Games are a perfect way to get everyone joining in and having fun. When we are playing games together, there is lots happening: interaction, engagement, turn taking, laughter. And on the back of these things, we can build communication. While we are playing games, we can get out our AAC system and model core word vocabulary. In every game, there are chances to use AAC for more than just requesting (eg. “I want…”), as we can also model language for rejecting things, giving information, commenting and for social interaction. But what words can we model? This blog post is designed to give you some starting points for choosing core words in some common games.
Before we start, it is important to discuss using activity-specific communication boards during game play, versus using your core word system; something which is discussed perfectly in this Do’s and Dont’s post from Jane Farrall. Whilst it may seem tempting to create folders with specific words for the different games you play, this should not be done every time. Because games are so fun and motivating, it can be the best time to model core words, and take the time to explore the fringe folders for those specific words you might need. In the long term, this is how your AAC user will learn how to use their core words and find their fringe words for communication, long after the game has finished.
Generic Core Words
Firstly there are some generic core words that can be used during game playing, with any game!
Requesting and Rejecting:
- want, want that, want more, I want ___
- can I play? can we play? play again
- help, need help, I need help
- not, not that, no more
- stop, stop now, stop that, stop this, stop there
Getting/Giving Information and Commenting:
- do, I do, I do it, you do it (instead of my turn/your turn)
- go, you go, I go (instead of my turn/your turn)
- what? what next? what that?
- like, like it, I like it, you like it, not like, don’t like, I don’t like
- look, look at that
- give, give to you, give to me
- play, play now, play this, I play, we play
- who? who’s go? who next?
- silly/ funny/ fun/ boring
- what like? what do you like to play?
- win/lose (Home > Actions > Feeling Verbs)
- Home > Chat for more great social words
Game core words
Here are some popular games and some core words and sentences you could try modeling. There are also suggestions for Fringe vocabulary that could also be modeled or added, depending on the language level of your AAC user. These fringe words have an example navigation path to help you find the words, if you are using Proloquo2Go: Crescendo vocabulary, Intermediate user, at a 7x11 grid size.
The AssistiveWare Core Word Classroom is filled with great activities and materials, including some Core Word 5 Minute Fillers for games suggested in this post. You will find the links to some of these in the table below.