Listening Lions Listen for /L/ & /Y/
If you are working on auditory discrimination, phonemic awareness, or speech articulation, Listening Lions can help. This activity, based on minimal pairs /l/ and /y/, is fun, productive and sure to keep children attending.
6 uniquely illustrated minimal pair cards (likes/yikes, lei/yay, less/yes, lamb/yam, lawn/yawn)
4 adorably illustrated listening lion craft-stick puppets and a template for creating a storage pocket.
5 coloring sheets
1 10x7 listening board depicting 4 initial sound minimal pairs.
Informative followup letter to caregivers about auditory discrimination and the benefits of this activity.
How Does it Work?
When targeting auditory discrimination the child is seated across from the "talker" (usually a teacher or a therapist but you may also consider working with peers as a group activity). The child holds the lion puppet in one hand and is encouraged to help the lion “jump” onto a given word. Determine which board you would like to use based on the degree of difficulty you feel is appropriate. The talker presents the words based on minimal pairs. For example, if the talker says “yam” and the child makes the lion jump on the picture of “yam”, the talker will then say the word “lamb”. The pair "yam/lamb" is presented several times until the child appears confident. Once the child seems comfortable with the minimal pair “yam/lamb” the next pair is presented. When the talker says the word “rest” the child is to place the lion puppet on the circle at the bottom of the board. Use discretion about when to use “rest”. Some may prefer to say “rest” before introducing a new pair. Others may say “rest” to indicate the activity is finished. Listening Lions is also an effective way to get a child to practice saying words with a target sound. Simply reverse roles and have the child say the words while the you make the lion “jump”.
Why Does it Work?
The purpose of Listening Lions is to target speech sound awareness and auditory discrimination through 3 components:
1) Multi-modal learning: This activity combines auditory skills (listening for the target sound), visual abilities (scanning for the appropriate picture or word) as well as a kinesthetic experience (physically moving the lion to the appropriate box).
2)Sound Significance: Listening Lions Emphasizes the impact one small sound can have on a word. Once children understand this concept, they are likely to feel motivated to participate in more rigorous articulation therapy activities.
3)Fun: Most speech therapists and teachers will agree that children learn most when engaged in activities that they enjoy. When presented in a game-like manner, Listening Lions provides a learning experience that is both meaningful and fun
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