Engaging Students Using Repeated Line Text
I do not like green eggs and ham, but I love repeated line books! Using books that have predictable text encourages engagement of all students. As we all know, students love to hear a favorite story read again and again. Familiarity with the story increases their engagement as they anticipate what will happen in the book. Each time the story is read the student gains new insights and appreciation for what is happening and will often anticipate words or lines in the text.
When using repeated line books, a similar appreciation and engagement takes place. Students anticipate words or phrases and love to participate by “reading” along. Books with predictable text are a great way to engage both the reluctant reader and the reluctant listener.
My favorite thing about books with predictable text, however, is that they help non-verbal students to actively participate. I always used the TechTalk 8 (there are many good Augmentative Alternative Communication devices available, this is just the brand that our school system provided) for group activities/lessons that included students with limited verbal skills. It’s quick and easy to record the repeated lines and key words allowing non-verbal students to “read along” with the class. Tip: Whenever possible, rather than recording the words/phrases yourself, ask a student to do it for you.
Here’s a brief outline on how to engage students with a predictable text book:
1) The first time you read the book aloud, pause before reading the repeated line, and then read it with emphasis and enthusiasm. As you get further along in the book, you may find that the students will start “reading along”.
2) Point to each word as you read it, making a connection between the spoken and the written word.
3) When you get to the repeated phrase, allow non-verbal students to use the AAC.
4) Once the students are familiar with the text, pause and wait for the students to “read” the phrase, and again, point to the words as they are spoken.
Expanding lessons using repeat line books is easy. Here are some suggestions:
1) Make flashcards using the familiar words. For the non-verbal student, have the AAC device set up with the written word, and see if they can match it to an image on a flashcard.
2) Create fill-in-the-blank sentences, where a different word is left out of each sentence. This can be done as a worksheet, on a SmartBoard or on index cards.
3) Many repeat phrase books not only have a repeated line (“I do not like them, Sam I Am”) but also repeat the content (“I will not eat them on a boat, I would not eat them with a goat….”). These books are great for helping students with sequencing and building vocabulary. Again, activities that include matching word to image and cut and paste sequencing are easy to create and can be laminated for re-use.
I found this extensive list of books that have repeat lines, made available from aacintervention.com. Click here to download a copy. You’ll notice it also has a few other lists, including “pre-school favorites”, that you might like.