Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Still summer...so want some lemonade?

They say August is one long Sunday. Here in Massachusetts we still have about a month left until school even starts, so its difficult to see posts from friends across the country who have already started, as well as the ubiquitous "back to school" and "summer's almost over, so..." ads. It pulls you out of it a bit, you know? I've spent my summer working on getting fit, hiking and doing some traveling, so it's been great. But HOT!

So consider some Lemonade! Remember the old Lemonade Stand game? You are given weather information and need to decide several things: how many cups of lemonade to make, how much to charge for it, and how many signs to make to advertise your stand. In the process, we can engage students in a number of language and social competencies:
-"listening with the brain*" and language comprehension
-using visual supports, however we provide them
-applying functional math and problem solving
-causal and conditional language ("It's going to be hot, SO let's make more cups...")
-following a "group plan,*" i.e. making logical rather than silly decisions to sell as much as possible

*language from the Social Thinking® methodology

Here are two ways to play it.
-Classic Lemonade Stand is a free app for iOS that uses the 'ol Apple IIe text interface, but is still fun
-Toward the end of the school year, I played the Alexa version on Echo Dot (enable the skill by saying "Alexa, launch Lemonade Stand"). This free skill provided a few extra elements that I found helpful: more opportunity for auditory comprehension and listening work, turn taking in speaking, using visual supports, and processing the humor and figurative language offered in this particular skill.


I always like pairing activities for further context, and our students before playing worked together to make a lemonade stand "sign." This engaged them in pretend play and lots of conversation. This could be done with poster materials or with the free app Pic Collage as we did below (You could also do this with Google Drawings on a laptop):


 
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