This post originally appeared on the blog The Pedi Speechie.
We’re getting super close to winter break, and my students are so excited! In my speech room, we’ve been celebrating the upcoming holiday season in a variety of ways.
In honor of one of my favorite Christmas movies, Elf, I decorated my door and asked each of my students to tell me how they would spread holiday cheer. I really enjoyed their creative responses!
We played a very festive, giant tic-tac-toe game. This worked well in a mixed group. One of my students was targeting articulation goals, and my other student was working on forming sentences using conjunctions.
The “ornament” game piece was perfect for targeting the vocalic “or” sound. (Pictured: Entire World of R Vocalic R playing cards)
I also run a “speech group” lesson. I go into one of our special education classrooms. I typically do either some sort of “snacktivity” or “craftivity” with the students. We work on following basic directions and core vocabulary (perfect for my students using AAC to communicate!) while we assemble the snack or craft, and then follow up the lesson by describing what we’ve created using the Expanding Expression Toolkit. (Have you checked that out yet?! It’s an amazing multi-sensory toolkit that my students love using).
For my students who are non-verbal or have severe language disorders, I create a picture-supported answer sheet to go along with the EET beads. (I’m sorry- I can’t share that with you, since many of the images are from Google and I don’t own the copyrights).
Here’s an example of how I target core vocabulary during these activities: (pictured is a screenshot of the LAMP app):
I discuss with my students how we are going to “make” a craft today. I model this vocabulary target word and then assist my students in saying this word using their devices.
We discussed core vocabulary, such as the word “on”, when we placed different craft pieces on the tree.
This particular activity was perfect for having my students request “more” paint as they added “ornaments” to the tree using cotton balls.
We discussed size concepts (the tree was “big”).
We asked others to “look” at the trees we created.
At the end of the craft, we discussed how much we “liked” our trees.
I am always happy when one simple, inexpensive activity elicits a TON of language. My kiddos had a lot of fun with this tree craft, and I was able to target following directions, basic concepts, describing,and core vocabulary in one 30 minute lesson.
Hopefully this post will provide you with some fun and simple activities to use with your students.
Here’s to hoping that you are sipping some hot chocolate and staying warm, wherever you live!