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3 Tips for Understanding Language at Blank Level 2 

There are lots of concepts to cover in Blank Level 2. Toni didn’t know where to start. So, when I discovered that her son Dominic spent hours each day playing with bricks, we had the perfect starting point.

He was doing a great job of using single words, but Toni was worried that he had been at that stage for a long time now, and that they had both got stuck in a rut with what they were doing.

We sat down, played together, and came up with 3 tips for exploring language at Blank Level 2 while enjoying the activity Dominic loved the most.

Here are those 3 tips….

Tip 1 – Describe your bricks

The first thing we did was start to sort the bricks in different ways. Dominic was good at sorting, but it tended to be a solitary activity, so as he sorted, we talked about how he was grouping the bricks.

He liked them in piles of bricks the same colour, so we talked about modelling, “red brick” “green brick” “yellow brick…. Yellow brick – the same!” labelling each time he placed a brick in the relevant pile.

Next time, before Dominic got started, I showed him how we could also sort the bricks by size, labelling “long brick”… “short brick” and sorting the bricks into 2 piles. Dominic soon got the hang of this, and before long he was also joining in to describe the bricks. We used colour, size, shape and number of dots.

Tip 2 – Give the builder instructions

This next one is really good for building understanding and use of language to talk about ‘where?’ with positional language.

Toni and Dominic developed a short script where Toni would pick up her brick and ask, “Where does it go?” and Dominic would have to instruct her, for example “on top” or “at the end” or “next to yellow brick”.

Toni made sure that they took turns so that she could model this new language for Dominic, supporting him to place the bricks in the right places at first. He really liked being in charge of the instructions so it was very motivating!

Tip 3 – Support with visuals

Dominic was doing really well at learning the new language, but he often needed help when it was his turn to describe or instruct, and all the different concepts could sometimes get jumbled in his brain.

So, Toni made a symbol mat that was perfect for brick building games. It included symbols for the colours, shapes, sizes and number. It also included symbols for positions such as ‘on top’ and ‘next to’ so that it could be used to cue in to a particular word. It was also useful to support building and extending sentences, with core vocabulary around the side, such as ‘I, you, get, put, no, help, finish’.

Not everyone loves bricks quite as much as Dominic, so we love to see how these concepts can also be brought into different play activities and games. So far, colouring, baking and dressing up dolls have all worked brilliantly!  

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