Developing Comprehension skills with Animal Movement Discs


Following instructions is a much more complex skill than many people realise.

Take this example:
First clap your hands quickly, then jump three times, and then put the ball inside the little box.

I have underlined all of the vocabulary that your child has to know and understand, and there are 13 unique words or concepts for them to understand. I’ll break them into categories for you:

 Nouns (labels of objects, people or places): hands, ball, box
 Verbs (actions): clap, jump, put
 Concepts of Time: First, then
 Adverbs: quickly
 Numbers: three
 Concepts of location: inside
 Pronouns: your
 Concepts of size: little


Now in addition to this, your child needs to have adequate hearing skills, auditory
processing skills, and also needs enough memory to remember all three steps of the instruction.

The Animal Movement Discs provide the opportunity to work on many of these concepts, and to provide a visual support. Start by just drawing out one animal disc. Then increase to two animal discs in an order. Then three animal discs. Initially, you can place the animal discs in a line so that they can see them, but over time, see if you can cover up the discs so that your child truly has to use their memory.

You can start adding other concepts once you know that they are familiar with the animal movements, e.g. Waddle like a duck slowly. Hop like a frog five times. Before you shuffle like a penguin, gallop like a horse. Make this one easy for yourself by just picking one goal for this task, e.g. just introduce concepts of time, or just do 2 stage instructions. Have fun practicing following instructions with your kids.

Alex Trichilo
Speech Pathologist and Mum of three

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