Remnant Books

What is it?

A remnant book is a book which contains your child’s own news. It is different from a communication book or display because it includes remnants or items that help your child remember and talk about activities that they have experienced.

How do you make it?

To make the book your child’s own, it needs to include actual objects from the activity – not just a written story written by the teacher or parent. Some examples of things to use in the book include: a ticket stub from a movie, the zoo or an amusement park; a leaf picked up on a walk; a sales-tag from shopping; a receipt from a restaurant; a restaurant menu or napkin; a theatre program; an old balloon from a circus or birthday party; a swatch of hair from a haircut; a photograph showing your child or student doing the activity (a Polaroid or digital camera or tablet can be helpful in sharing the experience more immediately). These remnants should be of high interest to your child or student, allow at least two turns per partner before interaction is completed, and promote conversation with partners.

There are many ways to collect and organize the remnants. One easy way is to put it in a photograph album that has the peel-back, cellophane pages. A small photo album with seethrough pages for insertion may also work. You can glue it into a regular notebook or scrapbook. Another idea would be to put things into zip-lock bags or clear “pocket pages” or plastic sleeves. These can be stored in a 3-ring binder or in a box. It’s whatever works for you and your child.

A simple, open-ended question or clue can be added if you feel that your child and his communication partners might need some assistance. For example: “Ask John where he went on the weekend.” or “Ask Susan who took her to this movie.” Make sure your child has a way to answer the questions and offer further information by either using the remnants or a communication display. Questions can be written on a piece of paper with answers on the back or you can write questions on the outside of a sealed envelope – with the answer inside. These strategies will guarantee that your child and his partner will be successful. Information on how to use the Remnant Book could be included within the front cover of the book.

Why use a remnant book?

The purpose for using the remnant book is to start conversations between your child and his communication partners. (e.g., classmates, peers, teachers, parents, siblings) The book provides motivating opportunities within your child’s experiences that (hopefully) they will want to share and talk about as they remember the recent experience. The remnant book is particularly effective in encouraging interaction with other children since it is likely that most of them will relate to the experiences which will be in your child’s book. The remnant book can also be a valuable activity for encouraging literacy development. Language experience stories can be developed to accompany these remnant books. 

PDF Format of Remnant Books Resource