When it comes to reading books in your speech therapy sessions, it’s hard to keep all the students engaged. And, your therapy time is short, so keeping kids attentive is important for therapy. Today, on the Real Talk SLP podcast, we are talking about 10 ways to increase engagement when reading speech therapy books. You will get practical tips for your literacy-based speech therapy sessions that you can use tomorrow!

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Engagement Strategies to Use With Speech Therapy Books

Here are the engagement strategies mentioned in this podcast episode to help with literacy-based speech therapy:

  1. Use iconic gestures – to help teach vocabulary, use it with predictive texts, allows another way to show the child understands the word if they are non-speaking.
  2. Shared Book Reading Strategies – pointing to vocabulary and giving kid friendly definitions of words as well as asking questions that help with making personal connections with the characters.
  3. Novel effects app you can use your phone or iPad. It has lots of our favorite books and would be perfect to use in your small groups or your whole class lessons. With this app, it provides sound effects and music when you read aloud.
  4. Bring in props for the characters, key vocabulary or items that help with sequencing or story retelling. If your students can handle having a prop, have them raise the prop when they hear a certain phrase or predictive text.
  5. Activate background knowledge – Before you read the book, you can activate background knowledge by taking them on a virtual field trip using a platform like Google Earth to see the setting of the book. You can show them some YouTube videos, sing a song, etc. I talk more about activities you can do before you read the book in episode 114.
Get engagment strategies to use when reading speech therapy books.

More Tips & Tools for Reading Speech Therapy Books

Get tips for reading books in your literacy-based speech therapy sessions.

6. Kids retell the story – After you read the book, have students retell the story in their own words and use book creator to help them make their own story version. 

7. Do think alouds – Using think aloud questions help with comprehension and staying engaged with the book. Use graphic organizers or anchor charts to talk about characters and elements in the story.

8. Give each child a story element to hold up when they hear their story element come up in the story.

9. Incorporate movement – stand and share, turn to your partner and whisper about the character.

10. Ask an essential questions – Have an essential question that draws in their personal experience? We include book cheat sheets with essential questions in the Themed Therapy SLP membership.

Resources to Help With Literacy Speech Therapy Units

If you love using books + themes to plan speech therapy sessions, check out the Themed Therapy SLP membership. We provide book cheat sheets, book companions, and extension activities to help you implement a theme-based approach with less stress for your preschool and elementary caseload. 

Learn about literacy speech therapy strategies that you can use to increase engagement!

10 Ways to Increase Engagement With Speech Therapy Books

by The Dabbling Speechie