When planning by themes for your elementary speech therapy caseload, knowing which theme to use can cause indecisiveness. When we are trying to decide which way to go with themes, it leaves us wasting time and procrastinating therapy planning. So, I am sharing a GIANT list of January speech therapy themes you can use with your caseload. And, if you still need to narrow down a theme for January, check out this blog post with tips for choosing a theme.
One Thing to Remember with Theme-Based Therapy
As SLPs with high caseloads, remember that you DON’T have to use a theme for only one week. It can be time-consuming to plan when you constantly prepare for a new themed unit each week. You will lead yourself to burn out FAST switching materials each. We want to stay energized from lesson planning, so when you pick a theme, use the mindset that you will use this theme for 2-4 weeks of therapy. I talk all about that on the Real Talk SLP podcast episode 45.
SLP Planner for the Year
Use my free-themed therapy yearly SLP planner to help you plan what themes you want to use for the year. It gives you ideas for what to prepare and has an editable lesson plan template to keep notes on what you did with a theme. When you have notes for your themed units, it will job your memory when you pull out the January speech therapy activities the following year. Click the pink button to download.
January Speech Therapy Themes With Animals
Plan units around winter animals using books, non-fiction passages, sensory bins, and YouTube videos. If you focus on antarctic animals, break down the theme to learn about one animal a week. Here are some other winter themes with animals:
Yeti’s (are they real or a myth)
January Themes Focusing on Winter
The winter season is something that most kids experience in the United States and around the world. Although some places like Florida don’t experience snow, many kids live in colder climates. Or, they can quickly drive to snowy places in the wintertime.
Using winter themes in January is a great way to build background knowledge around the seasons and teach vocabulary and language skills around those themes.
One way to break down a broad theme like winter is to plan mini-themes related to the season. For example, you can plan to do a winter season theme for the entire month of January. Each week you can focus on a different aspect of winter, such as winter clothes, winter weather, winter activities, and winter sports.
Or, you can pick one of those winter topics and focus on one mini topic each week. If you choose winter sports, you can focus on ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, and the luge. For more winter-themed speech therapy ideas, check out this blog post.
More Winter Theme Ideas
- Snow Day – you can read the book Snow Day by Lester L. Laminack to talk about what kids do when it snows, and their school is canceled.
- Snowmen – I have LOTS of blog posts with ideas for a snowman theme you can check out on the blog.
- Snowflakes – you can find good articles on ReadWorks or Wonderopolis. I also will look on YouTube for snowflake videos. Plus, there are LOTS of excellent snowflake science experiments and activities you can work on for speech and language goals. Check out this idea from The Sprinkle Topped Teacher.
- Hot Chocolate – who doesn’t love talking about hot chocolate? And it’s full of speech and language opportunities. I have a bunch in my store if you need some activities for a hot chocolate theme. Live Love Speech has some visual recipes for your co-teaching lessons.
- Winter Tools and Vehicles – this is the ultimate theme smash where you can pair winter weather with transportation. If you need a snowplow sensory bin, check out this one!
January speech therapy activities
Check out the Themed Therapy SLP membership if you love using themes for your speech therapy caseload but struggle to find the time and energy to plan your lessons. The membership is for busy school-based SLPs who serve Prek-5th grade students and want to streamline their therapy planning process.
When you become an SLP themester, you can access three themed therapy units a month!
The January speech therapy themes are arctic animals, penguins, and outer space. An annual membership gives you access to over 24 theme
Themes Based on National Holidays
So many meaningful and fun national holidays would make for great themes to plan in January!
Here are some January speech therapy themes for national days:
Martin Luther King Jr. (this is an excellent kick-off for Black History month, which starts in February)
January 1st – New Years Day: focus on healthy habits, creating goals, and new changes
January 4th- Spaghetti Day
You can theme smash yetis and spaghetti with the game! I have a cheat sheet for the Yeti in my Spaghetti game in my TPT store.
January 8-14th – National Pizza Week
Check out this blog post with ways to use a pizza speech therapy toy in your sessions.
January 18th – Winnie the Pooh Day
January 18th – Hot and Spicy Foods – January 18th
What theme-based units do you plan in January?
Let me know in the comments what theme-based speech therapy lessons you plan for your elementary caseload. Tag me @themedtherapyslp with your themed activity, and I will share it in my stories!