Generally, children wtih language learning disabilities are challenged to comprehend the non-literal (figurative) meaning of an expression or phrase. They therefore, are limited in their ability to use context to understand or infer meaning in both oral and written language. It is imperative that figurative language be explicitly taught to this cohort of clients.
The Christmas season provides us with some real life and entertaining forms of figurative language materials to enhance these interventions. Download some of your favorite Christmas carols or Christmas poems and send your clients on the search for some of the following examples of figurative language: alliteration, imagery, similes, metaphors, hyperboles, and/or symbolism.
To further boost their comprehension, I like to pair Lindamood-Bell's Visualizing and Verbalizing strategies with this intervention to strengthen development of concept imagery. At the core of the Visualizing and Verbalizing program are 12 Structure Words (what, size, color, number, shape, where, movement, mood, background, perspective, when and sound) that help indiviuals cultivate the skill of "making a movie" in their minds as they sing or read from the Christmas carol or poem. As our clients become skillful with the strategies of this program, their oral and reading comprehension, critical thinking, and expressive language skills demonstrate marked improvement.
The use of the Christmas carols and poems within therapy also presents as a fantastic carryover opportunity. Numerous parents have commented on the excitment that this intervention has generated for their child; they absolutely love sharing the tunes and "testing" the figurative language knowlege of their family members during the holiday season!
Please enjoy of few of my all time holiday figurative language therapy favorites!