Every Student

C3 - Interacting - Abstract and Verbal Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

Modelling »
Blocking access »


Teaching Opportunities



Teaching Resources

'Now' symbol
Objects of reference
'Finished' box
Social stories
Sentence strips
Interactive apps, software and websites
'Finished' symbol
Interactive touch screen devices
Communication folder


Levels Of Support

Full Physical Assistance (FP) »
Partial Physical Assistance (PP) »
Modelled Response (M) »
Gesture/Sign (G/S) »
Verbal (V) »
Independent (I) »


Programming Proforma

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Assessment Strategies



Assessment Record

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Syllabus Outcomes and Content
Syllabus Outcomes

Early Stage 1 Outcomes (2012)

ENe-1A A student communicates with peers and known adults in informal and guided activities demonstrating emerging skills of group interaction

ENe-4A A student demonstrates developing skills and strategies to read, view and comprehend short, predictable texts on familiar topics in different media and technologies

ENe-6B A student recognises that there are different kinds of spoken texts with specific language features and shows an emerging

ENe-7B A student recognises some different purposes for writing and that own texts differ in various ways

ENe-8B A student demonstrates emerging skills and knowledge of texts to read and view, and shows developing awareness of purpose, audience and subject matter

ENe-12E A student demonstrates awareness of how to reflect on aspects of their own and others’ learning

Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

ENLS-1A A student listens and responds in familiar contexts

ENLS-2A A student communicates for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

ENLS-4A A student views and responds to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia

ENLS-5A A student recognises and uses visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes, audiences and contexts

ENLS-6A A student reads and responds to a range of written texts in familiar contexts

ENLS-16D A student explores the ways cultural ideas and perspectives shape a range of spoken, written, visual and multimedia texts

ENLS-17E A student uses individual and collaborative skills in the learning process

HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)

HSC LS1.2 Responds appropriately to cues in a range of environments

HSC LS1.7 Engages in (responds to and initiates) social routines and actions

HSC LS1.9 Initiates and sustains communication with others

HSC LS2.1 Greets and farewells known and unknown people in an appropriate manner

HSC LS2.8 Recounts stories, personal experiences and jokes

Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content 


-use interaction skills including listening while others speak, using appropriate voice levels,
articulation and body language, gestures and eye contact 1A

-communicate with peers and familiar adults about personal experience 1A

-identify some familiar written symbols in context 4A

-greet people differently according to the relationship 6B

-recognise different methods of communication 6B

-demonstrate an awareness of written forms of communication, including labels, symbols, emails, letters and photographs 7B

-interpret pictures with labels, environmental print logos and other visual images 8B





Life Skills (ENLS) Content 


-respond to auditory cues through body language 1A

-respond to familiar auditory cues and signals 1A

-use recognised conventions when communicating in a range of contexts 2A

-greet and farewell people in an appropriate manner in a variety of contexts 2A

-communicate with peers and adults in an appropriate manner 2A

-use appropriate interaction skills across a range of contexts 2A

-communicate personal needs 2A

-recognise symbols, signs and logos in everyday situations 4A

-recognise signs and symbols with universal meaning 5A

-use photographs, pictures, symbols and visual aids for a variety of purposes 5A

-identify culturally specific body language and how this is used to create meaning in a range of texts 16D

HSC Life Skills (LS) Content 


-respond to gestures, signs or voices indicating ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘stop’ 1.2

-respond to gestures, signs or voices indicating instructions or requests 1.2

-engage in simple conversations with known peers, using vocalisation, gestures, signs, communication devices or speech in an appropriate manner 1.7

-engage in brief formal conversations with unknown people in both known and unknown situations, using gestures, signs, communication devices or speech 1.7

-initiate social interactions with known and unknown people in appropriate ways 1.7

-initiate and sustain communication with others in appropriate contexts 1.9

-use appropriate language (vocabulary, tone, volume, manner) to greet and farewell 2.1



English Learning Continuum Content

Uses body language and conventional gestures to interact with others

Shows understanding of a symbol or object by using and responding to it appropriately


Initiates interaction/ greeting with meaning

Uses body language and conventional gestures to interact with others

Before going into class ask students if they need to use the toilet and sign ‘toilet’. When students indicate that they do need to go to the toilet, ask them to sign ‘toilet’. If they do not sign at all, block access to the toilet and model the sign again. If they make an attempt to sign, use the most appropriate level of prompting to shape the student’s movements into the conventional sign.



Develop a social story about initiating appropriate ways to interact with people using photos of students and staff. Provide opportunities to role-play these situations for students. Visit the people in the social story, and greet them by shaking hands, waving or making some other acceptable gesture.


Shows understanding of a symbol or object by using and responding to it appropriately

During deskwork activities use a sequence strip with photos, Picture Communication Symbols (PCS), remnants or objects of reference representing each of the student’s learning tasks. Ask the student what the first activity is and to select the photo, PCS, remnant or object of reference and place it on the ‘now’ symbol, providing assistance as required. Ask the student to name the activity if they are verbal, or to gather the required equipment for that activity. Correct the student if they do not correctly name it, or if they do not get the required equipment. Once the activity is completed, ask the student to move the photo, PCS, remnant or object of reference to the ‘finished’ symbol or box. Repeat this process until all activities on the sequence are completed.


At morning tea or lunch time ask students to get their communication folders or access Proloquo2go on their iPads to request food items. Assist students as required to buildtheir sentences and then move away from them. Wait for students to approach a staff member with their sentence strips or iPads, blocking access to their food until they have presented their sentence strips and had them read aloud. Give students the requested items and then direct them to their eating tables.


Initiates interaction/greeting with meaning

During playground times give the student a sentence strip with ‘I want toilet’ represented by PCS on it. Advise supervising staff that the student will approach them if they need to use the toilet, and that their role is to allow the student to present the sentence strip as a way of requesting the toilet. When the student presents the sentence strip, staff respond by reading it aloud with the student and showing them into the toilet.



Key Assessment Points



  • The level of prompting required for the student to complete a task should always be recorded.
  • Observation could occur throughout the school day in a variety of activities or during a structured assessment task. This could be captured on video or in photos and recorded in skill checklists/rubrics for analysis.
  • Consultation with outside agencies and therapists such as speech therapists may be able to provide additional assessment information.


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