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 words for shapes, sizes, and position (in front of, behind, top, bottom)

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child in play with various types of blocks: shape blocks of different colors and sizes, foam blocks, Legos, bristle blocks, etc. Incorporate small toy cars, people, or animals.

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 finds and/or describes blocks of different sizes, shapes, colors.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Encourage parents to expand the child’s comprehension by using descriptive words in their discussions. For example, instead of saying, “This spaghetti is good,” the parent could say, “I like skinny spaghetti. And the red sauce on it is sweet.”

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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