Sunday, February 22, 2015

Let's talk about angry birds: digital and analog!

Angry birds is a game that we probably all recognize by now. You know it, right? That game where some green pigs steal eggs from some birds, different colored birds, who become very angry and try to knock the pigs off various structures. Thats the one! It was probably one of my first apps I ever purchased. Lucky for us all, after all these years, it is still a wildly motivating game for students. And lucky for me, there is not only the app, but there is also the board game. Any student would be over the moon to be able to play angry birds (analog or digital) in a speech therapy session. I used to leave it for the "reward time" at the end of a session because I wasn't able to find a way to incorporate language. So, I created this  core word based topical communication board  to accompany the board game to help get us talking while we played together, but I have also found it useful for when using the digital app as well. Find the board on boardmakeronline here

To play the board game, there are a few set up steps. First, you pick a card to decide which structure to build. Then, you need to get all the pieces in order to construct the structure. I keep all the pieces by me. This opens up loads of opportunity to communicate. (Note: there is no construction while playing the app.) Here are some of the target phrases I work on while preparing the  board game focusing on the use of core words with a few topically related fringe words: 

I want that
I want more
I want different 
I do it
Help me
You do it more
Turn it there
I get it
Where it go?
It go there
I want 2 triangle/square
I want big rectangle
I want do different

Then, once the structure is completed, the different color birds can be slingshot towards the structure to knock it down. It's actually a little harder than it looks!. Here are some phrases I model and expect from my students while the birds try to knock down those pesky pigs! Many of these phrases can be used while using the app as well: 

I want that bird
I do different bird
Where is small/big bird?
I do it
Help me
You do it
Where is it? (When the bird flies too far away)
It is there.
It go over (when the bird doesn't hit the structure)
It go down (when the structure falls down)
It no go down (when nothing gets hit)
You help do that (I use this phrase a lot when students need help holding the slingshot)
Help there (I also use this phrase when students need help holding the slingshot). 

I'm sure there are even more phrases as well. Hopefully, these phrases can provide some core word inspiration for an "older" and highly addictive app and board game!  If you think of other core word phrases, please feel free to share! Now, playing angry birds can be a motivating way to generalize the use of core words into an everyday game!

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