Every Student

LS&W3 - Vocabulary - Abstract and Verbal Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

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Motivators »
Modelling »
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Prompting »
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Teaching Opportunities

Literacy sessions
Community access
Technology sessions
Leisure time
Work tasks
Art activities
Mathematics sessions
Outdoor games
Cooking sessions


Teaching Resources

Pirate ship game symbols
Task lists
Classroom objects


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

Peer and self assessment»


Assessment Record

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Syllabus Outcomes and Content
Syllabus Outcomes

Early Stage 1 Outcomes (2012)

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


Life Skills 7-10 Outcomes (2012)

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


HSC Life Skills 11-12 Outcomes (2007)

HSC LS4.1 A student recognises individual photographs, pictures, symbols or words for personal use

HSC LS4.2 A student recognises, interprets and responds to photographs, pictures, symbols and signs in a range of communicative community contexts


Syllabus Content

Early Stage 1 (ENe) Content 


-identify some familiar written symbols in context 4A

-recognise high-frequency words, including own name 4A

-read and understand some sight words in simple, predictable texts 4A 


Life Skills (ENLS) Content 


-recognise photographs, pictures or symbols as representations of familiar people, objects, venues 4A

-view and respond to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia for enjoyment, 4A

-respond to texts using a range of visual texts 4A

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

-recognise the variety of formats in which visual texts, media and multimedia may be presented 4A

-predict meaning from visual texts, media and multimedia, 4A

-view and respond to their preferred visual texts in a range of contexts 4A

-create simple visual texts to convey a message 4A

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

-use visual texts to communicate with a variety of audiences 5A

-interpret different forms of visual information 5A

-identify the key ideas presented in an increasingly wide range of visual texts, including maps, tables, diagrams and animation 5A

-respond to a range of visual texts, media and multimedia for a variety of purposes in a range of contexts 5A

-recognise signs and symbols with universal meaning 5A

-recognise and interpret single words or simple instructions in context 6A

-read a variety of short, written texts for enjoyment or information 6A

HSC Life Skills (LS) Content 


-recognise photographs of family members, carers and other significant people in a variety of formats and contexts 4.1

-recognise and interpret signs, words, symbols and pictures in a community context 4.2

-interpret icons or pictorial information to enhance community access and increase independence 4.2

-locate goods, services, items and places in the community using signs, pictures, and symbols 4.2

English Learning Continuum Content

Identifies symbols representing people, places and things

Matches real objects and photos with their corresponding symbols

Identifies symbols representing people, places and things

Provide the student with a book containing photos of familiar people, places and things and a collection of corresponding symbol cards. As the student looks at each photo in the book, point to and name its corresponding symbol. Once the student is familiar with the photos and symbols ask them to name and/or point to the photo and the corresponding symbol independently.


Label different items around the classroom, such as books or a door, with a symbol. Walk around the classroom with students asking them to identify the different objects and their symbols. Encourage students to point to the symbol as each object is identified.


Use environmental print throughout the classroom to support units of work. Support these with PCS where appropriate.


Present a student with a highly motivating classroom activity and the corresponding symbol. Name the symbol and encourage the student to name or point to the symbol. When the student acknowledges the symbol state, “SN is looking at the….”. Provide access to the motivating activity once the symbol has been named or pointed to by the student.


Go for a walk around the school or local community. Point out and name different objects, such as a tree or a car and show the students the corresponding symbols. Ask students to name or point to the symbol when it is shown. This activity can also be undertaken using an interactive touch screen device.


Play games such as ‘Touch this’. Show students a symbol of an item found around the classroom. Ask students to find the item, walk to it and then touch it. Acknowledge and encourage student efforts saying, “SN you found the …”. Another game could be a modified version of ‘Pirate Ship’ that uses symbols of classroom items or objects instead of commands. 


Matches real objects and photos with their corresponding symbols

Use photos depicting familiar people, objects and places with corresponding symbols to play SNAP. Lay cards out one at a time and when a photo and its corresponding symbol are placed on top of each other, the first person to place their hand on the deck and call 'SNAP' is the winner.


Use a classroom timetable and/or task list to ask students to collect items for a lesson. Have the students identify the symbol for each item and collect them. As each item is collected ask the student to place the corresponding symbol on a finished strip.


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.
  • Work samples could be collected and analysed, for example, cut/paste photo to symbol tasks.



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