Our third adapted book in this series is Trains! (Big, Busy Machines) by Charles Reasoner (http://amzn.to/1g7gXEo). This adapted book is focused on sorting by initial consonants. Sorting is a great way to work on building skills for individuals on the autism spectrum for several reasons. First, it assists with flexible thinking. Individuals with autism may have a tendency to think more rigidly about how items are classified, but everything can be sorted by various attributes. For example, you might sort animals by the habitat they live in, their color, or by how many legs they have. Secondly, sorting is a very structured activity. Structured learning often helps reduce anxiety and increase attention for individuals with autism. And lastly, sorting can help organize information for individuals with autism. Temple Grandin and others with ASD have expressed that their minds operate similar to a filing cabinet (read more here: http://bit.ly/1NnCM1m). If information is stored in the proper place, it can make accessing and retrieving information fast and easy. But if information is misplaced it may be difficult to process and express ideas. By having individuals with autism sort into categories it reinforces a well organized file system.
Sorting Words by their First Letter
For this adapted book, teaching students to sort words by their first letter. To make the book, we created a laminated page with four columns and added velcro.
We then velcroed a letter to the top of each column. We then added the same amount of blank squares to each column as words they will find so students will know when they are finished (when all the squares have a word on them).
Inside the book we identified words that start with each letter, laminated them, and velcroed them into the book next to the pictures they represent.
To use the book, students will go through the pages and pull out the words and sort them in the proper columns by their first letter.
You can make the activity flexible by changing the order of the letters at the top of each column, and by changing how many and which words are sorted. You can also change the letters at the top of the page to help with generalization and to teach new skills. For example, you can have students shots by blends, long and short vowels, or word length. The possibilities are endless!
5 Books for $6 or Less
Books that are high interest with fewer words and more pictures are best for sorting. Here are 5 books for $6 or less that are perfect to adapt for sorting!
My Big Animal Book by Roger Priddy: http://amzn.to/1Fw1tki
The Goodnight Train June Sobel: http://amzn.to/1OuZBx8
Hide and Seek Harry at the Beach Kenny Harrison: http://amzn.to/1UEjcNg
Lowly Worm Word Book by Richard Scarry: http://amzn.to/1KC5UBm
I Spy Animals by Jean Marzollo: http://amzn.to/1VLmAZ9