Why pretend? Why imagine beyond the here, now, and yesterday when talking?
Kim has a fabulous post all about the benefits of pretend play on early language development and I'd like to add to this point to discuss the amazing things pretend language does for elementary-aged children. Pretend language explains things kids know (a trip to the grocery store) or do not know (I wonder what would happen if.....). It is the self-diaglog that keeps you hypothesizing, guessing, and creating.
2. Pretend language encourages complex language. It is very difficult for an elementary school child to pretend or imagine with just nouns. Pretend language typically includes many conjunctions "if, then, but, when, etc...", a variety of verbs, and long sentences!
3. Pretend language is the basis for writing skills beyond first grade. Kindergartens typically write simple factual sentences, "I like mom." Beginning in first grade, however, children are expected to think beyond their family and their classrooms and write about things that they imagine. By second and third grade students are writing entire imaginative stories, almost always relying on pretend language.
4. Pretend language develops language skills, even when alone. Pretend language is the language of curiosity that can teach children how to dialog, take turns between characters, and keep a conversation going. This language can even be practiced alone inside of one's own head!
I used Peter's pretending as part of my new book unit for "The Snowy Day". Here are the details:
16 /s, z/, /r/, and /l/ articulation words taken from the story for articulation practice.
Get the whole thing here, or just download the Free Preview worksheet.
Looking for other Winter Literature-Based Speech therapy Units? Check out these:
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