Semantic Categories List A



This pack contains 11 semantic categories to practise categorisation and labelling of items. There are 88 flash cards in total as well as 2 category and 3 category sorting mats. It is a step up from the categorisation mats.

This pack is for the child with some categorisation knowledge or looking to move up from the self-correcting pack (Semantic Categories List A; Categorisation Mats).

Semantic categorisation is like the holy grail of vocabulary-building!

What are semantic categories? These are classes that words/items belong to. Eg. a cup, spoon and plate belong to the group of words known as ‘utensils’, etc.

Teaching children semantic categories is absolutely crucial for various reasons;

  • It teaches their vocabulary
  • It helps them order the words they know more systematically and therefore use them more robustly (to understand, to describe, to explain, etc.)

Using these activities to improve your child’s understanding is the easiest and best way of targeting your child’s language language skills

Focusing on improving your child’s understanding is the best way of targeting their expressive language skills (talking). What most parents don’t realise is that before a child can talk, they must first understand. Therefore, improving their understanding is a crucial link to them improving their talking!

To target understanding, use this activity in a way that doesn’t require that the child talks. For example, sorting/categorisation requires that the child places like flash cards together, as such, no talking is involved. Sorting/categorisation is therefore a task that emphasises understanding (following instructions), although it does also require thinking.

To target expressive language skills (talking), semantic categories activities are some of the most versatile activities to practise expressive language skills of varying complexities.

Labelling: Use this activity to practise labelling (naming) single words. This activity offers parents a great opportunity to practise words belonging to different categories, such as animals, food, clothing, transport, etc. This will grow a child’s vocabulary although it only grows their ability to label (nouns).

Describing: I love using this activity to help a child practise formulating descriptions for various nouns. When you ask most children to describe items, very few can manage to say more than the label. This activity can be used to teach the foundations of describing. You do this by teaching describing
through features. You can model anywhere from 1-feature to multiple features’ descriptions. item is used for), what it is made out of, what it looks like, any associated sounds (eg. cow- moo) or specific characteristics of the item.

If you would like to rapidly grow your child’s language skills, this is where to start!

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