Looking for a fun Easter egg language activity that will get your students up and moving!? If you are TIRED from IEP meetings and writing reports, this festive activity is just what you need to bring back that FUN spark in speech. I needed an Easter egg language activity that would cover a lot of category and describing goals.
Where to find these FUN TRINKETS
I bought these fun trinkets from Dinky Doodads on Etsy for my “I Spy” Sensory bin. I decided to use them to work on building categories and describing skills for common vocabulary. I used the “trinkets” I bought and hid them in Easter eggs (thankfully my SPED teacher had a bunch of eggs on hand).
Want some FREE Category Visuals
I printed these FREE category visuals from my TPT store for the lesson. Then, I hid the eggs all around my speech room. My students had a blast moving around my room looking for Easter eggs. After the group found all the eggs, the kids opened up all the eggs. I had them sort the trinkets into the correct category groups. If my students sorted one in the wrong category we talked about why that item would not belong. We practiced describing the trinkets by attributes using Sentence Starter Strips. You can read about how I use sentence starter strips HERE.
How I organized the Easter Egg Language Activity during my whole class PUSH IN Lesson
When I did my push in lesson, I split the students into groups of 2-3.
They had to share a basket. Guess what that encouraged!? Staying in the group, initiating comments and questions.
Then, the SDC teacher and I split the classroom aides with different groups. So all the staff had a small group.
As the students were hunting for Easter eggs, the adults in the room made sure the students were waiting for each other, initiating questions/comments, helping students stay in the group and take turns.
After the teams found all the eggs in the room, the teams had to work together to open the eggs. Again, the adults withheld and prompted the students to communicate with each other.
I laid all of the category visuals out in front of the groups on the floor. Then, the students had to walk over the visuals to put the trinket in the correct category. I did this to all for more movement while learning.
My students LOVED this activity! They were all engaged and the spontaneous language opportunities were high. It was great seeing the staff work along side the students to encourage language. If you cannot celebrate Easter at your site or school, I encourage you to do this activity with a chicken theme! Just tell your students that a wild chicken went loose in your room and LAID EGGS everywhere! You need their help finding all the eggs.
What activities have you done with a chicken or Easter theme that your students loved? I would love to hear about it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!
Speech pathologists are the kings and queens of adapting materials to meet the communication needs of their students. The BEST way to address multiple goals is to brainstorm as many ways as you can for that one therapy item. Today I am going to be showing you how to use the popular game Apples To Apples in your speech therapy sessions.
Where can you find Apples To Apples?
I am an amazon girl (hence, the amazon affiliate links lol). That’s usually where I look for games. If you are all about amazon prime, you can get Apples To Apples Junior Edition or Big Picture Apples To Apples (this is on my wishlist). My second place to look is Target. When I am on a bargain hunt I will go shopping at Goodwill.
How to play Apples To Apples?
This game is pretty easy to play. Players take turns being the judge. The judge begins each round by playing a Green Apple card that features a one-word characteristic, such as Crunchy, Smelly, or Excellent. The other players must then look at the Red Apple cards in their hands and select a red card that they think best describes the judge’s green card. The judge gets to pick the red card that they think is the best representation of the describing word. The person picked gets to keep the green card. Whoever gets the most green cards wins!
How to adapt Apples To Apples in Speech Therapy?
Gina Moriarty, MS CCC-SLP shared an idea in a group I run with Hallie Sherman from Speech Time Fun on facebook. It is called Dabbling With Speech Fun. It is open to all SLP’s. We host giveaways, share therapy ideas, and keep things FUN for the busy SLP.
Anyways, Gina has a fabulous way she uses Apples to Apples in speech therapy. Here are her ideas:
Practice identifying/naming parts of speech practice: nouns, adjectives, synonyms.
Reverse the directions! Instead, the judge puts a red noun card down and everyone gets 5 green cards. The students have to use the best adjective to describe the noun. (LOVE IT)!
I love calling everything a “challenge”. Sounds way more FUN than telling the students we are doing an activity. The students have to come up with a word opposite for the apples to apples game cards.
Play Minute To Win It Challenges with the students in your speech therapy group. Have them come up with as many words for the describing word in a minute. The person with the most words wins! You can always facilitate this as a whole group if the kids have spelling needs and see if they can beat their score.
Have students sort the red cards into the different “describing” word piles. This helps work on a critical attribute feature and antonyms.
Your articulation students can brainstorm things that are messy, interesting, famous and speedy either by placing the red cards in piles or just simply writing a list! I had my /s/ friends make sentences after they brainstormed. For example, “A room is messy. Flies are messy. A scientist is messy.”
This can be adapted for mixed language groups working on describing, grammatical structures and expanding utterances with prepositional phrases and adjectives.
How to use Apples To Apples to target Social Skills
Use any of the ideas mentioned above, but split the students into groups. During the activity the students have to talk with their partner and/or group. Skills that you can teach during any lesson:
voice volume for the social situation
sharing opinion, asking clarification questions, and accepting/rejecting a person’s idea
accepting rejection from a judge in the game
I also love this idea for assigning “jobs” to the game. You can read about this idea at Lunch Buddies Plus.
How do you adapt Apples To Apples in your speech room? Email me a email@example.com if you have an idea! I would love to add it to this post.
This week we played a REALLY fun word game that targeted LOTS of describing skills. I even found a way to adapt it for some of my articulation students. Word games for kids are the best way to get engagement with vocabulary building. When you say “game”, the kids feel like they are having fun and not realizing how much thinking they are doing! This word game also incorporates inferencing and critical thinking skills.
Word Games For Kids- Mystery Word
I used picture cards from my HedBanz Game (amazon affiliate link) to help my younger students think of a noun for the mystery word. There are also these really cool Learning Resources Basic Vocabulary Photo Cards (amazon affiliate link included for your convenience) that would be awesome to use as well! For my older students, we just brainstormed without pictures.
I made a detective game board to keep track of each player’s points. You can assign one of the students to be the “points keeper”. These Reusable Dry Erase Pockets are amazing because I only have to print one game sheet to use over and over.
How to play the game
To play this word game, the clinician and/or one of the students in the groups is in charge of choosing a mystery word. Pick a word and write it down where the students cannot see it.
Then, give clue #1 to the group. So if we picked “donut”. Clue #1 would be “dessert group”. Each student can take a guess of the mystery word item. Praise the students who make a “smart guess” for guessing a word that is in the correct category. Quiz the students if a guess such as “pizza” would be a smart guess and why it would or would not be a smart guess. Give clue #2 such as “You eat it. You can deep fry it. You can put frosting on it.” Allow for students to make a guess. If a student’s smart guess is correct, then they would earn 4 points. Continue giving clues until someone in the group guesses correctly.
The person with the most points at the end of the session wins! Have the student describe the noun in complete sentences after the mystery word has been revealed! This is a great game to pair with the Expanding Expression Tool.
I adapted this game for my students working on /s/ by having them say the carrier phrase “I guess the item is……….” to work on final /s/. With my /r/ students, I only picked words that contained /r/!
Over the years, I have seen the benefit of using sentence starter strips in speech therapy with my language impaired students. A lot of my students with language delays need visual supports to help them build longer utterances. Using sentence starter strips in speech therapy provides a visual framework for organizing their thoughts. Many of my speech students receptively know what they want to say, but struggle with expressively communicating those ideas in a clear and concise way.
Using Sentence Starter Strips In Speech Therapy
Many of my speech students receptively know what they want to say, but struggle with expressively communicating those ideas in a clear and concise way. For our students with language impairments processing language can be very daunting and overwhelming. We as SLP’s can lighten that language load by incorporating visual sentence strips in therapy.
Why I love using sentence starter strips in speech
Sentence starter strips are easy to make and don’t require a ton of prep. This is an amazing thing for the busy SLP! I love that I can prep this in under 10 minutes for my therapy groups and can use it over and over again for my groups. When I use bright colored paper or sentence strips that have visual picture supports, my students become more engaged in the activity. You can adapt the sentence starter strips for your lesson, so you can easily write a sentence starter that relates to the topic you are discussing. The other reason I love sentence starter strips is that I can align them with the speaking and listening standards. Our students are now required to express their opinion, ask questions, and share the reasons behind their thoughts. When I observe general education classrooms, I see A LOT of sentence starters around the room. This is a scaffolding technique that a lot of teachers use to help student’s become more efficient writers. When we target this with oral language, we are building the language piece that writing involves. There is also research that shows students who are English Learners benefit from the use of sentence frames or sentence starters.
How I use sentence starter strips in speech therapy
In the photo above, I created a sentence with some blank spots where I want the student to fill in the answer. For example, if I had a picture of the word grasshopper, I would have 1-3 sentence strips. The student could say “A grasshopper belongs in the insect category. A grasshopper can be used for eating other bugs. It has antennae, legs, eyes and a body and can be found in nature.”
Use What You Have In Your Speech Room
I grab a deck of Artic Photo Cards Fun Decks From Super Duper or artic/language cards from my TPT resources to use with the sentence starter strips. This is a perfect way to target both articulation and language goals if you have mixed groups! Sentence starter strips are also great for teaching prepositional phrases and conjunctions. One of the easiest places to find stimulus items for teaching prepositional phrases and conjunctions is google images! If I have time, I usually will search google images for pictures that I want and cut and paste them into a powerpoint. Then, I use those images along with my sentence strips as a therapy lesson. I love having sentence strips for inferencing, predicting, explaining opinion and discussing the main idea.
Storing Sentence Starter Strips
When you find yourself scribbling the same sentence frames on scratch paper during your speech sessions, it usually means that it might be good to have a permanent set of sentence frames that you can grab n’ go for your sessions. This is what I kept running into, so instead of writing sentence frames on my post it notes, I decided to use some multi-colored sentence strips I found in my speech room. One skill I work on a lot is describing nouns by attributes. I usually start with 1-3 attributes depending on the student’s skills. You can find these sentence strips on on amazon and you get 75 in the pack (amazon affiliate link). Let’s talk storage! I like to use Pocket Charts to storage my sentence strips and to use during instruction. I just found these Classroom Sentence Strip Storage Box on Amazon that could also be helpful for storage! I recommend getting different colored sentence strips to visually show different skills or use different colored markers.
How do you use sentence starter strips in speech therapy?
Every SLP needs resources on how to implement effective grammar intervention because half our caseloads have goals in this area!
Much of my career as a speech therapist has been working with students that have goals targeting grammar. I have seen that many children with deficits with grammar, often times, have language deficits in other areas such as vocabulary, oral comprehension and story narration.
Today, I wanted to share about some articles I have found that talk about strategies for implementing effective grammar intervention.
Information about Implementing Effective Grammar Intervention
What I found when reading these different articles is there is not a “must use this technique always” when targeting grammar. There is however, some really good guidelines that researchers have found to be helpful when you, the clinician are creating a treatment plan.
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 article are as follows:
The function of improving a child’s expressive grammar is so that they can have better language to effectively communicate whether orally or in written form. Thus, we should be targeting skills that will help improve their communication (a tip for writing/choosing goals) or help them to make 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 verses “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.”
Grammar Intervention Research Article
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 off, the very fancy term “recasting” is simply the clinician implicitly responding to a child’s response with the correct grammar and sometimes emphasizing the correct word like, “I really love cookiessssss too.” This technique 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 folk
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.
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 Strategies For Grammar Intervention
Now, time for the practical tips for implementing these findings! I typically will do 0ne-two structured therapy sessions filled with cueing and explicitly teaching the grammar components that I want to target. It will include visuals sentence strips, visuals of the rules, worksheets, lots of modeling, and having the student trying to correctly use the grammar rule.
Then, my next two sessions are filled with activities that the child may be asked to do in the classroom. Basically, working on generalizing or applying the skill into a more complex task. Often times, I will use books, story telling, answering wh-questions, describing nouns by attributes, play activities (i.e. play dough, cars, tea party, etc.) or describing picture scenes to work on grammar. During this time, I am modeling, expanding, and “recasting” (it feels good word dropping fancy terms here). I feel like these sessions allow me to also let them hear correct grammar modeled to them, which seems important to the process.
My Parts of Speech Sentence Flips are a great tool to use as a warm up to build mastery of LOTS of different grammar. These sentence flips have a lot of opportunities for clinicians to cue the student with the correct grammar.
My Parts of Speech Flashcard books are a great tool to use as a quick warm up as well or send home as homework. Once assembled, students can create grammatically correct sentences with visual supports.
Sentence Frame Graphic Organizer (FREE) is a great tool to use with any book, youtube video or a picture. It provides color coded columns to sort different parts of speech. This is a great tool to start building more complex sentences and beginning to introduce written language.
My Student Language Helpers are visual supports that you can make with two file folders glued or stapled together. You can then glue all the different parts of speech to the helper. The student can use this in the speech room or even in the classroom to help when writing sentences!
My seasonal themed vocabulary and grammar resource allows me to used seasonal vocabulary to practice grammar concepts as well as work on other skills such as wh-questions, compare/contrast and describing by attributes. These activities and visuals pair well with all of my seasonal books that I like to bring into the therapy room.
What resources for implementing effective grammar intervention do you use? What techniques and research have you found for this intervention? I would love to add more tools to my tool belt! Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My 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.
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.
Included 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?
For 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.
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!!
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