Tag Archives: Vocabulary

The HOT ROCK Game!

It is amazing to understand how we speak and understand other people’s speech. Our minds are elaborately organised and engineered for language processing and to be able to function for this skill of communication we need to have somewhere to store our words in our mind.

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Efficient storage of words is important for great receptive and expressive language skills.

We store these words in a place we call the semantic centre which works like a well organised shopping centre full of words stacked in aisles to the roof. We could also say that this semantic centre was like a giant WORD SPIDER WEB of vocabulary and concepts that are all linked in relation to the words meaning, the words definitions and then how they are related to each other in the semantic system. The words are also stored based on the sound string (phonological) information of the word (eg. Flower-florist-floppy-fly). This becomes clear when working as a Speech Pathologist who have language and word retrieval problems after a stroke and a brain injury. It is quite intere3sting to hear the word errors that these individuals say that are either semantic errors (mixed for close meaning eg. Table-chair) or phonemic errors (mixed for their sounds-eg. I drive a carrot).


A fun game for you to play with the entire family is the HOT ROCK GAME! This is a great game for developing:

  • Lexical retrieval skills-word finding skills
  • Semantic categorisation-grouping words in to their categories ( Cow-Farm animals, angry-emotion)
  • Understanding words meanings and relationships to each other such as Antonyms (opposite words-eg. Fast-slow), Synonyms (Similar meanings Large-huge), Part-whole relationships (eg. Face-clock), Shades of grey meaning (eg. Angry-cross-mad-livid), Multiple meaning (eg. Belt-belt)
  • Auditory memory-in remembering the words that have been said.

Watch the training video where Katrine Elliott (Speech Pathologist) gives you instructions about how to play the game with your family or at school in a group of friends. She will also give you some information about language and how the semantic system operates within our entire communication system. Watch out for the “How to fix…speech-listening-language-reading-spelling and writing” series to learn more about great information to help your child with their speech therapy program to develop their speech, language and literacy skills.

Semantic absurdities

Semantic Absurdities : What’s Wrong with Mr. Bing Ding Dong?


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Our crazy Phonic All Star always gets it all wrong when he hits his gong! Can you fix his mistakes with semantics…

Mr. Bing Ding Dong is our Chinese Chef who is from Hong Kong. When he cooks his Chinese meal for his guests, he runs out and hits his gong and says “NG! Dinners Ready!” He likes to cook and sing and wear Bling-Bling whilst flipping chicken wing. One thing about Mr. Bing Ding Dong is that he hits his head and gets a little C-R-A-Z-Y and makes mistakes as the evening gets later. He mixes everything up. Make sure you don’t eat there after 8 o’clock as he is known to mix up his prawn with worm in his dim sims…YUCK! (Listen for his soundtrack on CD2-Carnivale of sound on itunes)  In the folders you will find What’s wrong with Mr. Bing Ding Dong? Worksheets. Here are some of the confusions he has been facing. Help him to work them out with your child.

 This tasks develops skills for: Verbal expression-vocabulary-semantic relationships

 Task- Explaining what is wrong in the picture

Ask your child to look at the picture and to tell you what they see are wrong in the picture (semantic absurdities). Support them to express their answer using the correct words and well structured sentences. Help them to develop a mature sentence by including clauses (that add to the sentence- eg. Who is wearing a striped jumper) and joining words (ie. And/ or/ but/ and then/ however/so/even though).

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Semantic confusion and absurdities are a great way to develop vocabulary and semantic relationships.

Practice these sentences a few times to assist them to learn how to arrange the words in a sentence (syntactic structure).  Ask questions that explore the picture further and to consider events that may not be in the here and now using their prediction, imagination and inferential abilities.

If they get stuck, break your questions down to simple “WH” questions…

  • What is this?
  • Who is this?
  • What is happening in the picture?
  • Where is the boy walking?
  • What do you think he will do next?
  • Why do you think he is…?
  • How do you know it is a …?

Example of an effective language interactions:

Parent:“What is the crazy thing that is happening in the picture?

Child: “The boy is carrying an umbrella but there is money raining from the clouds. Money doesn’t rain from the clouds.”

Parent:“What would you expect would fall from the clouds?”

Child:“Rain usually falls from the clouds.

Parent: “If this picture was true, what do you think the boy might do next?”

Child:“He could pick up the money and go shopping for a new scooter.

Find It! Game

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Great for learning vocabulary and stimulating visual processing skills.

Find It! Game

Our group members will be playing the Find It! Tubes which are a great game for developing their vocabulary skills. The students  search for the small objects among a scattering of coloured bits and pieces and then match these found objects with their Bingo and/or reading cards. The kids call out the objects they find (naming words) and then generate a complete and accurate sentence using these words (sentence formulation with syntactic and grammatical skills).  This task assists them to practice their articulation, knowledge of words and to construct sentences whilst attending to the other players calling out the words and also holding these words in their auditory memory whilst they search for more words. Level 1 students mark their target words see on their bingo cards whilst level 2 students find the word of their object written in a list.

The find it! Game also assists the children to develop their visual processing skills in that they have to look carefully to see what the tiny objects are against the coloured beads (figure-ground visual perception) in the cylinder and they also need to work out what the objects are when the shape is partially hidden (visual-image closure skills).

Find It!

Find It! is a game whereby small objects are inside a cylinder whereby the children have to turn the tube around to uncover the objects that are among lots of tiny distracting and colourful pebbles. These pebbles make them have to work hard with their visual processing skills to detect the objects but also to sometimes visually cloze the image when they only see a portion of the object. This means to see the other parts in their minds eye to then put the whole image together to recognise what it is. Once they find an object, they are expected to name the object, which involves the skills for word finding. Some objects are new words for the children and some may require correction for how they say the word using their sounds enabling them to re-format the sound sequence and store it correctly. The find it! tubes are in topics such as Beach-Farm Yard-Jungle-Glamor which enables explorations of lots of words deep inside a category whereby the task is therapy for the semantic web (see parent training).

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Find it! is a great activity to develop word finding, naming and visual processing skills. Great word analysis level reading task that keep the kids searching.

The children need to find the correct sounds in the word to articulate this correctly and then they try and find the same object on their tablemats provided for them.





  • Level 1 students are given pictures with words on their table mats whereby only some of the words are included making it a search to see the ones they need.
  • Level 2 students, who have some reading capability, are given a list of the written words  on a page and have to tick the words off when they find them.

The children work in teams of two whereby one child searches for the word and says the name of the word while the other then looks at the words on the poster. They swap after 2 minutes. The team with the most words found at the end of a few rounds is the winning team in the Club House Game!