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Literacy for Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Strategy 4: Teach vocabulary by matching objects to words

What to Do

  • Introduce the vocabulary. Use actual objects when possible. (e.g.: APPLE: show the child an apple, wash the apple, slice the apple, smell the apple, eat the apple)
  • Name the object using the child’s preferred receptive communication method
  • Match the object to the symbol (a photograph, line drawing or tactual representation of the object , print, or braille word as selected in Strategy 1)
  • Say the word using additional sounds when possible (e.g. Apple: mmm, dog: woof-woof, motorcycle: vrooom). Allow the child to feel the vibrations as you make the sounds.  
  • Identify other sounds associated with the word (e.g.: microwave: beep-beep-beep, door: ding dong or knock-knock-knock, toilet: flush). Allow the child to touch the object.
  • Once again, match the object to its photograph, line drawing and/or tactual representation and then also to the corresponding word in print or braille
  • If chosen word is an action, match the action to the chosen symbol for the word

Things to Consider

  • Have you thought ahead of time about what vocabulary you want the child to learn?
  • Does the child understand the concept of the word(s) you are teaching?
  • If not, have you thought about how you are going to teach the concept(s)?
  • Are you systematic in how you introduce, practice and reinforce new vocabulary?
  • Are you paying attention to how often you introduce new vocabulary?


Always Ask Yourself