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(Colors red, yellow, blue, and black)
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  • Link meaning to new vocabulary

  • Link new vocabulary to already existing schema

  • Categorize

  • Discriminate between different and same characteristics

  • Increase speech/sign/fingerspelling vocabulary

  • Reinforce question-answer discourse

  • Develop sign/speech relationship to meaning of English printed words


Teacher actions are highlighted in gold.

  • Focus on concept of colors as descriptor/ characteristic (e.g. red, yellow, blue, black)

    • Have many red objects visible in the classroom.

    • For example: Teacher dresses all in red. Have a red tablecloth on a table with a red bowl and red apples in bowl.

  • Ask students if they see something funny?

  • Show clothes, tablecloth, bowl, apples.

  • Tell the students these are all the same color. Red is the name of the color.

  • Write the word 'red'; have the students select a red marker and color a box red next to the word.

  • Sign/say/fingerspell red with the students.

  • Write the word on the board

  • Place objects in a bag (e.g.4 red, 2 others). Pull out an object.

    • Ask: Is this red?

    • Match to red box on chart and other red objects.

Guided Practice
  • Show  students other familiar red objects e.g. paper, crayon,  toys.

  • Ask what the object is and elicit response.

  • Ask  students to name the color

  • Write  'a red paper' or 'I have a red paper' (depending on which is appropriate for your students).

  • Say/sign/fingerspell the phrase, then have students say/sign/fingerspell it with you.

  • Give each student a paper bag with a red object in it.

  • Each student feels in bag.

  • Ask: What do you have? 'Student  names the object.

  • Ask: Were you correct? What is that? and then, What color is (the car) ?

  • Show the student’s answer on board:

    • N has a red car.

    • Read to the students.

  •  Students identify the word  'red'. Encourage students to say/sign/fingerspell the word.

  • Go on a scavenger hunt for red objects that were previously “hidden.”

    • Ask: What did you find?

    • Elicit response: A red ball.

    • Reinforce response: Yes, you found a red ball!

    • Show student’s response on the board

      • N found a red ball.

    • Read, sign/say the sentence and then ask the students to read it.

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Advancing the Strategy

Concept contrast red / yellow

  • Review previous work and introduce a new color concept

  • Review concept of red by having children show and discuss their “red” pictures they brought from home and put them on the bulletin board.

    • Use these color concepts in language experience stories.

  • Begin concept development of yellow using steps similar to those described previously.

    • At the end of the section on yellow, have each student show a picture of favorite yellow object.

    • Give each student a paper bag with a red or yellow hat made of paper in it.

      • Put up  sign on red/ yellow papers: “Red Hats” and “Yellow Hats”.

      • Each student opens bag and says/signs, “I have a red /yellow hat” and then goes to the correct sign.

    • Red group and yellow group work together on problems.

    • Give each student red or yellow math markers, such as tiles or rods and tell how many yellow or red items they have.

    • Present math problems for them to solve with the sticks. For example:

      • Say/sign: Luis has 3 yellow tiles.

      • Say/sign: Jen has 2 red tiles. (

      • Ask: How many tiles do Luis and Jen have all together?

      • Write problem and answer on board (3+ 2 = 5).

  • Give each group a stack of pictures or objects that are red or yellow, sort pictures into appropriate stacks.

  • Develop concept of color blue using similar steps and procedures.

  • Develop concept of color black using similar steps and procedures.

  • Present discrimination activities for the colors blue and black.

  • Many concepts can be developed using a similar format (e.g. adjectives of size: big, little; descriptive adjectives: glad, sad, mad).

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