When planning to teach a concept, focusing on one attribute helps make your instruction or expectation clearer. E.g. When you want to introduce “Yellow” and “Blue” (with the topic on colours in mind), you may want to use two objects of the same kind and size, but differs in colour to emphasize the main focus of the lesson, as size and object remain constant.
1. Start by showing only one (e.g.ball). “This is a yellow ball!, say, yellow!” and child says “yellow!”
2. Next, only show the blue ball. “This is a blue ball!, say blue!” and child says “blue!”
3. Place yellow ball and blue ball side by side and ask “can you show me the blue ball?” the child may point at the blue ball. “can you show me the yellow ball” the child might point at the yellow ball. You can then tell that the child is exercising her receptive language skills, understanding these two terms clearly.
4. To check if your child has gained confidence in naming “yellow” and “blue”, back to isolation, showing the balls one at a time. “What colour is this ball?” your child might not be able to say the colour confidently yet, even though she might have pointed at the colour accurately in step 3. You may then repeat the activity on another day to reinforce her learning, and relate to items in the home that is in yellow or blue, to build up her understanding and confidence in identifying these two colours!
It is important to allow the child to gain confidence in learning yellow and blue before you introduce red (a new colour) during your “lesson time”. However, if you are working on yellow and blue, and the next day you come across some flowers and you see a purple flower, it is alright to mention “Look! I like this purple flower!”. The yellow and blue is planned, and the purple flower is unplanned! But yet, relevant to the child in context when you refer to the colour of the flower.
When your child is able to name “yellow” and “blue” in isolation, its time to introduce another colour….:)