AAC Story Units: Going to the zoo (Symbolstix)


I’m so excited to launch a new product range called “AAC Story Units.” I have just uploaded the first product in this range, called “Going to the zoo.” There are going to be lots of similar products in this range, so this is the first of many. You can WATCH MY VIDEO DEMONSTRATION HERE.

This interactive AAC story unit was designed to provide fun, thematic activities to stimulate language development and interaction for AAC communicators. The product makes use of SymbolStix symbols, which are found on many of the popular AAC iPad apps. You can also use this with mixed groups of natural speakers and AAC communicators, or in typical language therapy for children who need a little bit more structure.

The unit consists of a 14-page story, story guidelines (for 3  levels of difficulty), corresponding communication boards, a cut and paste sentence builder (2 variations) and a homework sheet (colour and black/white options provided). Here are a couple of pics of the finished product:

I laminated the story and bound it on the horizontal edge. The rest of the product is in a display book (in SA we call them ‘flip files’). To store it, put the story with the display book on the shelf or in the cupboard.

I like to have easy access to the story guidelines whilst reading the story. The story guidelines tell you what productions (via AAC) are expected, and there are 3 levels. Based on the ability of each student, you will decide what level he/she is on. The story guidelines will also assist you in providing aided language input. After modelling language on each page, you can ask guiding questions to encourage student productions, such as, “What does Ben see?” or , “What colour is the tiger?”

There are 3 communication boards (1 main one and 2 supplementary). I laminated them and store them in the display book. If you work with groups, it will be handy to print out a couple of boards. Remember to use the boards to model language as well.

The cut and paste activity comes in 2 levels of difficulty. You can encourage children who are capable of speech production to speak with the pictures as they point at them. I like using these sentence builders with my  patients who have CAS (Childhood Apraxia of Speech) and are verbal, but struggle with sentence production. The “1 pic-1 word” approach helps to increase sentence length.  For total AAC communicators, combine this with the communication board and a core board or their AAC device to encourage sentence production. If the student is on a lower level, just use this activity to revise the animals. The cutting and pasting involves the students and makes it more fun.


The homework sheet comes in colour and black and white. There is a section to make notes specific to each student. If you did not target all of the vocabulary, cross out pictures that can be left out, or circle the ones to work on. You could use the notes section to request that the parents load the vocab onto AAC devices at home, for example.

And that sums up my new product. I’m looking forward to your comments.

Don’t forget to take the video tour!

Come and get your copy from my TPT store here











  1. 1

    pamela says

    I just finished putting Were Going To the Zoo book and I absolutely love it. I also purchased Noah’s Ark. I really Love that one too. Will you be making any more Bible story books? I would love to see more of these. Will you be making any more story unit? The first one is wonderful.

    • 2

      Nicola Sowah says

      Thanks for the feedback Pamela! I will definitely be making more of both. So happy that you like them.