Visual-Tactile Cuing System for Vocabulary Development and Paraphrasing

by FS&TS

by Sue Jaeger, MS/CCC-SLP

Here is a simple therapy idea for your kids working on vocabulary building or paraphrasing skills.   This tool incorporates visual organization and tactile cueing.  This is a great cueing system that incorporates visual strategies as well as tactile input to help kids organize their thoughts. You could easily customize the strings by adding or subtracting beads depending on the child’s level.

Each colored bead represents a vocabulary task or element of a story. You can interchange the visual organizer depending on what you’re targeting.

You can make multiple strings of beads for group work.  This works great for students working on different language goals or varying levels of the same paraphrasing or vocabulary goal.

It can also serve as a nice “fidget” for students as they listen to their story or work on vocabulary building exercises. 

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Materials Needed: wooden beads, paints, paper

Instructions for Use in Paraphrasing:


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Go through the visual organizer, explaining what each colored bead represents

Have the student/patient follow along with their string of beads

Read the passage aloud, you may cue the child to move or touch the bead its information is presented in the story.

Have the student re-tell the story by moving their bead as they tell each portion of the story.


As the student slides the blue bead they would say “Sarah and Bill.”

As the student slides the red bead they would say “were at the park.”

As they slide they slide the yellow bead they would say “they were having a ton of fun.”

As they slide the blue bead they would say “because they decided to make an obstacle course.”

As they slide the green bead “they went on the slide, the monkey bars, and the wobbly bridge.”

As they slide the orange bead they would say “They had a lot of fun at the park doing their obstacle course”.

You may rearrange beads if you would like the story told in different sequence or if your child is not at the level to re-tell all elements, etc.

Instructions for Using with Vocabulary Tasks:

1. Present target vocabulary term 

2. Have child slide beads as they create a verbal “word web” for the target vocabulary word.

a. Example: 

i. Therapist presents a picture of a picture of a car. 

ii. Therapist can keep the picture out or flip it over as the student uses their beads to describe the vocabulary term

1. As they slide the purple bead along the string they would say “it has four wheels, a steering wheel, and an engine.”

2. As they slide the red bead they would say “you would find it in the garage”

3. As they slide the yellow bead they would say “it can be many different colors, and they’re usually pretty large”

4. As they slide the blue bead they would say “it takes you places and you ride in it”

5. As they slide the green bead they would say “it belongs in the category of transportation”

6. As they slide the orange bead they would say “it is made of metal mostly”

ENJOY this versatile and motivating therapy tool!!!