BORED - Some kids look bored, waiting for it to start.

WEEKEND - Some parades take place on the weekend or holiday.

PRETEND - We can pretend to be in a parade too!

FRIEND - You could invite a friend to watch the parade with you.

AROUND - The parade is going around the block.

WILD - The crowd goes wild when they see Snoopy coming.

HEARD - She heard the music playing.

CHILD - That child is sitting on his dad's shoulders.

BESIDE - They are walking beside the float.

BEHIND - Scooby Do is behind the band.

MOOD - What is the mood? Are they having a good time?

END - Santa always rides at the end of the parade.

APPLAUD - They applaud or clap at their favorite part.

AVOID - Some people try to avoid the crowded streets.

LOUD - He covers his ears because it is loud.

STAND - You stand on the side of the street to watch the parade.

AHEAD - The Shrek float is ahead of Donkey.

BEND - Charlie Brown can bend his arm and wave.

WIND - The wind blows the floats around.

COLD - She brought her coat in case she gets cold.

DID - (Asking "what did..." questions)

LEAD - The band will start and lead the parade down the street.

READ - People must read the sign so they know where to stand.

SHADE - If it's sunny, some people might want to stand in the shade.

SHOULD - What float should we add to the parade?

RED - Santa has on a red suit.

HOLD - The people must hold the ropes so the float doesn't fly away.

OUTSIDE - Parades with large floats are always outside.

FOOD - You can eat food, like hot dogs, while watching the parade.

MR. POTATO HEAD - Here comes Mr. Potato Head.

BIRD - Big Bird is on the float with Elmo

SAD - I was sad when the parade was over

HARD - With so many people, it can be hard to see.

-ED - Using regular past tense verbs such as played, yelled, and shivered

 

Video credit: Jeffrey Wu https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z_z3GTQoN8

 

 At the end of the week we used our data projection system to stream one of the many home videos found on YouTube taken during the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. We got ready to go on our pretend parade by putting on our coats to brave the cold weather. The kids sat on the floor and looked up to watch the floats pass by, giving them an experience that imitates real-life.

 

If you need a follow-up activity, check out Joe Depace's video showing you how they inflate the balloons the day before the parade.

 

Video credit: Joe Depace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIFEg8yo0qc

  

This was a fabulous activity! The kids gave raving reviews and we found that it was just the way to channel their holiday excitement into a constructive therapy activity. Due to their interest, they were never short on words and it provided them the opportunity to practice their target words within a meaningful context. We shared this activity with the parents, encouraging them to watch the parade on television the next week as an extension activity bridging school and home environments. 

 

Check out our free . This helpful page will assist you in sending home specific information about the activity, target words, links to your media, and additional practice suggestions. Either you or your students can fill it out during the activity. Take Home Technology handout for blending articulation practice with media

  

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

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