"Now, Before and After"
Renata Bursten, Dragonfly Staff
Teaching time tenses using Tense Sequencing Cards.
Cards with images which represent 'real' things are called, appropriately, Photo Cards. Photo cards present another tool for our language and concept play activities.
Sometimes, by using the photo cards to describe concepts, we help the child to build associations which might otherwise be frustrated by 'real world' distractions. It makes sense to handle concepts within the conceptual arena, then to transpose the new understandings to real life events.
Here is a sequencing activity using photo cards that describes this type of play time activity.
1.) Pick a set of three using a subject that the child is familiar with.
,2.) Show the first one and talk about what is happening now, what happened before, what will happen after. Be consistent with the words you use. Use familiar language to discuss the before and after events, like 'Oh, an orange! somebody must have taken an orange down from the fruit bowl!'
3.) Repeat the show and discuss exercise with the next two cards. Include the recognition of the preceding cards at each step.
,4.) Lay the three cards down in series, and build a direct sequencing explanation while pointing to each card. "Hey, I get it! First we get a beautiful orange, then we have to take off the orange peel, then we can munch the juicy inside all up!
,5.) Next, encourage the child to point to correct card for each tense. "What comes first? Can we eat it now? Oh, what do we have to do so we can eat it?"
6.) Then show the sequences in real life by showing the cards and the concrete example at the same time.
Obviously, I like the sequence showing an orange being peeled. Its a fun and tasty example, if you like oranges!
,Be patient, it can take a while before complex time concepts are mastered. When a sequence is encountered in 'real' life, take time to point out the sequence, referring back to past exercises and to other sequences which are well understood.