Best Ocean Books for Your Elementary Caseload

Best Ocean Books for Your Elementary Caseload

One of the most efficient ways to plan your themed therapy units is to find books that will cover different ages and skills.

Today, I wanted to share some of the BEST ocean books for your speech therapy elementary caseload. Planning extension activities is easier when you have a handful of themed books to pull from for treatment.

Plus, using books in therapy is a low prep material that works well for mixed groups.

Tips for Choosing Themed Books for Speech Therapy

It’s hard to give you ocean books that will perfectly fit your caseload’s needs because we all have different ages and needs for our students.

Typically, when choosing books, I consider how versatile the book is to adapt for different goals and ages and if I can use the book to cover therapy for two to four weeks.

When I search for themed books, I either aim to find stories that fit the ages I serve or cover skills I need to target. For example, if I have students working on wh-questions, CORE words, and needing predictive text, I may select Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck.

If you need some tips for effective shared book reading techniques to use when reading the story in therapy, check out this post

Amazon affiliate links will be provided throughout this blog post. I receive a small commission at no additional charge for you when you use the link to purchase items.

Ocean Books for Prek-1st Grade Levels

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae would be a great ocean book to use in speech therapy if you want to teach the category of ocean animals. Each page has information about the different animals and targets vocabulary and verbs related to each creature. There is fun rhyming prose with the text; however, there is a lot of text on each page. You can read chunks of the book across several sessions. Because there is a lot of text, there are many opportunities for finding words with your student’s speech sounds.

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck provides a repetitive text that allows many opportunities to see and hear vocabulary words or target specific CORE words. This book greets each sea animal and says goodbye, which can provide practice with language for greetings.

Need Cheat Sheets for Your Ocean Books To Reference in Speech Therapy Sessions?

If you are running mixed groups and struggle with remembering what targets you can use for your group’s different goals, check out the themed book cheat sheets from the Themed Therapy SLP membership. Not only do you get book cheat sheets for each themed unit, but you also get various digital and printable materials to use as extension activities. Doors re-open July 22nd for the membership, so get on the waitlist HERE.

Ocean Books for 2nd-3rd Grade Levels

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson is a book choice for students working on story narrative elements.

This book also uses rhyming prose, which is excellent for working on phonological awareness skills.

In the story, the snail wants to go sail at sea and hitches a ride with the whale. Each page shares where the whale and the snail go, so the pictures highlight different things in the ocean.

Some skills you can target with this book are homophones, s-blends, word opposites (i.e., night/day, emotions), and basic concepts.

Dory Story by Jerry Pallotta is another book that works well for story narrative goals. It’s a tale about a boy who takes a dory into the ocean to explore. As the young boy rows out to sea, he sees different animals eating food, such as blue fish eating mackerels.

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!

This book highlights ocean animals’ food chain and addresses why the boy’s grandfather says not to go out in the dory alone.

Ocean-Themed Books for Older Students

For older students, you can use these two books focusing on non-fiction text. Shark Lady by Jess Keating is the ultimate theme smash because it covers types of sharks, a woman scientist’s work, and the theme of finding beauty in something that others may find scary.

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs by Kate Messner is about the works of environmental scientist Ken Nedimyer. This book teaches about the ocean and provides a theme of small acts individuals can do to help preserve the coral reef. Sea urchins

With rich vocabulary embedded in the book, you can target a lot of tier II vocabulary, comprehension, and discussions that spark personal connections to the reader.

What Ocean Books Do You Use in Speech Therapy?

What types of ocean-themed books do you recommend for SLPs serving Prek-5th grade? Share in the comments your recommendation and how you use that book in therapy. If you need more summer-themed book ideas, check out this blog post.

Want extension activities to use with your ocean-themed books? Check out these blog posts and resources to help you plan engaging therapy:

Ocean Sensory Bin

Ocean-Themed Crafts

Ocean Language Activities for K-2

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!
EP 92 Who Knew My Students Would Love This!?

EP 92 Who Knew My Students Would Love This!?

We can overcomplicate the process when finding engaging speech therapy materials for our sessions! This Real Talk SLP episode shares what kids LOVE, and it might be something you never thought to use.

Have you ever planned an on-the-fly speech therapy lesson, thinking it would be “boring,” only to discover that your students thought it was the BEST.THING.EVER!

Or, maybe you left a game or material on your table, and your next group of fourth-graders walk-in begging to play Candyland in your session?

How To Participate in Future SLP Questions

This episode of the Real Talk SLP podcast will be sharing materials or activities SLPs used that were a surprising hit in therapy.

Many of the ideas shared today were from submissions from other SLPs that commented on my Facebook page. Come follow along to get involved with some of the questions I post weekly.

Get on the Themed Therapy SLP Membership Waitlist

If you LOVE planning therapy with a themed-based approach but often don’t because you lost all your planning time catching up on paperwork, I want to let you know about the Themed Therapy SLP Membership for SLPs serving Prek-5th grade students. We take lesson planning off your plate by providing themed therapy units to cover your Prek-5th grade caseload. Between themed book cheat sheets, open-ended activities, Google Slides, No Print PDFs, themed speech sound word lists, printables, and monthly LIVE webinars to earn CMH units, you will have engaging sessions without the stress of planning on your own.

The membership opens in July 2022. We take purchase requests and group discounts, so let your employer know you need this for a successful school year! Sign up HERE.

In This Real Talk SLP Episode You Will Learn:

 

-How to look at your therapy materials in unconventional ways

-Encouragement to take chances in your therapy and explore what can work with our students in therapy

-Therapy ideas that are cost-effective and engaging with kids

-Think outside the box, what might work for younger students could be used with your older students and vice versa

-What tools or supplies could you incorporate with your worksheets or activities to increase engagement such as using smell markers or erasable pens

-How you can use a simple object and turn it into a hands-on activity

-Our junk drawers could be our most effective therapy tool

 

See the links below to go to blog posts or find materials mentioned in this episode

Blog Posts and Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Amazon affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience. This means I get a small commission when you use my link to purchase items at no additional cost to you.

“I Spy” sensory bin

Articulation Flipbookstry the /l/ book for FREE

Use these ultra fine dry erase markers, your kids will love them.

Smelly Markers, Smelly Pens, Dot Markers, Erasable pens

Candyland and Don’t Break the Ice – If you need toy companion cheat sheets for using these games in therapy, check out this resource in my TPT store.

Lids N’ Lizards Blog Post – Free printables are on that blog post

Beach Day by Karen Roosa Blog Post with extension activity ideas

Make a random item sensory bin by colors. Check out the color-themed sensory bin resources in my TPT store

We can overcomplicate the process when finding engaging speech therapy materials for our sessions! This Real Talk SLP episode shares what kids LOVE, and it might be something you never thought to use.

If you loved this episode, make sure to leave a review on the Real Talk SLP podcast.

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

Have you ever had visual supports and cheat sheets that you like to access for your sensory bins in your speech therapy sessions? But, you aren’t sure where to store them so you can access them easily? You are lucky because I have the ultimate SLP hack for sensory bin material storage to share with you today!

Top Tip for Staying Organized With Your Speech Therapy Materials

This SLP hack will help you keep all your visual supports and play therapy cheat sheets together in the sensory bin!

One way you can stay efficient with keeping your materials organized is by having them together in one spot! With just some Velcro dots and page protectors (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience), you can keep your visual supports and cheat sheets in the bin.

If you need some more sensory bin organizational tips, check out this blog post. I use a similar method of organizing for my speech sound disorders by having a container where I store all my tools, data sheets, visuals, and materials so I can grab anything I need at the moment. Check out how to make your speech sound container on this blog post.

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

When running mixed groups or seeing students back to back, it’s nice to reference your cheat sheets during the session. But, if you aren’t careful, all your speech therapy materials can become scattered all over your room. Most times, we school-based SLPs don’t have tons of time to put visuals and sensory bin materials back neatly in their storage container or binder. So, when using a sensory bin, you want everything you need to be easily put back in the bin.

Once you slide your cheat sheet into a page protector, add Velcro dots to the lid of the container and the page protector. Then, stick the cheat sheet to the Velcro. Now, you can grab the visuals quickly during a session!

You can see this in action on Instagram

Need These Sensory Bin Visual Rules and Cheat Sheets?

Back when I started using sensory bins, I quickly realized that some of my students needed me to help them understand the expectations for how to interact with the bin activity. That’s why I have a visual poster to help remind students what to do! We want to keep germs away while using the bin, and this has been so helpful for my students. Since I used the visual support so often, I needed to have it handy at the drop of a hat! That’s why this SLP hack to put it on the top of the container’s lid has helped me have the tools I need now.

If you need this visual and the printables for a flower sensory bin, I want to invite you to attend a LIVE webinar to learn “How to Use Sensory Bins to Cover Speech and Language Goals.” Click the picture below to sign up! You get access to the webinar replay for two weeks.

Sign Up For the Sensory Bin Webinar and Get LOTS of Tips for Using Sensory Bins

Tickets are $9 and include:

-1 hour CMH units (Clinical Maintenance Hours)

-Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide – step-by-step instructions and recommendations to help you find the right bin, fillers, and materials to make your sensory bin with a visual rules poster, storage ideas, and printables to make bins

-$15 worth of sensory bin materials

-A fun learning environment that will answer all your questions about using sensory bins in speech therapy.

What Sensory Bin Hacks Do You Use?

This SLP hack will help you keep your visual supports and play therapy cheat sheets together in the sensory bin!

Do you have an SLP hack for keeping your sensory bin materials together? Or, just tips for keeping students engaged while using a sensory bin? Let me know your hack or information in the comments!

If you need some more sensory bin ideas, here are a few of my faves:

I Spy Sensory Bin (Great for mixed groups)

Ocean Sensory Bin

Penguin Sensory Bin

Snow Sensory Bin with Plow Trucks

Ep 91 5 Strategies to Get Buy-In With Your Older Students

Ep 91 5 Strategies to Get Buy-In With Your Older Students

When it comes to working with older speech students, it can be hard to keep them motivated in therapy. Nothing feels worse than having session after session fall flat because you can’t get your students to buy-in into the therapy process.

That’s why I invited Kristin Bowers from Kiwi Speech to come on the Real Talk SLP podcast to share 5 strategies you can use to get buy-in with your older students.

 

Sign Up for the LIVE Sensory Bin Webinar June 21st

If you are struggling with finding ways to engage your mixed groups and feel confident that you can cover all their goals in a session, I am hosting a LIVE webinar on June 21st 5pm PST/8 pm EST to share how you can use sensory bins to target your students’ speech and language goals.

Tickets are $9 and include:

-1 hour CMH units (Clinical Maintenance Hours)

-Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide – step-by-step instructions and recommendations to help you find the right bin, fillers, and materials to make your sensory bin with a visual rules poster, storage ideas, and printables to make bins

-$15 worth of sensory bin materials

-A fun learning environment that will answer all your questions about using sensory bins in speech therapy.

Strategies to Help Get Buy-In With Your Older Speech Students

In the beginning part of the interview, we discuss some of the roadblocks speech pathologists face when working with older speech students. We then dive into strategies that can help improve your therapy sessions and your relationships with your students. 

In this podcast episode, you will hear about these 5 strategies to help your older speech students:

 

– Teach a growth mindset in your sessions using the three pillars of motivation, rapport, and resilience (the research article is linked below in the blog posts and resources section)

– To use distraction in your therapy sessions

– Finding materials and activities that provide a challenge for your students

– Get your students reading in your therapy sessions

– Really get picky with their speech sounds or the skills you are working on with them in therapy

 

Blog Posts and Resources Mentioned in This Podcast Episode

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Epic Beach Sensory Bin For Speech Therapy

Epic Beach Sensory Bin For Speech Therapy

Making a beach sensory bin as an extension activity for your beach-themed books can be a great way to cover a lot of speech and language goals and keep your students engaged.

Typically, when I plan my sessions, I find books that fit the theme I want to teach and then plan some extension activities that include vocabulary and concepts about the theme.

Today, I will show you how you can make an epic beach sensory bin and save time hunting around for all the items. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience in the blog post. I get a small commission on items purchased at no additional cost to you. 

Sensory Bin Filler Ideas

 

When it comes to your sensory bin filler, you can add elements representing ocean water and a sandy shore. Kinetic sand can work great for the shore, and there are a variety of options for your ocean as listed below:

Blue Pom Pom balls

Blue plastic rocks

Blue shredded paper 

Cut up blue straws

Blue water beads

Blue glass beads

Blue dyed dry rice, pasta, or chickpeas

I used kinetic sand, blue plastic rocks, and shredded blue paper for my sensory bin.

Materials to Add to Your Sensory Bin

It can sometimes be hard to find mini figurines and elements related to your sensory bin, but I found some CUTE beach-themed items in a most unlikely place, cake toppers!

You can use these beach cake toppers to have umbrellas, recliners, palm trees, shells, and more! You can get mini buckets, shells, and mini paper umbrellas at Michael’s to add to your bin. Here is another beach cake topper set in case you want to compare which one has the elements you need for your bin.

I used the ocean animal TOOBS that I have, or here is another set that would work well for ocean animals. 

Use this epic beach sensory bin to cover speech and language goals

Beach Books to Pair with This Sensory Bin

Here are some beach-themed books that would pair nicely with your sensory bin:

Beach Day by Karen Roosa

Curious George Goes to the Beach by H.A. Rey

Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer

When a Dragon Moves In by Jody Moore

Sun, Sun by Brad Gray

Do you use one of these books in therapy? Or, have a recommendation for a book to use with a beach theme? Let me know your recs in nteh comments of this blow post. 

Therapy Ideas for Using Your Beach Sensory Bin

In therapy, you can target noun functions with the beach items, verb actions, answering wh-questions, basic concepts, and social-pragmatic language. The easiest way to keep things streamlined with your mixed groups is to have a list of words by your students’ target sound. Having the word list makes it easier to remember what you can target with all the students in your group.

For example, you can say, “Who swam up to shore?” to work on ‘who’ questions. But, you can also work on /s-blends/ and /sh/ with that question. How would you use this beach sensory bin with your students? Let me know in the comments! Would love more ideas. 

Need more Summer-Themed Sensory Bin Ideas

If you are on the hunt for more summer-themed sensory bins, check out how you can make an ocean sensory bin. You can also check out how to make a “Can You Find It?” sensory bin with different seasonal vocabulary including summer! To make mixed groups easier, you can grab the summer-themed sensory bin companion that comes with printables and cheat sheets to help you target all the speech and language goals in your group. If you make this sensory bin, I would love to see it! Tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie