North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Language Development and Communication (LDC)

Subdomain: Learning to Communicate

Goal: Children understand communications from others.

Skill Progression: Understand communication from others

Age: 36-42 Months

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Understands “why” questions

Situations for Observation of Skill

Giving unrelated directions is often awkward. Make it a game at the end of the block play.

Elicitation Strategy

Begin by building structures with the various blocks next to the child, while commenting on what he is doing. For example, “I’m going to put this square soft one on the bottom, then put a hard one on top. What are you doing?” Listen to the child’s description of his actions and ask questions or make comments as appropriate to elicit concepts. “I like your barn. I think it needs some animals in the field behind it.” “Can you hand me two smooth blocks?” At the end of block play, the adult can say, “I’m going to add a surprise to our blocks. Stand up. Now, close your eyes and turn around three times. Don’t peek.” (two-step unrelated direction) Then let the child give you directions. Ask questions such as “Why did you wrap the baby up?”

Behavior Observed

The child understands “why” questions and responds appropriately.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Children ask many “why” questions, but parents can turn it around and ask their child to think about cause and effect. “Why do you think the streets are so wet?”

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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