Friday, June 8, 2012

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth is a fun book to use with older kids.  I typically pull this out for a middle school to high school aged student with language difficulties.  This book is chock full of vocabulary and figurative language.  It can be quite humorous.  It also usually requires a good deal of discussion and explanation for the language disordered student to grasp many of the ideas. 

The main character, Milo, a very bored little boy,goes on a journey via a magic tollbooth.  He encounters a number of strange characters in the Lands Beyond.  He returns from the journey a very imaginative boy.

When working with a long book I generally do the following:
  • Take turns reading aloud.  I will read and have the client follow along.  This allows him to see the words, hear the proper pronunciations, and improve his own reading fluency skills.  When it is his turn to read, he can practice words he has heard and I can assess his reading mechanic skills, helping him sound out or figure out difficult words.
  • Pick out new vocabulary.  As we encounter words that may be unfamiliar, we can discuss what they mean.  I also like to work on learning to interpret contex clues by pointing out clues to the meaning already in the passage.  We can then discuss synonyms that are more familiar to the client.
  • Sometimes we create vocabulary cards.
  • I will find or create supporting worksheets that target specific areas the student is needing to address such as chapter questions, vocabulary reviews, plot diagrams, character analysis, etc.
  • At the end of each chapter, the student must summarize what occurred in the chapter.  This serves the purpose of working on written expression skills and providing a quick synopsis that we can use to review the events each week and at the end of the book.  The student can also take these summaries and use them to write a review of the entire story.
Some good objectives for this book:
  1. Vocabulary Development: lots of new words to look up, define, or use with context clues.
  2. Figurative Language: lots of terms to examine such as "time flies".
  3. Multiple meaning words, homonyms, heteronyms such as "whether man"
  4. Synonyms in dictionopolis
  5. (I will add more as I progress through the book with a current client... it's been awhile since the last time I used this book).
Here is a list of mined resources on the web:

Figurative Language Chart and Answer key
     *  Flashcards vocabulary
     * Idioms

1 comment:

jowdjbrown said...
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