I have found over the years that hands on projects and activities can be very motivating for students. Today, I wanted to share how you can do DIY holiday dioramas as a project for the month of December. My 3-5 grade Special Day Class teacher made DIY holiday dioramas with her students this month. Of course, I loved the idea of students creating DIY holiday dioramas and asked if I could be a part of the fun to work on vocabulary and language with her students.
This could be a fun small group language lesson that could last a week of therapy. Students can spend one session building their DIY holiday diorama and the next session could be describing and sharing about their diorama.
My SDC teacher put them in the hallway for display, so I have even brought other groups by to talk about what they see and work on seasonal vocabulary. It can be a great warm up before heading to the therapy room!
Decorative Items You Can Bring In For The DIY Holiday Dioramas
Before making a holiday diorama, you need to gather all the supplies. The SDC teacher asked kids to bring in anything related to the holidays that the students would want in their diarama. The classroom teacher also had to collect shoe boxes for each student. You can get most of these decorative pieces at the dollar store.
The classroom teacher also bought festive gift tags and then cut out the images and glued them on popsicle sticks. Other items you can get to add to the DIY dioramas: tinsel, ornaments to hang, printable winter items to glue to popsicles sticks or on the diorama, snowflake foam die cuts, mini pine cones, white felt/fabric for snow, cotton balls, festive scrap booking paper for the background, mini erasers, pipe cleaners and bows! Really anything that strikes your fancy.
The tinsel and some of the heavier pieces were glued onto the diorama using a hot glue gun that the teacher did. Everything else can be attached with regular glue.
Skills You Can Target With DIY Holiday Dioramas
While assembling the DIY holiday dioramas, students can work on sharing art supplies, initiating requests for needing a decoration from a student, sharing comments with peers about how their diorama is looking, describing the decorations by attributes and practicing using themed vocabulary in sentences such as “I think I want to put my big snowflake in the back of my diorama.” Students can also work on explaining where they want to put items using basic concept words.
After the students have assembled the DIY holiday dioramas, here are some skills you can target using the dioramas as the therapy material:
- Articulation Carryover – The student has to explain what is in the different dioramas using his/her best speech productions for their targeted sounds.
- Explain the main idea or theme of each person’s diorama.
- Ask/answer questions from peers about their diorama.
- Explain what the student put in their diorama with complete sentences, using adjectives, vocabulary, basic concepts and conjunctions.
- Initiating communication by having the student take their diorama up to different peers, teachers or staff to have them check out their diorama.
- Line up all the dioramas and ask who, what, and where questions about the dioramas.
Would you make these in therapy? How would you use these diy holiday dioramas in speech therapy? Have you ever used the hallway decor as a therapy material? I would love to know how you utilized what ya had to target student’s goals.