What are Core Words?

Core words, also known as core vocabulary, are the words that make up most of what we use to communicate. These approximately 200 words are about 60-80% of the words we use every day. Core words can be used in many different contexts, which is why they’re important to understand! They can include verbs, pronouns, prepositions, and more. The rest of the language we use is made up of fringe words or fringe vocabulary.

How to Teach Core Words

Individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) often benefit from intervention that specifically targets the use of core words.

The “Core Word of the Week” approach is a common way to target core words in speech therapy sessions, in the classroom, and in other instructional environments. Using this approach, one core word is targeted multiple times over the course of the week to increase exposure to it and highlight how it can be used in different contexts.

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Core Word: MORE

There are MANY ways to teach and use the word GO in context. More is a commonly-used word for individuals young and old. It can be used to request a variety of things, including more food/drink, more of an activity, and more of another type of object. Individuals may also protest things by saying “no more.” There are a number of ways to teach and use the word MORE in context. Find several different activities below that can be used to target the core word MORE.

You may choose to use all of these activities in speech therapy sessions or just a couple. These activities can also be shared with other educators and caregivers so they can participate in them outside of speech therapy sessions.

AAC Modeling Without Expectation

When engaging in these activities, and encouraging others to engage in carryover activities, remember that not all individuals will participate 100% of the time. Communicating should be encouraged, not forced. Additionally, all forms of communication should be honored. This includes verbalizations, the use of high tech AAC, gestures, etc. Multimodal communication is important and used by many!

How to Use the Core Word More

  • To request more of something, to indicate quantity, to reject (no more)


  • More [item]
  • More [action]
  • More examples: more blocks, more water, more crackers, more slide, more playing, more movie, no more, need more, put more in



  • Communicate more to request turning page or to repeat an action.
  • Book options: Just One More by Jennifer Hansen Rolli, Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson


  • Cause and effect toys and activities are great ways to teach the word more.
  • Model the use of more while you start, and then stop, an activity, such as swinging or passing a ball back and forth.
  • Toy Options: Bouncy Ball, Car Ramp, Light Up Airplane

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