Five sweet opportunities: Using candy to help teach children with hearing loss

by CID teaching staff

The time of candy is upon us. It’s everywhere we look. Instead of dreading this sugar-laden time of year, let’s embrace the opportunity to use it to our advantage. Candy is not only motivating but can also lend itself to being a useful teaching tool.

  1. Vocabulary: Teach the names of candy! Often our students recognize the candy they eat but they can’t always name the different kinds.
  2. Adjectives: There are so many opportunities to use noun modifiers and description words to describe candy. Talk with students about differences in:
    • Color
    • Size
    • Shape
    • Flavor: chocolate, fruit, sour, sweet, nutty, caramel
    • Fives senses: how does it Smell? Sound? Look? Feel? Taste?
      • It smells sweet. It sounds crunchy. It looks bumpy. It feels sticky. It tastes sour.
  3. Syntax: There are many ways to incorporate candy into language lessons. Use candy to teach and practice syntax structures:
    • These are/those are/that is/this is
      • These are small and red. Those are long and brown.
    • Have/has
      • I have 4 pieces. She has 5 pieces.
    • Plurals
      • 1 piece/2 pieces
    • Compare and contrast:
      • That is stickier than this.
      • This one has nuts but that one does not have nuts.
      • These are chocolate and that is chocolate.
  4. Math: Using candy as a math manipulative is just one way to utilize it during your lessons. Integrate math and candy by:
    • Sorting candy by different attributes (color, shape, flavor).
    • Counting how many pieces or matching the number of pieces to a written number.
    • Comparing more and less, greater than and less than.
    • Making patterns with candy.
    • Using candy as a unit of measure.
  5. Social Skills: Put it all together and use candy as a natural way to foster conversation. Encourage students to:
    • Ask friends “what is your favorite candy” and graph the responses
    • Analyze and share the results:
      • Joe’s favorite candy is licorice.
      • 4 friends like chocolate.
      • 2 more friends like chocolate than licorice.
    • Share candy with friends:
      • Do you want some candy?
      • How many pieces of candy do you want?

These are just some of the ways to use candy to encourage learning. What are some other ways you have found successful?

If all else fails, enjoy a piece of your favorite candy – you deserve it!

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Activities compiled from the teaching staff at CID. 

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