Experience BookDay 4 of the Back to Blogging/Deaf Awareness Month series!  Today is an idea that can be used at home, at school, on vacation, at the grocery store…anywhere!  You will need a few basic supplies in the beginning, but then you are set for a while!

I used Language Experience Books when I was teaching middle school, and I still use them in my itinerant teaching role, but not as often because of the time involved.   I like the idea of calling them Experience Books even more, because it opens the door to more possibilities.


For an Experience Book, you can get as fancy or simple as time/interest/materials allow.

Basic Supplies Needed:

  • Photographs (the best) or pictures
  • Paper
  • Photo book or laminate and a ring to hold them together
  • Glue
  • plain paper
  • pen/skinny markers, etc.

Basically, you take an event (vacation, trip to the dentist, first few days of school, family members, etc) and use the pictures to write sentences that match the photographs.  The photograph above, from Twodaloo, is a trip to the farm.  It’s multiple pictures with sentences created that fit your child’s language level.   If your child is able-and this is even better-have your child tell you what happened in each picture.  You write grammatically correct sentences and cut out those sentences and glue each sentence on a picture.

The cool thing about this is the child will be so excited to be able to show what she experienced that she will be motivated to read it again and again. Put the pictures in a little photo book (think Dollar Tree!) so it lasts longer.  If I had a laminator, I’d use that.   If your child can’t tell you what happened, write very simple sentences and then read them to her, over and over.  Eventually she will start reading them back (memorizing them first…then that leads to recognizing those words in other places.)

Ideas for Experience Books:

  • Trip to the zoo
  • Vacation
  • Beach fun
  • My school
  • My family
  • My pets
  • Going to the dentist
  • Making cookies

This can also be used to work on particular sounds, or vocabulary.   Think of making one for the grocery store and having your child find the words on the products you buy often.  Or, think of a sound like /sh/ and finding different photos from your home that start with /sh/ and making a little book.  Shirts…shoes…sheets…shhhh…share…

I was reminded of this idea from a pin on Pinterest from Twodaloo, but I quickly found several other resources. Another one a great guide from Cochlear-for everyone-aided or not.  A quick Google search of  “language experience books” gave me many examples.  The key is making it with your child and having it relate to their experience.