How to implement effective grammar intervention for busy SLPs

How to implement effective grammar intervention for busy SLPs

Every SLP needs resources and evidence-based practices on grammar intervention because half our caseloads have students with goals in this language area! Much of my career as a speech therapist has worked with students with goals targeting grammar, syntax, or morphology. Many of my students with receptive and expressive delays with syntax and morphology often have delays in other language domains. For example, students exhibiting errors with word order, verb tense, or marking plurals will also demonstrate weaknesses with vocabulary, oral comprehension, and narratives.

Today, I am sharing some articles about strategies for implementing effective grammar intervention. If you scroll down towards the end, I also include grammar speech therapy activities to help you implement these grammar interventions.

Implement Effective Grammar Intervention With These Principles

When reading these different articles, I found there is no “must use this technique always” when treating grammar goals.  However, there are some really good guidelines that researchers have found helpful when you, the clinician, are creating a treatment plan for improving receptive and expressive language in this domain. 

10 Principles of Grammar Intervention was an excellent article that outlines what a clinician should consider when developing therapy plans for a student.

Fey, M.E., Long, S.H., Finestack, L.H. (2003). Ten principles of grammatical intervention for children with specific language impairments. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 12: 3-15

Some of the principles shared in the grammar intervention article are as follows:

  • The function of improving a child’s expressive grammar is to have better language to communicate orally or in written form effectively. Thus, we should target skills that will help improve their communication (a tip for writing/choosing goals) or help them progress with common core standards and academic activities.
  • A clinician may get more “bang for their buck” if they target grammar by broad grammar patterns versus “isolated” grammar targets.
  • “When grammar is targeted, it should be treated in ways that lead to improvements in other domains, such as storytelling, comprehension and expression of expository text, and reading comprehension.”

Speech Therapy Grammar Strategy That Gets Good Results

A randomized clinical trial looked at two grammar treatment procedures of recasting and a cuing hierarchy in 31 five-year-olds to see which treatment would yield better results.

Here is what they found:

First, the fancy term “recasting” is simply the clinician implicitly responding to a child’s response with the correct grammar and emphasizing the correct word like, “I really love cookiessssss too.”  This grammar strategy helps keep the flow of conversation going without having to stop and correct the child. You’re welcome for learning a big fancy speech therapy word…now go sprinkle that into your IEP meetings to impress some folks, lol.

In the study, when a child in the recast group made a grammar error, the SLP would do a “recast” and move on with the lesson, using recasting every time there was an error.

With the cueing group, when the child made an error, the SLP went through a hierarchy of scaffolding techniques to work on having the child correctly produce the grammar structure.

The overall study found that the cueing group made more growth then the recasting group.

So, children with speech and language impairments appear to be responding to implicit grammar intervention that provides cueing and allowing the child to say the sentence again to correct his/her error.

Learn about grammar activities to use in your speech therapy sessions.

The Effectiveness of Two Grammar Treatment Procedures for Children With SLI: A Randomized Clinical Trial.  Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2015, Vol. 46, 312-324. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0041 Karen M. Smith-Lock, Suze Leitão, Polly Prior, and Lyndsey Nickels

Practical Tips For Planning Your Language Therapy Sessions

 Now, time for the practical tips for implementing these findings!  Typically, I will do one or two structured therapy sessions filled with cueing and explicitly teaching the grammar components I want to target. It will include visual sentence strips, visuals of the rules, worksheets, lots of modeling, and having the student try to use the grammar rule correctly.


Then, my next two sessions are filled with activities the child may be asked to do in the classroom.  It works on generalizing or applying the skill to a more complex task.  I will often use books, storytelling, sequencing activities, answering wh-questions, describing nouns by attributes, play-based speech therapy activities (i.e., play dough, cars, tea party, etc.), or picture scenes to work on grammar.  During this time, I am modeling, expanding, and “recasting” (it feels good to word drop some fancy language terms here, lol). These sessions allow me to let them hear correct grammar modeled to them, which is important to the process.

Grammar Speech Therapy Activities That Align With These EBP Research Articles

In the Themed Therapy SLP membership, we provide 24 unique verb flashcards to use with sensory bins, games, and sentence strips. You can work on conversational recasting and explicitly having students practice their targets. Furthermore, we include sequencing short stories, book companions, and vocabulary task cards that allow you to work on grammar structures while targeting other language domains.

In my seasonal grammar and vocabulary activities set, there are also a variety of activities for targeting verbs, third-person singular, pronouns and more! If you like using evergreen activities, this set would work well.

The Regular and Irregular Verb Grammar Worksheets are easy to prep for explicit and implicit instruction! They come with visual posters and lots of opportunities to practice verb action targets.

Incorporating writing in your grammar intervention will help build your student’s confidence with this skill. That’s why I created the build-a sentence grammar worksheets so you can help kids not be afraid of writing more complex sentences while also targeting wh-questions, syntax, vocabulary, and inferencing.


Free Grammar Speech Therapy Resources To Use In Your Sessions

Regarding conversational recasting during play-based speech therapy activities, developing verbs on the spot can be hard. That’s why I created this free action verbs checklist so you can mark off what you have modeled during a session. When you conversationally recast 24 unique verbs, the child can learn the morpheme quicker!

Another tool I often use with books, real photos, or videos is my FREE sentence frame graphic organizer. Using this visual support helps my students see the parts of speech and how to set up a sentence when describing what is happening.

What Questions Do You Have About Grammar Intervention?

I know it can feel overwhelming to know where to start with language intervention, especially regarding grammar. It can be so complex! If you have a question about evidence-based grammar interventions and how to use them in therapy, leave a question below or email me at fe*********@th*****************.com

Get grammar strategies to use in your speech therapy sessions that work!

Listening And Reading Comprehension Task Cards- All About Insects

all about insects long pin 2My son is now a reader!  We have been working on independent reading and reading out loud throughout the summer. Check out my FREE independent reading incentives bookmarks for your own kids. I wanted to make him some reading comprehension task cards that also worked on vocabulary and writing.  Then, I thought “What if I could make some reading comprehension task cards that I can also use with my speech students next year?”Perfect!  Now, I just needed a non-fiction topic…….

My son loves learning about bugs…..My speech students LOVE bugs, so that’s how this set began its creation! This upcoming year, I will be back at the elementary site, but I think these listenting and reading comprehension task cards could be used with upper elementary/middle school for students working at a younger grade level.

listening and reading comprehension task cards

Great non-fiction passages to work on reading fluency and comprehension with a bug theme.

The activities in this set are perfect for independent work, can be used as a whole group lesson or as a literacy/language center. What I love the most about these cards is that there are QR codes that link to REAL LIFE photos of the bugs!!  Pretty cool, huh!?

There are 12 non-fiction passages including 12 task cards with comprehension questions to answer about the passage.  I laminated mine, so that the students can use with a dry erase marker and I can use them over and over again. Plus, I included hands on worksheet booklets to incorporate more learning after reading the passages.  Skills included: comparing/contrasting, vocabulary, adjectives, drawing/writing task and a writing page.

QR codes for insect task cardsIncluded in this set are some fun magnifying cards with QR codes to links to youtube videos that have more information about the bugs the students read about.  What kid doesn’t love using that QR code app?

honeybees non-fiction task card FREEFor all my fabulous followers, I made you a FREE BONUS LESSON to try out!  This lesson is not in my larger set, so make sure to get both! It includes a non-fiction task card passage about honeybees, comprehension task card and a facts worksheet, so students can write down key details from the passage.

all about insects periscope giveaway

The dabbling speechie

I am giving away 3 copies of this to some of my followers!  Leave a comment below with a number between 1-100.  I will be doing a live raffle on perioscope on SUNDAY, July 19 at 6pm PST.  Meet me there to see if your number is drawn!!


Summer Speech Therapy Activities: TPT Round UP

Summer Speech Therapy Activities: TPT Round UP

Summer is just around the corner and it is a great theme to use in therapy!  Having summer speech therapy activities to send home as homework are perfect for those summer months.  If you are working this summer, then grab some summer speech therapy activities on TPT!!

summer speech therapy activities for SLPs, special education teachers and ESL teachers. Great for summer themes or summer school lessons.

I started using my summer themed resources this week and plan to use them till the end of May.  Check out my round up of free and paid TPT products that I have found to help plan therapy.  I have links categorized by target area, so you can easily find the items you need!

Summer Speech Therapy Activities

Planning speech therapy lessons is a whole a lot easier when you pick a theme! If I want to do a BBQ theme, then I try to find resources that will cover goals for my whole caseload. These summer speech therapy activities are listed by target area, so you can quickly find items in the areas you need for your summer theme.


Grillin’ Up Articulation: SH, CH, DJ

Grillin’ Up Articulation: S-blends & L-blends

Firework Artic FREEBIE K,G,F

Cool Minimal Pairs: s-blends

My Sound Castles for Articulation: ALL Sounds NO prep

Summer Themed BUNDLE No Prep Artic L,S,R,SH,TH,V

Flip Flop Articulation Matching Game

Let’s Go Camping: An Articulation Unit

Flip Flop Articulation Dot Art NO prep ALL sounds

Oceans of Words-Awesome Articulation Worksheets

Summer Color, Cut & Glue Articulation Activities for Early Developing Sounds

Summer Color, Cut & Glue Articulation Activities-Later Developing Sounds

Mystery Pictures for Speech & Language Summer 6,900 words

Mini Speech Club Summer

Syllable Squeeze Multisyllabic Words for Speech Therapy

Interactive Smore Articulation Activity: Hands on speech therapy

Beach Hunt Interactive Articulation Sensory Tub Activity

Summer Later Developing Sounds: Articulation Games

Summer Early Developing Sounds: Articulation Games

Open Ended Games

Gone Camping FREEBIE Open Ended Board Game

FREEBIE No Print Pass the Prize Summer Edition

Summer Open Ended Games

Ready for Summer 3 games in 1

Lemonade Maker: Open Ended Reinforcemnt Game

All Around the Campground Game Board Set FREEBIE

Summer Open Ended Gameboards FREEBIE


Pronoun Fun with Rangers Rick & Susie FREEBIE

Speech Therapy Pronouns/Prepositions for Summer Grades Prek-1st

FREEBIE summer pronouns he, she, they, him, her, his, hers

Grammar Golf Grades K-8th

Summer People Sentences: 3rd Person Pronouns FREEBIE

Summer Complex Sentence Builder

Beach Grammar Activities for Speech Therapy Classrooms


Summer Time Grammar & Vocabulary Pack Grades Prek-2nd

Scoop Up A Delicious Story FREEBIE

Out In The Woods Cause & Effect Grades 1-5

Camping Out Categories Grades Prek-1st

Splash With Language Levels 1, 2, 3

BBQ Figurative Language

Summer Themed Preschool Speech & Language Pack

Summer Descriptive Sentence Fram FREEBIE

Fishy Guessing Similarities & Differences 2nd-5th

Summer Vocabulary Activities Grades Prek-K

Sailing Through Summer Speech Grades Prek-5th

That’s Fishy! Which Does Not Belong: Understanding Negatives & Associations FREEBIE Prek-1st

Summer speech FREEBIE: Gardening

Get Your Hamburger On-Visuals & Printables for Writing Intervention Grades 2nd-5th

Summer Vocabulary BINGO Grades Prek-2nd

Under the Sea Language Activities for Speech Therapy Grades K-7th

Summer Figurative Language Grades 3-8

Ice Cream Emotions- Feelings & Pragmatic Vocabulary Grades 4-8

Write-Say The Room Summer

Sweet Summer Speech & Language

Fun In The Sun: Beach Themed Speech & Language Activities

Summer Interactive Books

All Around the Campground Game Board Set

Buzzin’ True or False FREEBIE Grades 1st-4th

Summer Fun Language Grades 1st-6th

Speech Camp- Expressive Language Activities

No Print Splashing Into Language: Expressive & Receptive

Picnic Time Language

What Goes With Interactive No Print Categorization Associations

Camping Categories

Spring & Summer Stylist: Expressive/Receptive Language Activities Grades Prek-2nd

Say What? A Comprehension Activity Summer Edition Grades Prek-1st

Summer Print & Go Language Pack

Under The Sea: A Thematic Unit Grades Prek-K

Nonfiction Texts with English Language Arts Targets Spring/Summer Edition Grades K-5th

Baseball Themed Language Activities K-6th

Sunny Packet of Language Fun

Greetings From Summer Camp: Listening for Details

Flip Floppin’ Into Summer Interactive No Print

Fun in the Sun Language Activities

Camping with Questions Yes/No Wh-questions for Speech Therapy

Ocean Animals Facts: Receptive/Expressive Language Activities K-6th

Speech & Language BUNDLES

Soaking Up Summer With Speech & Language No Prep Summer Pack Grades K-4th

Two Scoops of Speech & Language: An Ice Cream Themed Activity Packet

Hear it, See it, Say it: Fun in the Sun Seek & Find

Hear it, See it, Say it: Let’s Go Camping

Ladybug Printable Speech & Language Activities FREEBIE

Summer Fun Pack for Speech & Language Therapy or classroom fun

Speech Therapy Oceans of Fun Bundle

Book Companions

The Rainbow Fish Speech & Language Companion Grades K-5th

The Rainbow Fish Phonemic Awareness Pack

Phonemic Awareness Activity for The Rainbow Fish FREEBIE

Lisa the Lifeguard- Interactive Story & Comprehension Activities

Over in the Meadow: A Book Companion

Story Companion- The Big Wide Mouthed Frog

Giraffes Can’t Dance Speech Therapy Book Companion

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Shell: A Book Companion for Language

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell Language Unit

Smiley Speech Therapy Book Companion

There was an old lady who swallowed a shell: Speech & Language Activities


S’mores, Beach and Lemonade Crafts for Mixed Groups

Summer Craftivity Worksheets

Father’s Day Speech, Language & Articulation Themed Unit with crafts

Craftivity Vocabulary Activities Summer Theme

Sensory Bin Companions

Summer Sensory Bin Companion for Articulation & Language

 Extension Activities for Home Practice

Summer Homework Packet for Speech & Language Therapy Grades Prek-5

Summer Worksheets HW Pack for Speech Therapy

Preschool Speech & Language Summer Homework Packet

Common Core Summer Packets for Speech & Language Grades k-5th

Summer Articulation Homework Packet

Summer Language Homework Packet

Summer Homework Calendars for Speech, Articulation, Language & Fluency

FREE Summer Speech Homework Calendars for Articulation

Print & Go Summer Camp Speech & Language Homework

FREE Summer Speech Homework Calendards for Language

A Summer of Speech & Language Calendars

Speech & Language HW for the Summer

Summer Preschool Speech & Language Packet: Learning Through Play

PUSH-IN Language Resources

Summer Themed Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides K-2

Camping Themed Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides K-2

Beach Themed Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides K-2

Ice Cream Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides K-2

Behavior Management

Splish Splash Summer Themed Behavior Management Set

Do you have summer speech therapy activities that you love to use with your students? Leave a comment below or email me at fe*********@th*****************.com, so I can add them to my stash!

The Same Old Story…..Two fun game reviews and GIVEAWAY

Are you a traveling SLP who has to go to multiple sites?  Do many of your students need visuals to help suppor their language development?  Are your upper elementary students or junior high students always grumbling about coming to speech?  Are you TIRED of using worksheets in therapy to target language development?  Whew……that’s a lot of questions.  Did I just overwhelm your brain with TOO MUCH language input?

I have two great games to share with you all from Blue Orange Games that are easy to transport and store, are visually appealing, and helps make language therapy more fun!  Both games come in a little tin and has 60 cards.  Each card has a picture on each side, which means you have 120 pictures in each game.  Tell Tale- The Art of Storytelling game has cards of all sorts of items such as a dog, alien, haunted house, a jogger, a ring and much more.

Tell tale

Tell Tale Fairytales Game of Imagination is the same type of game with all the pictures being mystical and make believe such as princesses, swords, castles, queens and more!fairy tale

There are four ways to play both of the games.  I played the “Story Board” version with my speech and language kids.  I asked one of the 4th grade teachers if I could come in to teach a lesson and have a “Story Competition”.  The kids had to break up into 4 groups consisting of 5-6 students in a group.  One student was designated the “writer” and the other team members were the story teller brainstormers!  Each team got 6 picture cards that they put in the order that they wanted.  One team got a “haunted house” theme, two  groups got a “princess theme” and another group got “a cowboy theme”.  As a group we discussed all the key story elements they could add to the story.  We then brainstormed how we could make our stories more “entertaining” by adding dialog, figurative language, adjectives, conjunctions, and feelings.  The team to collect the most points was the winner!  As the teacher and I listened to the stories, I gave points for each element they included along with points for having dialog, adjective, etc.  All the kids were engaged and had lots of fun!


Some of my speech language kids have a REALLY hard time telling a story and use very simple sentence structure when telling a story.  So, I gave each student three cards from the deck and told them they have to try and write ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, and ‘when’ in their story.  Before they began writing, we talked about what those terms mean and what they would look like in the sentence.  My kids always need visuals!  Each student got points to put on their dollar challenge.  If they could get all the elements in their sentence, they got 2 points and 1 point for attempting a great sentence.  I also had them then go back to the sentence and underline the parts of the sentences and label if it was who, where, when or what.  It was nice to see all my 4th and 5th graders engaged and writing longer, more complex sentences!

Now the great news!  Blue Orange Games wants to give one of you a copy of either game for free.  The winner gets to pick which version of this great game they would like!  Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of the game for my review.  No other compensation was received.