My favorite way to do Speech Therapy is to to make it literature-based. Why? It just makes sense to me! I've complied my reasons to consider doing Speech/Language Therapy based on books:
1. End goal of accessing curriculum: My students are eligible for services because their Communication interferes with their education. So my job is to improve communication with education as the ultimate goal. There are two great ways to do this: work directly with the curriculum being taught in the classroom, or work on skills similar (but often easier) than those taught in the classroom. Since many teachers are slow to respond to my requests for new vocabulary and concepts, I usually have to abandon that plan. Similar skills almost always relate to reading (my district enforces 90+ minutes of reading instruction daily). Since most of my students are poor readers, I can help with reading comprehension by doing literacy units.
2. It makes life easier for me: There are so many layers to a good book, so it can be broken down and taught to many different levels. I can use one book for almost all of my speech therapy groups. For K-2nd grades, I use more basic vocabulary in the book, basic concepts and prepositions, describing characters or pictures, and easy grammatical forms of regular plurals and irregular past tense. For 3rd-5th grades, I can step up the vocabulary, add in irregular grammar, idioms (if in the book), and perspective taking. For ALL students, we can work on story retelling and sequencing. Do you have groups with both language and articulation students mixed? I do. As long at the artic students are at the word level, just use words from the book and you can all work on the same concepts. No separate activities for each student to keep track of (I hate that!).
3. It is so flexible: Not only can I use the same book for many different levels and ages of students, but I can extend one book for an entire month. And then sometimes I can re-use the exact same book the next year, with the same students, and they still enjoy it and learn something new! A sample lesson plan for a 2nd grade student with grammar and vocabulary goals could be:
- Session 1: Read half of the story. Discuss the illustrations. Predict what will happen in the next part of the story. Learn 5+ new vocabulary words.
- Session 2: Review previous vocabulary words. Quickly retell the first half of the story. Finish reading the story. Learn 3+ new vocabulary words.
- Session 3: Review all new vocabulary words. Learn more words if needed. Fill out the vocabulary sheet with several of the important vocabulary words.
- Session 4: Work on grammar goals within the context of the story (e.g. regular/irregular past). Play a matching game with either vocabulary cards or grammar cards.
- Session 5: Review grammar cards and replay matching game. Do grammar worksheet together orally. Send grammar worksheet home for extra practice.
- Session 6: Do character describing activity by brainstorming and then writing down adjectives for main characters. Begin story comprehension questions.
- Session 7: Continue story comprehension questions. Play a board game and flip over a question before each turn. Answer the questions together as a group of individually.
- Session 8: Sequence the story with pictures. Create the story map together as a group. Practice retelling together as a group.
- Session 9: Individual story retells for data collection and progress monitoring.
This Thanksgiving long weekend, I have worked very hard on creating two new units based on The Mitten and The Hat (both by Jan Brett). Like a picture walk through a great illustrated book, I'm going to do a picture walk through my new units. Please consider supporting my efforts and buying. If you are not ready to buy, that's okay. Click on "Download Preview" and you will get a freebie that you can use right away from the unit.
Speech/Language Activities for The Mitten
14 pairs of Level 3 vocabulary (approx grades 3rd-5th). Again, use these for matching games and pre/post data.
Speech/Language Activities for The Hat
A vocabulary sheet to practice new words and draw pictures/describe. This sheet is also great for home/school connection.Download Preview".
Is/Are + Ing Verbs worksheet to do together or at home.
16 /l/ cards directly from the story.
This entire unit can be purchased here, or you do can click on Download Preview at the same place to get the 8 regular verb pair cards.
Phew!!! That was a long post! I hope that is was helpful not only for seeing the units that I've been putting together, but also for explaining why I put them together the way that I do and how you can use them with your own students/children!
Check out other Speech/Language holiday-themed activities that I have created (click on the pictures to go the blog posts):