Immersive AAC Class Week 7: FOOD!

“Yum” and “yuck” were further vocabulary themes this week. We had a delicious time playing with, experimenting with, touching, tasting and smelling foods!  When asked their favorite foods the students reported: ravioli, crackers, apples, pastry and birds. We had so much planned that we didn’t quite get to everything!

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One day one we dedicated our time to the book The Hungry Caterpillar. Each student got a cucumber caterpillar and was able to feed it (or eat each of the 16 foods mentioned in the book). We modeled the entire story on the SMARTBoard and practiced putting two words together like “one apple,” or “eat cheese.”

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Our goal this week was to maximize exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables without heavy pressure to eat them so we focused on science, sensory and art. Fresh fruit, spaghetti and asparagus may not seem like materials for art (unless you’re Arcimboldo… there’s a joke for any fellow art nerds out there). The kids got to feel kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries then see what they turn into when placed in a blender (here we practiced “put it in,” “turn it on” and “turn it off.” The fruit became our paint, linguini was hair and asparaguses were our paintbrushes to make self-portraits.

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We tried another common food-based science experiment by putting an egg into a jar of vinegar for a week. It came out rubbery and strange! One student said “throw” and we learned that 4 days was not long enough to solidify the whole egg. It made a huge mess!

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We watched cabbage leaves absorb colored water. IMG_3326.JPG IMG_3387.JPG

Our discovery pool this week was filled with dry pasta in different shapes, apples and pears.

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Using toothpicks and grapes we engineered some pretty creative structures. We had lots of opportunities to say “put it on,” “make it big” and “get more.”

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It wouldn’t be a normal week in LAMP class if we didn’t spend some time destroying things. I had been dying to try the rubber band watermelon explosion so we put several hundred rubber bands around a watermelon. It was clearly not enough so I just ended up chucking it onto the floor at the end of the week! “Break it!” was just too exciting so we threw eggs and made a huge mess. The tarp was a great investment. We also had fun opening up coconuts and experiencing their fibers, water and fruit inside.

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Another fun experiment was coring out lemons, adding food coloring and dish soap then baking soda to make colorful, bubbly lemon volcanos!

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Music Therapy brought great fruit-shaped shakers and we sang all the food songs we could think of. In our PT group the kids got on their bellies on scooters and picked up food from all around the room. Our always creative OTs made a caramel corn snack with the kids and a craft project using popcorn.

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This was a great week and we are so proud of the practice our kids had in stating opinions about the foods. We heard a lot of “yucks.” We also heard a significant increase in verbalizations from one our participants. Next week is our final class for the summer. We are planning to do “best of,” which probably means the return of the spin board and the helium tank!

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