Every Student

LS&W3 - Vocabulary - Concrete Symbolic

Teaching Strategies

Guided practice »
Attribute meaning »
Questioning »
Match to sample»
Scaffolding »


Teaching Opportunities

Morning circle
Literacy sessions
Work tasks
Group games
Mathematics sessions
Cooking sessions
Meal times


Teaching Resources

Shopping lists
Familiar items
Photo books
Interactive apps, software and websites
Interactive touch screen devices


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

Recognises photos of familiar people, places and things Matches and selects real objects and photos

Recognises photos of familiar people, places and things

Provide students with opportunities to look at cards and books comprised of photos of familiar people, places and things. Point out and comment on the photos by stating, “Look, can you see the ………?” ensuring the name of the person, place or thing is used. Attribute meaning to students’ behaviour by acknowledging and encouraging all signs of recognition saying, “Yes, SN can see ………”. Students can also view digital photos of familiar people, places and things on interactive touch screen devices or on the computer.


Matches and selects real objects and photos

Play games such as ‘Can you find?’ to encourage students to match and select real objects. Hold up a familiar object or photo for the students and state, “Can you find the …” Use errorless learning by ensuring that the object they need to find is in the students’ line of vision and is the only option. Once a student has found the object and given it to you state, SN has found the … and show the corresponding object or photo used as an example to the group. Praise the student by saying, “Well done SN! It is the …….. Same!” whilst holding the two objects or the photo and object side by side.


Show a familiar object to a student and name it. Present the student with an array of objects, including an identical object to the one originally shown to the student. Hold the object one at a time against each of the objects in the array asking, “Same?.....No!”, Same?....No!” continuing until the object is matched saying, “Same?...Yes!”. Then encourage the student to select the matching object and praise them for making the correct choice. Initially begin with two objects in the array and increase the amount of objects as the student successfully matches and selects.


Expand the activity above by providing students with photos of familiar objects and a collection of corresponding objects. Provide the least amount of support required for the student to successfully select and match the correct object with its corresponding photo.


Provide a student with a photo book and matching velcroed photos. Ensure the story contains photos of objects the student recognises. Provide the least amount of support required for the student to successfully match velcroed photos to photos in the story. 




Assessing Vocabulary – Concrete Symbolic


  • 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 match to sample tasks.



Suggested Apps


Toddler Flashcards
Word SLapPs
Talking Picture Board