Sometimes, when you are stuck thinking of something you can do in therapy, to highlight literacy, or simply in play, you may think you have to come up with something new but read on to find out why you don’t and why repeating the same things can be beneficial for all learners.
Repeating things we’ve done before and maybe making them a little different is called “repetition with variety” and it’s a very important, research-backed technique that helps learners of all ages learn, understand, and retain new information, concepts, etc. A really simple way to think about it is: that repetition with variety is doing the same thing while also making it different. Sound confusing? Let me explain…
My favorite way to explain and use repetition with variety is with a book. It’s as simple as:
📚 read an engaging book
📚 engage in an extension activity related to the book
and then in the next session:
📚re-read the book
📚engage in a different extension activity related to the book
Here’s another example:
- Read “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”
- After reading, learners can share their favorite type of cookie through a predictable chart with the stem: “My favorite cookie is _____.”
- Next session you re-read the book.
- After re-reading, learners can review the chart and then graph the different types of cookies to see which one is most liked.
- Additional extension activities could be:
- Sequencing the story
- Tasting cookies
- Making cookies
- Creating your own “if/then” scenarios to add to the book or write your own
- So many more!
As you can see, you can repeat the cycle – using repetition with variety – as many times as you want. Through repeating the reading of the book you are helping build literacy confidence in the learners and I promise they aren’t bored reading the same book. In fact, as readers become more familiar with the text through the repeated readings they may start to join in on reading the story with you!
Any questions about repetition with variety? Drop them in the comments on this post.
Until next time – happy reading!