The BEST April Speech Therapy Themes to Plan

The BEST April Speech Therapy Themes to Plan

April can bring plenty of fun themes to your therapy room. April speech therapy themes are a fun way to get through spring fever and discuss many different topics with your students! Besides the spring season, there are plenty of April holidays and celebrations like Deaf history, April fool’s day, national pet day and more! Want to find more ideas? Check out National Today.

In this blog post, I want to share themes that are relevant to this time of year as well as national holidays.

Free SLP Themed Therapy Planner

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. 

April Lesson Plan Themes Based On National Holidays

One of the easiest ways to come up with themes is by checking out the national holidays for the month. Of course, you can have an April’s fools day theme on April 1st, but there are LOTS of other ideas based on national holidays. For example, April 4th is International Carrot Day and that would be a great time to read Too Many Carrots, learn about how to grow carrots, why they are good for you to eat, or learn about recipes that use carrots. Some of other fun holidays in April that would make engaging themed units are as follows:

 

  • April 10th Farm Animals Day
  • April 11th Pet Day
  • April 15th Laundry Day (We have a chore unit in the Themed Therapy SLP membership with a laundry sensory bin)
  • April 17th Go Fly a Kite Day
  • April 22 National Jelly Bean Day (could learn all about how jelly beans were created)
  • April 23 National Picnic Day
  • April 28 National Superhero Day
Get ideas for April speech therapy themes for your caseload.

April Speech Therapy Themes Focusing on Spring

Get ideas for April preschool themes to use in your speech therapy sessions.

April is a great month to discuss all things Spring with your students. For many, this month is a time to say goodbye to winter weather and welcome rain, sun, and warmer weather. There are countless books, crafts, games, and activities for Spring. I summarize some of my ideas on Spring speech therapy to help you plan sessions for younger and older students. 

 

There can be so much to talk about in spring, so I’d recommend breaking it apart based on mini-themes like weather, animals, clothing and activities. Choose one mini-theme for whatever length of time you so choose! I’ll expand on some themes in this post.

Insects, Bees & Pollination Themes

April speech therapy is a fun time to talk about creepy crawly creatures as we start to see them more and more! There are so many fun books and sensory bin ideas for this theme! Make a ladybug sensory bin or follow this honeybee lesson plan. By the end of April, I always use my absolute favorite book, The  Very Hungry Caterpillar. Don’t forget about spiders, ants, and more when thinking about insects in your speech room!

Insect theme ideas for your speech therapy caseload.

Garden Themed Activities

Get ideas for your Aprils themes to use with your preschool and kindergarten speech therapy caseload.

Talking about creepy crawly bugs will get you and your students thinking about mud, dirt, growing plans and gardens! This is another fun theme that could even allow for some hands on learning! Learn about the Plant Life Cyle and make a flower garden sensory bin. Learn about flowers and plant life cycles using videos from Mystery Doug  or an article from Wonderopolis

Themed Therapy SLP Membership

The Themed Therapy SLP membership is for SLPs who love using themes for their speech therapy caseload but struggle to find the time and energy to plan their 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 April speech therapy themes are chores, spring, and insects. An annual membership gives you access to 36 themes, including transportation, camping, ocean animals, sports, to name a few!

Around the House Themes

Besides outside of the house, there are plenty of “indoors” themes you can talk about in April. Celebrate pets on National Pet Day (April 11th) with pet themed speech therapy. Use a chores theme to celebrate “Spring Cleaning.” (This is one of my Aril pre-made plans in the membership!) April 1st starts “National Baking Week” with a baking or bread theme! 

Fun April speech therapy themes you can plan for your caseload.

Animal Themes Perfect for The Month of April

Get ideas for your April preschool and kindergarten lesson plans.

Last but certainly not least, Spring speech therapy calls for even more animals. Regardless of doing an Easter theme, you can talk about rabbits and carrots with your students. You can also talk about baby farm animals. Use this free chicken push-in lesson plan to start! Don’t forget about pond life. This is another great opportunity to tie in some science lessons from Peekaboo Kidz to learn about the frog’s life cycle. Plus we have a frog unit in the Themed Therapy SLP membership too.

Ideas for April Themes for Older Students

Planning relevant and motivating themes for older students can feel challenging. Find new ways to expand and/or share their background knowledge on Spring, animals, and more. You can also talk about a new topic with your students such as Autism Acceptance Month or a poetry theme. There are a lot of year-round themes perfect for older students that doesn’t matter what month you plan the lesson!

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!

April themes for preschool and older speech therapy students.
What is Theme Smashing? – How to Plan Speech Therapy Themes by Month

What is Theme Smashing? – How to Plan Speech Therapy Themes by Month

When we plan themed therapy lessons for our speech therapy caseloads we want them to help students make progress on their goals. In this episode of the Real Talk SLP podcast, we are going to be talking about how to play speech therapy themes by month and learning how you can theme smash two themes together! I will be sharing what theme smashing is, how to do it, and ways to think through the themes you are choosing throughout the year. 

Why It’s Important To Use a Theme for 2-4 Weeks

Get a free themed monthly calendar for planning your speech therapy lessons and learn what theme smashing is!

Before we chat about what theme smashing is, I encourage you to use a theme for longer than a week. At the beginning of this podcast episode, I share two of the benefits of planning only one or two speech therapy themes in a month. 

Free Themed Speech Therapy Planner

Trying to pick a theme for your speech therapy caseload can be overwhelming. When you have lots of paperwork and caseload management tasks, picking a theme can be the last thing on your list. That’s why I created a giant list of 100 seasonal and nonseasonal themes you can use to get inspiration for speech therapy lesson planning. Use the free speech therapy themes by month calendar to get organized with what to plan!

We discussed having templates for speech therapy reports is so helpful with saving time! Oftentimes, SLPs create a library of templates for assessment batteries and different portions of the report, which can take TONS of time to do. Or, we pull up a previous report and use that as a template, which leaves room for errors with having the wrong name, dates, or pronouns in the report.

What is Theme Smashing?

Get a free themed speech therapy planner and learn about theme smashing!

Theme smashing is when you work on two themes at the same time and infuse them into your themed unit.

You can bring in concepts from your last theme into the new theme to increase opportunities with background knowledge, vocabulary, and concepts from that theme.

Here are some examples of theme smashing options:

During this episode I break down how you can plan out these themed unit back to back to provide more opportunities with concepts from the previous theme. In the March and April months of the Themed Therapy SLP membership, we have options for baking, weather, insects, spring, community helpers and chores making theme smashing easier!

Links to Resources and Blog Posts Mentioned About Themed Speech Therapy

If you are just getting started with planning themed therapy or have been doing it for a while now, but need fresh ideas, take my free Themed Therapy SLP quiz! It will send you LOTS of blog posts and ideas for whatever stage you are in currently.

Here are some resources mentioned in the podcast episode:

If you have any questions about planning by themes or need ideas, feel free to reach out on social media @thedabblingspeechie

Learn tips for how to plan speech therapy themes by month and get a free SLP planner.

What is Theme Smashing? - How to Plan Speech Therapy Themes by Month Ep 111

by The Dabbling Speechie

10+ Engaging March Speech Therapy Themes With Free SLP Planner

10+ Engaging March Speech Therapy Themes With Free SLP Planner

While many will watch March Madness on TV this month, our therapy rooms may also start to feel like madness. Between IEP meetings, evaluations, treatment sessions, and more, the mayhem never ends. As always, themed therapy is here to help relieve some of this stress. I’ve rounded up all the March speech therapy themes for you! In the blog post, I share themes relevant to the time of the year and national holidays.

This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

One Thing to Remember with Theme-Based Therapy

Get ideas for March speech therapy activities you can use with your preschool and elementary caseload.

As SLPs with high caseloads, remember that you DON’T have to use a theme for only one week. Planning can be time-consuming 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. 

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 March speech therapy themes include fairytales, weather and frogs. An annual membership gives you access to 36 themes, including penguins, baking, space, and arctic animals, to name a few!

Get themed therapy activities for frogs, weather and fairytales for speech therapy

SLP Themed 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 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 jog your memory when you pull out your March speech therapy activities the following year. 

March Speech Therapy Themes on National Holidays

Get 10+ March themes for your speech therapy caseload!

March is full of national holidays- some super popular and others that are new to me! Here are some ideas:

  • March 14th: National Pi Day- Talk about math and pies with your students. 
  • March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day speech therapy is always so much fun!  You can always try a green theme, too!
  • March 19th: The first day of Spring– A new season always brings new vocabulary and topics to address with students. 
  • March is National Women’s History Month- Use books or articles from Wonderopolis or Readworks to learn about famous women. 
  • March is also National Reading Month- Use March speech therapy books to celebrate this!

 

Weather Themes To Do In the Month of March

With a new season comes new weather patterns to learn about with our students. As I mentioned before, this is one of the themes included in the Themed Therapy Membership. Here are some weather-based speech therapy themes:

Get ideas for planning a weather theme in the month of March for your speech therapy caseload.

Animal Speech Therapy Themes for March

Get 10+ March themes for speech therapy activities
  • Frogs: Talk about the life cycle of frogs, complete a frog craft and use 5 Green & Speckled Frogs with your little ones. This is also one of my March speech therapy themes included in the membership!
  • Bear theme: For those living in cooler places, bears emerge from hibernation in March. 
  • Zoo: The zoo speech therapy is always fun and filled with endless ideas with books, crafts, songs, games and play. 

 

More March Themes for Speech Therapy Lesson Planning

There are so many meaningful and fun national holidays that would make for great themes to plan in March! Here are some other alternative themes you can plan if you don’t want to rock St. Patrick’s day or rainbows all month.

  • Use a sensory bin during your sessions. I wrote about rainbow and St. Patrick’s Day sensory bins in my  March Sensory Bin Ideas post. 
  • Basketball: Use articles from Wonderopolis to learn about the inventor of basketball and March Madness. Grab a door basketball hoop and play with your students or play trash can basketball.  
  • Fairytales: The Themed Therapy SLP Membership includes this as a March speech therapy theme. There are books and ideas for all ages with this theme such as The Three Little Pigs, Princess and the Pea, and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
  • Nutrition: Use play food and learn about balanced meals. Talk about sizes, colors, and more about food. The ultimate theme smash would be using Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to talk about food and weather.
  • Fitness/Movement: Get moving with Fabio’s Meatball Run or other action-packed videos.  
  • Sound Science: Use this free lesson plan to help prep you for your session or whole class lessons.
  • Here are 10 themes for older students that you can use any time of the year.
Get 10+ March themes to use with your preschool and elementary speech therapy caseload.

What theme-based units do you plan in March?

Get ideas for planning themed speech therapy units for the month of March!

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!

Engaging Penguin Lesson Plan for Co-Teaching Speech Therapy

Engaging Penguin Lesson Plan for Co-Teaching Speech Therapy

If you work with preschool and early elementary, planning a penguin lesson plan for your speech therapy sessions is a must for the winter months. Usually, teachers are doing a penguin preschool theme in the winter season. Planning a penguin preschool whole-class lesson for co-teaching in your self-contained classroom can be a great way to reinforce the vocabulary and skills that the classroom is doing. You can also use these penguin activities for your small groups.

Books for Your Penguin Lesson Plan

An engaging penguin lesson plan for your speech therapy push-in sessions.

Typically, when you plan a co-teaching lesson, you want to pick materials that will be part of your core teaching content. Using a penguin-themed book on the carpet is a great way to plan the foundation of your push-in lesson. As you read the book on the carpet, pair it with shared book-reading strategies and iconic gestures. Not only are you providing effective strategies for building vocabulary and other language skills, but you are also modeling for the staff in the classroom. Here are some penguin book suggestions for the preschool and kindergarten ages:

 

Themed Therapy SLP Membership Makes Planning Lessons Easier

When planning themed therapy activities for your Prek-5th grade caseload, overwhelm immediately sets in as you try to find engaging materials to use with your students.

You either become burnt out trying to prepare lessons or feel lost with how to cover all the speech and language goals.

To make themed therapy planning easier, join the Themed Therapy SLP membership. We take lesson planning off your plate so you can enjoy doing therapy. Check out the January and February months with a penguin, arctic animals, space, community helpers, friendship, and baking themes for your preschool and elementary caseload.

Penguin Lesson Plan Movement Activities for the Carpet Time

After you read the book with the class, use the teacher’s SMARTboard to do an interactive song or movement break. The kids can stay on the carpet before transitioning to table station activities. Here are some fun penguin songs:

We have Google Slide presentations in the Themed Therapy SLP membership, and the penguin push-in language lesson plans also have Google Slides with links to penguin songs, videos, and activities to do on the SMARTboard. 

Another quick activity you can do after reading the penguin book is to use a penguin printable or plush penguin to work on basic concepts with the kids on the carpet. Some other fun movement activities could be verb charades doing penguin verb actions such as waddle, dive, eat, slide, etc.

Get ideas for penguins preschool speech therapy push-in lesson

Station Activities for the Penguins Preschool Theme

Get penguin speech therapy activities for your push-in lesson plans

When co-teaching, you want to utilize all the adults in the room to maximize small-group instruction.

If you have instructional aides, you can break students into three groups and have one to two teachers as floater teachers.

Otherwise, you can do one tabletop activity and have students at tables with similar goals, students who get along or based on levels of scaffolding.

Penguin Speech Therapy Station Activities for The Push-In Lesson

Use a sensory bin using the penguin-themed verb and vocabulary flashcards from the Themed Therapy SLP membership for your first penguin station. You can work on conversational recasting verbs, describing vocabulary by attributes, increasing MLU, answering wh-questions, and more. another penguin sensory bin option is to make icebergs and use penguin figurines to work on various articulation and language goals.

Easy penguin push-in lesson plan for busy SLPs

Station #2 Penguin Activity to Work on Basic Concepts

Plan a preschool language activity with penguins to work on basic concepts

Use a plush penguin to work on basic concepts with a plastic egg and styrofoam. You can cover basic concept pairs on/off, near/far, together/apart, in front/behind, and between/next to. With the penguin props, you can also work on “where” questions for the egg and penguin. What other goals could you cover with these props?

Station #3 Story Retell With the Penguin Book

With your penguin book, have your students work on story retell and comprehension. If you need visuals and extension activities for penguin books, the Themed Therapy SLP membership provides book cheat sheets, story maps, and companion activities. Use the pictures in the book to review the story elements, vocabulary and answering wh-questions.

Plan an engaging push-in lesson using Tacky the Penguin book

Additional Penguin Activities for Preschool & Elementary

Get penguin speech therapy activities that you can use for push-in

 When planning new push-in lesson plans, continue using the penguin theme for at least another week or a month. You can continue to plan engaging penguin-themed activities by switching out activities. Follow this similar framework each week, but instead of doing the story retell station, do a penguin craft or play the game Don’t Break the Ice. Keep some elements from your previous lesson to create consistency, but add in one new activity to make it feel novel. Or, the following week, don’t do three stations, but have every table do one activity.

 

Use these penguin speech therapy ideas to give you more inspiration for what to plan. As always, if you ever need ideas, reach out on social media @thedabblingspeechie or email me at fe*********@th*****************.com

December Speech Therapy Themes for Preschool & Elementary

December Speech Therapy Themes for Preschool & Elementary

 

When planning by themes for your preschool and elementary speech therapy caseload, it’s great to consider themes relevant to the month or season. So, I am sharing a GIANT list of December speech therapy themes you can use to plan for younger and older students. And, if you still need to narrow down a theme for December, I have four tips for how to choose a theme. 

One Thing to Remember with Theme-Based Therapy

Get ideas for December speech therapy themes you can plan for your preschool and elementary caseload.

As SLPs with high caseloads, remember that you DON’T have to use a theme for only one week. Planning can be time-consuming 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 Themed 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 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 jog your memory when you pull out the December speech therapy activities the following year. And, if you want to think ahead for January, there are LOTS of options for themes during that month.

December Speech Therapy Themes Around Holidays

Find ideas for December speech therapy ideas to use with your preschool and elementary caseload.

Plan units around holidays celebrated this time of year. If everyone on your caseload celebrates Christmas, plan activities around celebrating that holiday. Teaching Christmas around the world and how different cultures celebrate the holiday is a fun way to explore traditions from different places. You can also do a Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or learn about holidays worldwide

 

December Speech Therapy Themes Around Food

Many people have parties or give treats to friends and family during the holiday season. Here are some December speech therapy themes that are festive but not specifically celebrating Christmas:

 

  • The Gingerbread Man theme
  • Baking Cookies – for younger students, read a cookie-themed book and pretend to play with a cookie toy set. For older speech therapy students, learn how to make cookies or explore the history of cookie baking.
  • Candy canes – you can do science experiments, make crafts, or learn how candy canes are made.
  • December 7th is National Cotton Candy Day which could be a fun theme to plan or do a Candy theme.
  • Hot Chocolate theme for December 13th, National Cocca Day.
Get ideas for Christmas speech therapy ideas including non-holiday themes!

Alternatives to a Christmas Speech Therapy Theme

Learn about December preschool themes you can plan for your speech and language groups.

If you can’t use holiday-related themes, you can do some workarounds. For example, planning a Christmas tree theme would work great if you can do a Christmas theme. You can learn the history of the Christmas tree, pair it with books about Christmas trees, and plan extension activities with the trees. An alternative would be to do winter trees. Learn about trees in winter, incorporate winter tree crafts, or read a winter tree poem

 

Another alternative theme is gift giving or gift wrapping. Even if children don’t give gifts on Christmas or Hanukkah, they still give gifts for birthdays. Do the sequencing for wrapping gifts, teach perspective taking with giving a gift, or work on describing and inference skills for guessing what is in the gift box.

Join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership

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 December speech therapy themes are dinosaurs, winter, and snowmen. An annual membership gives you access to 36 themes, including penguins, baking, space, and arctic animals, to name a few!

Themes Based on National Holidays

So many meaningful and fun national holidays would make for great themes to plan in December!

Here are some December speech therapy themes for national days:

 

  • December 8th is National Brownie Day
  • December 11th is National Stretching Day – learn about why stretching is important, follow directions while stretching, or read an article about stretching.
  • December 12th is Gingerbread House Day
  • December 15th is National Tea Day – do a pretend play tea party
  • Day 20 and 23 for Winter Solstice

What theme-based units do you plan in December?

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!

Apple Speech Therapy Toys and Props

Apple Speech Therapy Toys and Props

You can do an apple speech therapy theme any time of the year, but it’s enjoyable to do it during the fall months when apples are harvested. If you love an apple theme and want some ideas for toys and props to use in your play-based speech therapy sessions, this is the post for you! I have rounded up all my favorite apple-themed props that you can use to increase engagement while targeting speech and language goals.

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post. When you purchase something with one of my affiliate links, I receive a small commission at no additional cost. 

Apple Props for Sorting Activities

Learn how to use these apple speech therapy props to cover speech and language goals.

Many of our students with language disorders have areas of need with vocabulary development. Often, our students need help with categorization, understanding wh-questions, and having depth of knowledge with vocabulary meanings. You can work on sorting with an apple theme by making DIY apple baskets using lunch-sized paper bags. I cut mine down and then added apple sorting printables to use in therapy for co-teaching and small groups. Another option is to use baskets that you may have around your house or empty cardboard boxes.

 

To follow an accurate theme-based approach, you would want to have sorting baskets to have concepts related to apples. For example, students could sort big and little apples, or category group items for fruits, containers, and foods with apples. You can do a skills-based approach with the fun apple props, too. Just know that a theme-based approach teaches speech and language skills using a context for the students to attach meaning to the new concepts and vocabulary. 

Free Apple-Themed Speech Therapy Lesson Plans

If you work with preschool and early elementary speech therapy students use this free Apple-themed speech therapy lesson plan. It has a free apple cooking visual recipe and visual supports for an easy apple paper plate craft. Plus, Live Love Speech and I added links to games, toys, and other materials that would fit an apple theme perfectly. 

Get your free apple-themed speech therapy lesson plan with a craft and cooking lesson.

Props for Sensory Bins & Hands-On Activities

Learn about how to make this apple speech therapy sensory bin to cover your student's goals!

Worksheets are very effective in practicing speech and language goals, but sometimes it can be boring for you and the students! You can use apple speech therapy props to work on LOTS of goals. For sensory bins, you can use Dixie cups or toilet paper rolls to make apple trees. Students can put the fallen apples back on the tree to work on basic concepts. Talk about quantities, make the trees different lengths to work on long/short, or use with your pretend play activities like going to an apple orchard.

Apple Surprise Party Boxes for Mini Trinkets & Mini Pictures

Raise your hand if you love the surprise party box toy sets from Learning Resources? You can have a similar toy prop using these plastic apple boxes. I have filled them with the Themed Therapy SLP verb and vocabulary flashcards (print four to a page) and mini trinkets. You can see a LOT of different versions on Amazon. Here are a few ways you can use them:

 

  • Answer wh-questions & describing about the items inside
  • Open/close and in/out
  • AAC CORE words for open, look, want, more, out, in
  • Preposition apple tree picking hunt – hide the apples around the room
  • Put in a basket and have kids see how many words they have to practice based on the number inside the apple

 

How would you use this prop in therapy? Share in the comments. 

Props for Apples & Tips for How to Use

Learn about these apple preschool activities and ways to make it hands-on!

If you have flashcards for articulation, phonology, or language, put plastic apples on top of the card. When they have “picked” all the apples, they can earn a game or start a new activity. Michael’s has a whole section of fake apples about 1.5-2 inches in size. 

 

For all my preschool SLPs working on colors and size, Learning Resources has a set of apples that are yellow, green, and red and also big and small. 

 

You can’t go wrong with using red and green pom pom balls to act as an apple-picking game. Roll a die or spin a spinner to see how many apples you picked. Students can put the pom poms on the open-ended game mats from the Themed Therapy SLP membership to see who picks the most apples.

 

Another variation with the pom pom balls is using them to feed the animals while reinforcing any goal. 

What apple-themed toys and props do you use in speech therapy?

Do you have a favorite apple toy, game or prop that you use in therapy? I would love to know what it is and how you use to it plan engaging sessions. Share in the comments or tag me on social media @thedabblingspeechie with a pic of it in action. 

Check out these apple-themed speech therapy ideas for preschool and early elementary.
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