The season has really just begun…despite what retailers have been telling us since before Halloween! While there are more fun activities yet to come, I know many of you are planning out your entire month as we speak. To help with your planning and to add some holiday fun, I have compiled my Holiday Speech-Language Activities into one Roundup Post! I am thrilled with all the support and feedback I have received so far, and am so feeling the love over at my TPT store. THANK YOU, and keep it coming! Here is my HOLIDAY ROUNDUP for you..enjoy!!
Activities for you include the following Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa theme activities:
If there is anything else you would like to see, please let me know. I have lots of resources that I will continually post throughout the season, but I also take requests! Please leave a comment and let me know what would help you in your classrooms and therapy rooms this month. Thank you for visiting LiveSpeakLove!
Introducing a new series that I would like to share…Speech-Language Therapy in the Kitchen! Over the years, I have developed a real appreciation for the power of real-life activities to support speech-language and academic skills. As I continually seek ways to incorporate technology into my speech-therapy sessions, I am also seeking ways to motivate clients with engaging real-world application of the skills we are targeting. The winner, by FAR, is any activity that is cooking or recipe related. I have posted a few of my recipes in the past, but I decided to devote a blog feature to the wonderful cross-curricular activity that is all things cooking. The inspiration for this feature transpired over the weekend, as I made a batch of cookies with my six-year old daughter. We had great fun highlighting all the “fun facts” that were part of our recipe. We labeled, counted, measured, estimated, followed directions and socialized during our cookie creation, and our fun ended with the delicious reward of our “Best Ever Cookie” Tasting Party! I was reminded of other cooking activities I have used in therapy, and how I always recommend that parents cook with their children when possible to practice speech-language skills in the home environment. So, the Speech-Language Therapy in the Kitchen series was born…in my very own kitchen amidst a bit of mess and fun. Here is a pic of what we made; a truly Best-Ever Cookie, adapted from a couple of different cookie recipes with a surprise “twist” of an ingredient:
I decided to create a Recipe and Activity set using this very Best Ever cookie recipe (I didn’t want to forget this delicious creation, and I thought I would share a little “cookie love” with those who might use this engaging, edible activity in their own kitchens. By the way, this activity could also be completed in a classroom — just use a closely monitored toaster oven if you do not have access to a full-size oven.
Here is the full activity set, including what I feel is an award-winning recipe!
Target a variety of speech-language skills in this functional activity that students will love! This cooking activity offers a practical, motivating way to address receptive and expressive language skills, social communication skills, occupational therapy skills, academic skills and more! This tried and true recipe from the LiveSpeakLove kitchen will engage learners as they participate in this cross-curricular, multi-modal learning activity. Potential targets include:
receptive and expressive vocabulary (labeling, object identification, compare and contrast)
formulation of verbal requests
measurement and estimation
following sequential directions
ordinal and sequential vocabulary
answering WH questions
recall and retell of sequential events
cooperative group work
use of core vocabulary
What you get:
Nine (9) pages total including:
Cover page with real color photograph of Best Ever Cookies
Cooking Safety page to review safe practices, visual supports for each “rule” provided
Ingredients Page with full-color visual depictions detailing type and quantity of each ingredient
Directions Pages– Part One and Part Two – detailed visual directions in sequence to provide detailed instructions to create the Best Ever Cookies
WH Question Stimuli Page – to target WH questions, formulation of responses, recall and vocabulary (for use as you make the cookies, or after you finish to revisit concepts and target recall/memory skills)
Sequential Event Page – For formulation of recipe summary and retell of events; uses graphic organizer with sequential terms as visual support. Pair with visual direction pages as needed for differentiated supports
Taste Test page – visual support for use of core vocabulary to express preference/like/dislike. Can also be used to tally survey data of group or as a conversational support when students offer other people a cookie to try.
Look for more Speech Language Therapy in the Kitchen resources from LiveSpeakLove, coming soon!
Halloween is one of my favorite times of year! Pumpkins, apple cider, costumes and crafts…there’s nothing like a little spooky fun to thrill students and engage them in their learning. Looking for ways to target a variety of academic and communication goals using a Halloween theme? Look no further! I have so many resources I’ve developed over the years that are tried and true winners. Check out my resources below, and follow the links over to my new TeachersPayTeachers site. Free downloads located at that site as well!
First, if you are looking for ways to target vocabulary, receptive and expressive language skills, turn-taking and visual discrimination, you will want to download my Halloween Bingo Set. Pair these colorful game boards with wh questions, verbal “mystery clue” descriptions, sentence formulation activities and more to target skills in a fun, creative way. Easily students’ activities to target IEP goals as you simultaneously work with a larger group — just vary the type of question or response that you are requesting as children take turns throughout the game. There a six different bingo boards in this set:
If you are looking for activities to target pragmatic language skills, try these Halloween Pragmatic Question Cards…definitely a hit with both students and other teachers! I always incorporate an activity like this into our pre-Halloween lessons and discussions — to target the social pragmatic skills that are often tested this busy time of year, but also to target Halloween safety. I have used this activity to do push-in lessons in the classroom setting, and all of the students in the class participate in very useful discussion generated by these questions. I have students draw the little cards out of a jack-o-lantern bucket, or hide them around the room for students to find while they get some opportunities for movement and kinesthetic learning in their day.
The next Halloween activity I have to share is Halloween Word World — an activity targeting /r/ in various positions of the word. This activity would also be great for students learning about /r/ controlled vowels, or for use as a simple seasonal activity. Have fun!
Here is a fun make-and-eat activity that my students (and graduate student interns) are STILL talking about, years later…making Spooky Spiders to eat! Target a variety of language skills including following directions, sequencing, sequential and ordinal vocabulary, basic math and literacy concepts and more. AND you get to eat these yummy little spiders!! I use the visual directions to also target comprehension and expression after the activity — summarizing the procedures, retelling the events in sequence using appropriate vocabulary, answering wh questions about the procedures…and then I send the recipe page home for students to make the spiders for their family…instant homework, generalization to the home setting, and very happy, proud little monsters.
You may be busy creating your own materials, resources or blog posts, and find yourself in need of some festive clipart. But if you are posting the clipart or distributing the images in any way, you need to make sure you are following the copyright laws. Not sure what to do? Not interested in paying the crazy retail prices for clipart packages or digital scrapbooking content? You may be interested in my latest endeavor — self-made clipart images. I won’t even go into the hours I spent makingthese in Powerpoint…creating each little critter line by line and shape by shape. I’m obviously not a digital image pro, but I think these images turned out pretty cute. And the images are designated for personal, educational and even commercial use. Please link back to my site if you do use these images in any way. I’m quite proud of my little creatures — labors of love, for sure!
I hope that you are now in the spooky Halloween spirit! You may have noticed that many (if not most) of my materials are seasonal or holiday-themed. There’s a method to my madness!! If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 20 years, it’s that children remember celebrations. Chilchood memories are often tied to holidays, vacations and school events. We are all wired to remember the extraordinary. So, why not make learning FUN and enjoyable? Even celebratory?? You can accomplish the same goals, cover the same material and reach the hearts and minds of children the same way — if not better- than with traditional classroom activities. Children remember celebrations…and they will likely remember YOU as well.