following directions

  1. Better Breakfast Month

    Better Breakfast Month

    Did you know that Better Breakfast Month is celebrated in September? We’ve created a Remarkable Idea to help you celebrate!

    In this Remarkable Idea we’ll show you how to integrate assistive technology to make a smoothie.

    • create an accessible learning environment
    • enable students to show what they’ve learned
    • create a yummy fruit smoothie


    talkingbrix 2 | quicktalker 7 | powerlink 4 | italk2 with levels | following directions | choice making | candy corn | bigmack | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  2. Create a Colorful Windsock

    Create a Colorful Windsock

    In this Remarkable Idea, students make a windsock and watch their windsocks blow in the wind!

    This activity addresses:

    • Following directions
    • Fine motor skills
    • Science
    • Weather
    • Art
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • White construction paper (11” x 17”)
    • Crayons
    • Yarn, cut into 12” long lengths
    • Crepe paper in assorted colors, cut into 18” long strips
    • Electric stapler that can be switch adapted
    • Fan that can be switch adapted
    • SuperTalker FT
    • Step-by-Step
    • Several switches


    1. Create and place a “directions” picture/symbol on the Step-by-Step.
    2. Record the Windsock directions script on the Step-by-Step, one direction per step.
    3. Record each color name on the SuperTalker FT.
    4. Create an overlay for the SuperTalker FT with various color pictures/symbols.

    What to do:

    1. Show students the sample windsock. Use the switch adapted fan to produce wind, and demonstrate how windsocks blow in the wind.
    2. Students use the Step-by-Step to give directions on how to make windsocks.
    3. Students follow the directions to create their own windsocks.
    4. Use the SuperTalker FT to select crayon colors, and crepe paper colors to use for their streamers.
    5. Students use the switch adapted electric stapler to staple the paper roll together and to staple the crepe paper strips on the windsock tube.
    6. When all windsocks are finished, students take turns turning on the switch-adapted fan and blowing the windsocks.


    “We are going to make windsocks!”
    “Windsocks are fun to take outside on a windy day. Windsocks blow in the wind!”
    “On your white paper, color a picture of a windy day!”
    “Write your name on your picture.”
    “When you’re finished, roll your picture into a tube and staple it.”
    “Now choose your streamers, and staple several on the bottom of the windsock.”
    “Staple a piece of yarn across the top of the windsock as a handle.”
    “Now your windsock is ready to hang in the wind!”
    “Who wants to turn on the fan and make some wind to blow the windsocks?”


    weather | supertalker ft | step-by-step | science | following directions | fine motor skills | art | alternative methods of access |

  3. Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th)

    Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th)

    Every year on September 19th, people around the world celebrate “International Talk Like A Pirate Day”. This Remarkable Idea includes activities students can participate in and have fun celebrating this wacky day with a wide range of activities that will engage all learners.

    This activity addresses:

    • Team-work
    • Social skills
    • Sensory engagement
    • Cause and effect
    • Following multi-step directions
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    Pirate Ships

    • Small milk cartons
    • Straws
    • Hole punch
    • Tape/Glue
    • Construction paper
    • Battery Operated Scissors

    Ship Race

    • Aluminum tray/gutter with end caps/Rubbermaid tub (for racing area)
    • Water
    • Blue food coloring (optional)
    • Fan
    • Jelly Bean
    • PowerLink 4

    Treasure Hunt

    Pirate Parrrty
    Pirate themed snacks could include: Chips Ahoy, Goldfish crackers, Sand buckets (vanilla pudding topped with crushed butter cookies or golden Oreos), gold chocolate coins, seawater (blue or green juice), etc.


    1. Record clues for the treasure hunt onto the TalkingBrix 2. Place one at the X location on the treasure map which gives students a clue to the next location, place the next TalkingBrix 2 with the next clue at that location (repeat as appropriate).

    What to do:

    Pirate Ships
    1. Have students use the Battery Operated Scissors to cut squares of construction paper for the sails of their pirate ship.
    2. Assist students in cutting one side of the milk carton off.
    3. Glue or tape the straw into the inside of the milk carton, punch two holes into the construction paper sail and slide the paper onto the straw.

    Ship Race
    1. Fill your container with water (optional: add blue food coloring to the water)
    2. Place students pirate ships into the water and give each student a straw to blow their ship across the water or use a fan connected to the PowerLink 4 and a Jelly Bean switch to blow the ship across the water. (Caution: Do not place the fan too close to the water)
    3. Allow all students the opportunity to race each other.

    Treasure Hunt
    1. Show students the treasure map.
    2. Students follow the map to find the location marked by the X on the map.
    3. When students arrive at the X they press the TalkingBrix 2 and hear the clue to the next location (ex. There be no treasure here! That scalawag Mrs. Johnson the Red must have taken it!) Students solve the clue and proceed to the next location.
    4. Students eventually find their way to the location of the treasure.

    Treasure ideas:
    Set up the Pirate Parrrty with food and drinks in your classroom while the students are on the treasure hunt. The final treasure location can be back in your classroom.

    • Prizes or costumes for the students
    • Pirate themed movie
    • Gold chocolate coins

    Additional materials, lesson plans, and even Pirate talk apps can be found at the International Talk Like a Pirate Day website here:


    team work | talkingbrix 2 | social skills | sensory | powerlink 4 | jelly bean switch | following directions | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  4. Building a Snowman

    Building a Snowman

    In this Remarkable Idea, students work together as they take turns stapling together three sets of circles to make a snowman.

    This activity addresses:

    • Following directions
    • Turn taking
    • Sharing materials
    • Fine motor skills
    • Counting
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:


    1. Cut three pairs of large circles out of white butcher paper. Each set of two paper circles should be several inches larger in diameter than the previous circle set. Paper clip each set of circles together.
    2. Cut out decorations for the snowman, such as hat, eyes, mouth, nose, pipe, button, broom, arms, etc. For each snowman decoration, create a matching symbol. These pictures/symbols should be approximately two inches in size, able to fit on the All-Turn-It Spinner.
    3. Divide the blank side of the All-Turn-It Spinner overlay into six sections and write a number 1-6 in each section.

    What to do:

    1. Read the snowman book to the students and explain what a snowman is and that they are going to make a giant snowman out of paper! Tell students that snowmen are round, and that they are going to make their snowman round, too!
    2. Students work to staple together the pairs of white circles, to be stuffed with paper snowballs. One student moves the paper or stapler, and the other student activates the Jelly/Big Beamer switch to staple the paper.
    3. Give students sheets of scrap white paper and shown how to crumple up each sheet to create a paper “snowball.” Students make paper snowballs until they have each made several.
    4. Students take turns spinning for a number, counting out that many paper snowballs, and placing them in the large paper circles, stuffing the snowman until each of the three sets of circles is full! Use the switch-adapted stapler to staple each of them shut.
    5. Place the snowman decoration pictures/symbols on the large overlay of the All-Turn-It Spinner, and put out the snowman decorations. Students take turns spinning for a snowman decoration picture/symbol, identifies the matching snowman decoration, and glues it on the snowman in the appropriate place.
    6. When the snowman is completed, the teacher and students put it on display.


    switches | sharing | math | jelly beamer | following directions | fine motor skills | big beamer | alternative methods of access | all-turn-it spinner |

  5. Caramel Apple Bites

    Caramel Apple Bites

    With Fall approaching and apples ready to be picked, this is a great activity to do with students. Students will have fun cooking this tasty treat!

    This activity addresses:

    • Following isntructions
    • Mearsuing ingredients
    • Functional cooking skills
    • Fine motor skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Step-by-Step
    • Jelly Beamer/Big Beamer
    • PowerLink
    • BIG/LITTLEmack
    • One bag of caramels or caramel bits, and caramel toppings such as sprinkles (optional)
    • 6 apples and apple slicer or knife
    • 2 Tablespoons of milk (can substitute water)
    • Toothpicks, paper plates, and small paper cups (optional)
    • Apple slicer or knife
    • Toothpicks
    • Brown and green construction paper
    • Whisk (optional)


    1. Record “A tree”, “The ground” on a BIG/LITTLEmack.
    2. Record various things you can make using apples on a Step-by-Step (pies, jam, butter, muffins, applesauce, caramel apples).
    3. Cut apples into bite-sized pieces and place toothpicks in them. If you do this far in advance refrigerate the apples to keep them from turning brown. Alternatively, apples can be cut into bigger pieces and wedged into a whisk for students who may not be able to hold a toothpick for dipping.
    4. On a bulletin board or wall in the room, make an empty tree with leaves on which students can hang the plate apples they make.

    What to do:

    1. Discuss apples with the class.
    “Does anyone know what this is (hold up an apple)? That’s right, it’s an apple! Where do apples come from, a tree or the ground?” (Students use BIG/LITTLEmack to answer)
    “Today we are going to pick apples and make something out of them. Does anyone know what we can make using apples? (Students use Step-by-Step to answer)
    “Today we are going to make caramel apple bites.”
    2. Have students place caramel candies in a bowl to be melted. Measure out 2 tablespoons of milk or water and add it to the bowl.
    3. Melt the caramel candies, which can be done a few ways: Using a microwave, using a slow cooker, or a stove top. If you use a slow cooker, place water at the bottom and add the candies in a heat tolerant bowl. Students can turn the slow cooker on using the PowerLink and a Jelly Beamer/Big Beamer, but be careful not to get too close! For the stove top, cook on low-medium heat until the caramel is melted. Caution: caramel can cook unevenly and be extremely hot!
    4. Students can begin to work on their apple plates for the classroom apple tree. Using a small paper plate, students can use a red or green colors using crayons, paint, markers, paper tiles, etc. to decorate their plate.
    5. Once the caramel is ready, students can take turns dipping their apple bites into the caramel and topping of their choice. Toppings could also be placed into a cup to be poured onto the caramel apple bites. Place the finished apple bites into the refrigerator to allow the caramel topping to become firm.
    6. Hang up finished plates on the classroom apple tree.
    7. Enjoy the caramel apple bites!


    step-by-step | powerlink 4 | little beamer | following directions | fine motor skills | cooking skills | bigmack | big beamer | alternative methods of access |

  6. Here Comes Fall!

    Here Comes Fall!

    In this activity students will conduct an experiment called chromatography to see the different colors in a leaf, and discuss why leaves change color in the fall. In addition to this experiment, students will use fall colors to create marbled leaves.

    This activity addresses:

    • Following directions
    • Sensory experience
    • Science skills
    • Science of bubbles
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • BIGmack or LITTLEmack
    • Jelly Bean
    • My Art Spinnerr
    • Battery Device Adapter
    • Adapted scissors
    • Leaves
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Small glasses/jars (baby food)
    • Coffee filters/filter paper
    • Hot water
    • Pencils/sticks (one per student)
    • Shaving cream
    • Baking pan
    • Finger paint
    • Construction paper


    1. Cut out leaf shapes from the construction paper.
    2. Record the word “Autumn” on a BIGmack or LITTLEmack.
    3. Record “red”, “orange”, and “brown” on BIGmack or LITTLEmack so students can choose their colors.

    What to do for chromatography:

    1. Students can use the adapted scissors to cut a leaf into small pieces, and place them into the small glasses.
    2. Older students can use the scientific method and develop a hypothesis as to what is going to happen.
    3. Teacher adds a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the glass - enough to cover the leaves is fine. The alcohol will slowly change color from the chlorophyll in the leaves. To speed this up, place the glasses in a hot water bath.
    4. Students can use the adapted scissor to cut strips from the coffee filters.
    5. Attach the coffee filter strips to a pencil. Place pencil over glass so that strips hang down into the alcohol. After 30 – 90 minutes, bands of colors will be noticeable on the coffee filters.

    What to do for the art project:

    1. Place shaving cream on a table or in a baking pan and put fall colored finger paint (red, orange, brown) on top of the shaving cream.
    2. Allow students to swirl the paint around a little (not too much that the colors mix) and add glitter or other decorations.
    3. Place leaf cut outs or construction paper on the shaving cream.
    4. Students that cannot participate with the shaving cream and finger paint can paint their leaves using the My Art Spinner and Battery Device Adapter with a Jelly Bean.
    5. Once the paper is face down in the shaving cream lift it off, and scrape any excess shaving cream from the paper. Allow them to dry.
    6. Students can then play in the leftover shaving cream to draw pictures or practice writing.

    Scripts for activity:

    1. “Very soon the season will be changing from summer to fall. Another name for fall is autumn. Does anyone know what happens to the leaves on the trees in fall?”
    2. “Do you know why the leaves change in the fall? Plants have pigments in them that determine their color. Leaves have the pigment chlorophyll in them that make them green as well as another other pigments called carotenoids. Chlorophyll makes the leaves green while carotenoids can make the leaves yellow, red, or orange.”
    3. “When the weather is warm the tree produces a lot of chlorophyll which is why the leaves are green. As the season changes from summer to fall the weather cools down and the tree produces less chlorophyll, this is when we get to see the colors from the carotenoids.”
    4. “Today we are going to perform an experiment that will hopefully show us some other colors in our leaves, besides the green we see when we look at them.”
    5. Students can then play in the leftover shaving cream to draw pictures or practice writing.


    sensory | science | littlemack | jelly bean switch | following directions | bigmack | alternative methods of access |

  7. Making Sunshine Shakes

    Making Sunshine Shakes

    In this Remarkable Idea, students identify the different ingredients used and follow recipe directions to make Sunshine Shakes. Students can share their opinion on if they liked the shakes or did not like the shakes.

    This activity addresses:

    • Following instructions
    • Measuring ingredients
    • Group work
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • Step-by-Step
    • Jelly Beamer
    • PowerLink
    • iTalk2 with Levels
    • Blender
    • Measuring cups and spoons
    • Spoons
    • 1 Cup or glas per student
    • Shake ingredients
      - orange juice (1 cup)
      - pineapple juice (1/2 cup)
      - banana (1)
      - vanilla yogurt (1/2 cup)
      - vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)


    1. On a Step-by-Step with the “recipe” picture/symbol, record the Sunshine Shake Direction Script.

    • “We’re going to make refreshing, fruity Sunshine Shakes today!”
    • “We’re going to take turns adding ingredients.”
    • “First, somebody can measure out 1 cup of orange juice and pour it in the blender.”
    • “Now someone needs to measure out 1/2 cup of pineapple juice and add it to the blender.”
    • “We need 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt. Who would like to measure and add the yogurt?”
    • “Who wants to peel a banana? Put the banana in the blender after it’s peeled.”
    • “We need someone to measure out 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and put it in the blender.”
    • “Now we’ll take turns using the blender to blend together all of the ingredients.”
    • “When the shake is finished, we will pour it into cups for everyone and drink it”.

    2. Plug the blender and the Jelly Beamer into the PowerLink 4.
    3. Create a large “shake” picture/symbol card.
    4. Create “like” and “don’t like” pictures/symbols, two inches in size. Place one on either side of the iTalk2 with Levels. Record the messages, “I like the Sunshine Shake” and “I don’t like the Sunshine Shake” on the respective message locations.

    What to do:

    1. Show students the “shake” picture/symbol card. Explain to students that they are going to make Sunshine Shakes.
    2. Ask students to say what they think they will use to make a Sunshine Shake, and what a Sunshine Shake might taste like.
    3. Show students the different shake ingredients. Students name or identify each ingredient.
    4. Students take turns using the Step-by-Step to read each of the recipe direction steps to the class.
    5. Students take turns following the directions to complete each recipe step. When the blender is needed, students activate the Jelly Beamer to turn on the blender and blend up the ingredients.
    6. Students each drink a sample of the Sunshine Shake.
    7. Students use the iTalk2 with Levels to say if they liked the Sunshine Shake of if they did not like the Sunshine Shake.
    8. The teacher tallies on the board how many students liked the shake and how many students did not like the shake. The students count up the number of tallies under each different choice.


    team work | powerlink 4 | measuring | jelly beamer | italk2 with levels | following directions | alternative methods of access |

  8. Let's Make Hot Chocolate

    Let's Make Hot Chocolate

    In this Remarkable Idea, students can collaborate to make a delicious hot drink, which they can then go on to drink and share. This task is a great team builder.

    This activity addresses:

    • Cause and effect
    • Team work
    • Turn taking
    • Social scripts
    • Following directions
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:


    1. Record scripts to SuperTalker FT, iTalk2 with Levels, or Step-by-Step

    • I would like hot chocolate
    • Can you measure the milk and pour it into the container
    • Now we need to heat the milk (NOT TOO HOT!)
    • Now we need to add the chocolate
    • Can you put it in the blender and I’ll turn it on
    • Now let’s serve it to everyone

    If drinks to be offered around then following scripts could be used on a Step-by-Step:

    • Hello, my name is____________ what’s your name?
    • Would you like some hot chocolate
    • We made it ourselves
    • Here you are
    • Is it okay
    • OK thanks bye!

    What to do:

    1. Connect the blender to PowerLink and the PowerLink to Jelly Beamer
    2. Measure and pour milk into microwave safe container
    3. Heat milk to desired heat
    4. Add chocolate powder
    5. Pour chocolate milk in the blender, blend for 1 to 2 minutes.
    6. Add marshmallows
    7. Serve drinks using Step-by-Step to offer drinks.


    turn taking | team work | supertalker ft | step-by-step | powerlink 4 | jelly beamer | italk2 with levels | following directions | cause and effect | alternative methods of access |

  9. Classroom Time Capsules

    Classroom Time Capsules

    This is a great activity to do with students at the beginning of the school year. Each student makes a time capsule that will be opened at the end of the school year and show how they have changed throughout the year.

    This activity addresses:

    • Following directions
    • Turn taking and sharing materials
    • Fine motor skills
    • Alternative methods of access

    What you need:

    • iPad or iPhone
    • Blue2 switch
    • Printer
    • 1-qt Ziploc bags (1 for each student)
    • Construction paper
    • Tape
    • Pen or pencil
    • battery operated scissors
    • Switch

    * iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.


    1. Start by explaining to the students what a time capsule is. A common script would be, “A time capsule is a container filled with different objects that hide, and open in the future. Some time capsules are not meant to be opened for hundreds or even thousands of years. Today we are going to make our very own time capsules that we will open up at the end of the school year. In our time capsules, we will include a picture of you, a picture of your favorite activity, and a picture of your favorite food.”
    2. Have students help you take a picture of each student using an iPad or iPhone. For students who are unable to tap the shutter button on the iPad or iPhone, use a Blue2 switch and Switch Control (download appropriate guide for your use under "Downloads") to scan to the shutter button and activate it with the switch. Print each students' photo.
    3. Trace each student’s hand on construction paper using a pen or pencil. Have each student write their name and today’s date on their hand.
    4. Using the switch adapted battery operated scissors, have each student cut out their hand print, the photo of themselves, the image of their favorite activity, and the image of their favorite food.
    5. Each student inserts all three of their photos into their Ziploc bag and attaches their hand-print to the outside of the bag using tape.
    6. The teacher stores each time capsule until the end of the school year. At the end of the school year, the students can see if their favorite food, activity, or how they look has changed over the year.


    turn taking | sharing | following directions | fine motor skills | blue2 bluetooth switch | alternative methods of access |