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What Do They Do?

Stage One
Direct Actions

Stage One Plans
Direct Actions
Express Negatives


This lesson teaches the most important words to use for directing and requesting during favorite activities

 What Do They Do? Flipbook


girl telling a secret

Model and prompt the action words on the device.

Act out the word the person says.

One person may need to do hand-over-hand modeling with the person, while another person acts out the word.

Play a guessing game: Print action words on cards and place the cards in a box or other container. Draw a card and act out the word. The person wins a point if he or she can say the word that is being acted out. 


kids on a roller coaster
  • Read the book “What Do They Do?” with the person. The first time, model the target vocabulary for the person on their device. The second time, as you read, have them try to find as many of the target words as they can as the words appear in the story.



computer cables

Use the Watch Your Time writing template with your student.  Have them use their device to tell three things they do every day.  Fill in the template and then ask them to read it to someone.  They can fill in more than three if they want to.  

Connect the device to a computer with a USB cable or Bluetooth module. Let the person practice writing their target words into a word document.

If you are using WordPower (Saltillo or TouchChat), save the person’s writing using Stories and Scripts within the vocabulary.  Learn more about this feature here




Remember that the person may be a motor learner, and may not be relying on the metaphors associated with the icons. Lots of practice will establish automatic motor patterns for these beginning words.

The communication partner models the action words to make two- or three-word phrases on the device. For example: “eat food,” “play game,” “drink water,” “you make,” or “read book.”

Play the Core Word Game. Roll the dice and move a marker. Have each student find the word they reach on their device. You can also modify the goals by modeling a short phrase or sentence and ask them to repeat it.  


 Homework Card

Can-Do Cards are fun, motivational activities the entire family can do to help your child improve their communication skills. Most activities will fit nicely into your daily family routines.

Start Homework Plan

toy car

Direct Actions

Select for another lesson to reinforce this objective

game board

Express Negatives

Select if you’re proficient at this objective and ready to move onto the next objective

Common Core Standards
Below are references to the Common Core Standards organized by grade level and associated with the goals and objectives of this lesson plan. When considering which standards to target in your lessons with students, begin by looking at the standards at your student’s grade level. You may need to refer to that same standard at a lower grade level to adapt your lesson to best meet the needs of your student.