Comparing and Contrasting Using the EET

Comparing and Contrasting Using the EET

The Expanding Expression Tool (EET) is one of the most versatile language tools available. This tool can be used with clients of all ages and abilities, and it provides a visual and interactive way to learn and practice language skills.  One of my favorite ways of using the EET is to teach comparing and contrasting pictures, objects, and stories.


First, it is important to understand what the EET is and how it works. Their website boasts that "the EET Kit is designed to be used by teachers, literacy coaches, reading specialists, parents, speech-language pathologists, and other specialists to support academics." It is designed to help clients expand their language skills by breaking down complex concepts into simple, manageable parts. The kit consists of the EET manual, object cards for describing, stickers to aid with writing, a classroom poster, a dice game, and instructional icons. The tool can be used to teach a variety of language skills, including oral expression, written expression, vocabulary comprehension, defining and describing, associations, object functions, categorization, and similarities and differences.


When using the EET to teach comparing and contrasting skills, the SLP can begin by introducing the Venn Diagram and how it's used to show similarities and differences. Once the graphic organizer has been introduced, the SLP can use the colored EET beads to help their clients identify and describe the similarities and differences between the two pictures, objects, or stories. For example, with younger students, you could compare a dog and a cat. They are both animals (group), However, dogs bark and cats meow (do). Dogs start off as a puppy and cats start off as a kitten (made of/come from). They both have fur, whiskers, and four feet (parts). They can be found in pet stores, homes, indoors, or outdoors (where). With older students, you may choose to compare or contrast something more difficult, such as a microscope and a telescope. You can even talk about the parts of the words (micro versus tele) when discussing "what else do you know". 

To make the learning experience more interactive and engaging, SLPs can use real-life examples or objects to illustrate the concepts being taught. For example, they might use two different types of fruit to teach comparing and contrasting skills, or they might use two animals to teach classification and categorization. The SLP can also read two versions of a story (example: The Gingerbread Man vs The Ninjabread Man) and use the EET to compare and contrast the two versions of a similar story.


The EET website outlines the research behind the product, so be sure to check that out. You can also request training from the creator herself! As an EET user, I can vouch that there are so many uses for the EET, and the kit is well worth the cost.


In conclusion, the Expanding Expression Tool (EET) is a valuable tool that can be used by speech-language pathologists to teach a variety of language skills, including comparing and contrasting. It's a fun and interactive way to develop strong language skills that will help clients communicate effectively in a variety of contexts. I've used it for years and will continue to recommend it to other SLPs!

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