Strategy

Verbal Prompting

Auditory Cueing, Verbal Cueing, Verbal Reinforcement

UDL 3.1

A verbal prompt is an auditory cue that can be used in the classroom to increase the likelihood that the student will respond appropriately to a task or directive, to activate background knowledge, or as corrective feedback for misbehavior. A verbal prompt is most often delivered before a student's response to ensure the success of the response and to minimize practicing mistakes.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Self-Regulation Tool

Visual Reminder Chart for Verbal Prompts

A visual chart to remind students of their verbal prompting plan. The chart can be completed using images or short phrases.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 · Behavior & SEL · 1 pages


Self-Regulation Tool

Guiding Questions for Verbal Prompts: Planning Sheet

A verbal prompting planning sheet to be completed by students together with their teacher. The planning sheet includes guiding questions that can be completed in writing or by using pictures.

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 · Behavior & SEL · 1 pages


Self-Regulation Tool

Sentence Frames for Verbal Prompts: Planning Sheet

A verbal prompting planning sheet to be completed by students together with their teacher. The planning sheet includes guiding questions with sentence frames that can be completed in writing or by using pictures.

Grade 2, 3, 4, 5 · Behavior & SEL · 1 pages


Implementation Tips

One-on-One
Verbal reinforcement can produce vicarious effects in the classroom. When delivered to one child, it is likely to influence other children's behaviors because it is readily detected and easily understood.
Fade to a Gestural Prompt
As a student improves in their skill development, the teacher can increase expectations of the student and fade the verbal prompt to a gestural prompt. Staff will need to monitor the performance of their students in order to know when to fade their prompts and when to decrease the frequency of prompts.

Examples

English Language Learners
Verbal cues can be paired with visual prompts to reinforce language development. For example, while pointing to a hand-washing sign posted above the sink, the teacher can verbally state: "Time to wash your hands."
Behavior Precorrection
Prior to a situation during which a student has previously engaged in misbehavior, the teacher can precorrect the student with a verbal cue. For example, if a student often puts his head down and becomes non-participatory when becoming frustrated in class, the teacher can state: "Remember to raise your hand and ask for help when you get frustrated in class today."
Impulse Control
A teacher can use a verbal prompt to remind a student to use self-control or calming strategies prior to or during times of agitation.
Students with Autism
Prompting and fading is often used to teach new skills to students with Autism in everyday life. A student can learn how to label items, appropriate behaviors and even to develop language skills with full and partial verbal modeling and prompting. For example, a teacher can use verbal prompts to teach a student to identify the shape circle. The teacher can show a circle and then say "What is this? Say circle", then fade to partial verbal prompt "What is this? Say c--".

Related Strategies