Will you be walking the plank this week in your speech sessions? SLPs out there that love themed therapy, let me just tell that pirates are a BIG hit with the kids. Our younger students love the idea of pirates and all the silly lingo that pirates say. If you need ideas for Pirate speech therapy activities, this blog post has all the inspiration to help you plan engaging speech and language lessons!
Pirate Speech Therapy Activities Using Crafts
When I do push-in speech therapy lessons in my Special Day Classroom for K-2, I try to incorporate as many hands on learning activities as possible. The kids find the lessons more fun, they can take the craft home to spark conversations with parents, and it allows an opportunity for naturalistic conversations or pretend play!
Crafts can be a lot to prep, so to make things easier, find easy to prep crafts such as this pirate paper bag craft. I typically do a 20-30 minute carpet circle time lesson including a pirate book, anchor chart or movement activity. Then, the students break up into three stations. I run a station, and the teachers/instructional aids run stations. We do those for about 10 minutes each and then rotate the students to the next station. Because I didn’t run the paper bag craft station, I didn’t get to see the kids puppets. At the end of the stations, over half the class initiated conversation with me because they wanted ME to see their pirate puppet. It was amazing to hearing all the spontaneous conversation. Some students even requested to take them out at recess to play with them.
Who Stole The Treasure Activity?
I found some plastic gold coins at the Dollar Spot during the St. Patrick’s holiday. After I read a pirate book, we play the “Who Stole The Treasure?” activity. It works on object permanence, being able to have impulse control to NOT reveal if they stole the treasure, ask/answer questions with peers, and using the body language necessary for talking with peers. You can also give students the treasure and work on answering simple wh-questions. Who has the treasure? Who has the gold coins? If you have more pirate props, you can give every student an item and work on “who” questions.
Have all the students close their eyes. Explain that if the student gets a treasure chest or gold coin, that they have to keep it a secret. When all the items are hidden, pick a student or students to ask his/her peers if they have the item? Continue this activity until all the treasure is found. The printables and lesson plan are part of my Pirate Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guide.
Make Your Own Treasure Sensory Bin In Speech Therapy
To make a Treasure Sensory bin, you need a filler, fake gold coins and items to hide in the bin. I liked using kinetic sand that I got at Lakeshore Learning, but there are some good deals on amazon for kinetic sand (affiliate)
I got my container from Lakeshore, but you can use any bin. I actually prefer bins that have clasps (amazon affiliate) on the lid in case you drop the bin in transit. I hid dinkydoodad trinkets that I found on etsy in the bin. Then, students got to go hunt for treasure.
Ways To Use The Treasure Hunt Sensory Bin
Once, students went hunting for treasure, we discussed the items they found by category group, noun function, parts, etc. You can go on a categories treasure hunt using my FREE printable that you can access on this blog post.
Another way that I used this bin was to work on the verbs “bury” and “hide”. After the kids went on the treasure hunt, they got to bury the treasure so that other pirates couldn’t find their loot. Your students can work on building grammatically correct sentences and answering “who” questions. “I buried _______.” And then I asked peers, “who buried the shoe?”
Pirate Books For Speech Therapy
A quick search on pinterest will help you select a pirate themed book for therapy. YouTube also has pirate read aloud books in the event that you don’t have pirate books in your own therapy materials library. Here are a few of my favorite books that I like to use:
The Pirate Who Couldn’t Say Arrr by Angie Neal M.S. CCC-SLP is a great book written by a speech pathologist! It is a great book for teaching /r/ and uses a lot of pirate vocabulary.
YouTube Videos To Use With A Pirate Theme
This pirate YouTube video is good for following directions and a great reinforcer or movement break.
Pirate Party Preschool Song is great for getting some movement, learning pirate vocabulary & doing verb actions.
The Go Noodle crew has a Pirate Prep video that is fun for a movement break and to keep the kids engaged in the lesson.
This video can be used to work on the /ar/ sound in therapy!
What Pirate Speech Therapy Activities Do You Plan?
What pirate speech therapy activities do you plan? Did you know that September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate Day? This is the best time to plan pirate activities. But, honestly, you can do pirates any old time you want to in speech. I think this theme is highly motivating for our younger students. I would love to know what middle school and high school SLPs do for pirates week! Share in the comments your ideas for older students.
Most SLPs know that May is Better Speech & Hearing Month. This is the month when SLPs can draw awareness to the field of speech pathology. By the time May rolls around, SLPs are tired. It is hard to come up with inspiring SLP ideas for BSHM. I totally get it….. Which is why I’m on a mission to demystify our role during this important time of the year and offer up some SLP ideas for BSHM.
What I Won’t Be Doing This Year For BSHM
I am going to be honest with you all. IEP craziness has drained much of my creativity for BSHM. This year, I won’t be doing bulletin boards, cute souvenirs in the lunch room for teachers about vocal hygiene, or facts about communication disorders. I won’t be doing a presentation to staff about statistics or ways they can increase language in the classroom. If you do want to tackle these things, I applaud you! Here are a few ideas that I have done over the years (some are super easy).
If you are in my boat, don’t worry — I have a fun and EASY idea for how you can help demystify the job of the SLP during BSHM. For all you fabulous SLPs feeling creative and excited to do something this month, here are some blog posts and resources that I have found to help you spread the word about speech and hearing!
SLP Ideas for BSHM Round Up
I did this blog post a few years about with ways to Celebrate Better Speech & Hearing Month at your schools! On the blog post, there are ways to celebrate SLPs, sport some of your favorite SLP themed t-shirts and an idea for a bulletin board and/or craft!
SLP Thank You Poster from Speech Room News is a great way to say thank you to the SLP working with your child, your CF supervisor or an SLP that has helped you get through the year.
Host an SLP trivia event at your next staff meeting or set it up for people to do this in the staff lounge. This is a FREE trivia game from Teach Speech 365.
The lunch room is the best place to bring awareness about what SLPs do! Print these free SLP poems from Creative Speech Lab and put them in $1 store picture frames. Place them on the lunch tables for teachers and staff to read while they are eating lunch.
Better Hearing and Speech Month FREEBIE: Speech & Language Teacher Handout By Speech Language Pirates is perfect for giving to teachers and families to explain an SLPs role in speech and language development.
Candy speaks to every teacher’s heart! Use this FREE SLP facts sheet from Let’s Talk Speech Therapy and add a chewy candy treat.
Teachers talk all day (so do SLPs lol). It is great to draw awareness about voice disorder and vocal hygiene to teachers. Print these free vocal hygiene cards and place them in the teachers boxes from A Tempo Voice Center.
What better way to demystify the job of the SLP than putting your staff up to a little weekly challenge? Of course, you’ll likely have to entice them with some Starbuck’s gift cards, candy, or snacks for the winners. Each week, I am going to email my staff a little challenge to help the staff understand a little bit more about my job.
So often, teachers and educators assume we must be just playing games or perusing Pinterest when we aren’t seeing students. If they only knew that we bill medicaid, plan lessons for 55 + students (some of which have 4+ goals), collaborate with over 30 teachers (think about how many teachers are at your sites), assess students, set up the IEP meetings, run the IEP meetings, do research for best practices, take data, write progress reports and the list goes on. I totally know that we should not compare job roles and teachers have their work cut out for them. This is not what this activity is about. However, it is to:
Foster a better understanding and valuing the SLPs skills. Second, SLPs can start building community on campus around their job role.
Let people know that we are kicking some booty when it comes to AAC, social pragmatics, phonology, articulation, fluency, language, speech intelligibility, and bilingual language development. It is time for SLPs to start sharing about the skill set they have around the speaking and listening standards on common core.
If your staff doesn’t do too hot on the challenges, this is your cue for “I better start teaching my staff about my job.”
As for me, I am going to go big with the Starbuck’s $5 giftcard for the winner because I want good participation. We all know that coffee makes people move!
Here are some ideas for email challenges each week:
-First person to email what SLP stands for will with a $5 starbucks card
-First person to visit me in my speech nook will win a $5 Starbuck’s card. (For those of you lovely SLPs that are in some ridiculous spaces like bathrooms, band rooms, etc. this will be a chance for them to see your working environment. That way when you advocate for a new room, they might just chime in to help ya get something better!
-Guess how many IEPs I attended this year (closest guess wins a $5 giftcard)
-Name at least three disorders that I treat in my therapy program (This is a test to see if your staff knows you treat more than articulation and fluency.)
-Share three ways you can use a game to teach language skills (Once you get all the submissions, you can be a rockstar SLP and share all the ways you adapt your favorite game in therapy. Throw in some common core standards to really make an impression.)
-Guess how many students are on my caseload (closest guess wins a $5 giftcard).
-Write a message in IPA and the first staff member to tell you what it says wins a $5 giftcard.
What other funny challenges could you do to help your staff understand your role a little more on campus? I would love to know what you have up your sleeve! If you share, I will add them to the post.
Raise your hand if you’re an SLP who plans their lessons by theme! I plan themed lessons because it’s easier to align with the teacher’s curriculum and/or find resources to adapt for my whole caseload. One of my very favorite themed lesson ideas is to use bee activities for elementary speech therapy, especially during the spring.
If you love the idea of using bugs as a theme, these activities can be easily adapted for your upper elementary caseload. There are tons of bee activities for elementary speech therapy out there, but these are a few of my personal favorites. (Bonus: bee themed activities are a great opportunity for SLPs to educate students on the environmental importance of bees!)
Bee Activities For Elementary Speech Therapy
Elementary teachers often cover life cycles in their classrooms. SLPs can align their language lessons with these life cycles using bees. Here is a FREE bee life cycle activity that SLPs can use from TPT. Need more life cycle activities with bees? Pinterest and TPT are an absolute treasure trove for life cycle themed activities and crafts.
Elementary teachers also frequently cover insect units. This includes lessons on pollination, in which bees play a significant role. Mystery Science has some great science lessons on pollination (side note: this is one of my new favorite resources). They show videos and walk students through the step by step process for completing the science mystery. Students with language delays benefit from visuals, so this is extra amazing!
DIY Bee Activity Reinforcer Game
When I saw this DIY bee game that Jenn from Crazy Speech World shared about, I knew I had to make one for my bee activities lesson plan. I didn’t have time to paint my hive, but my egg crate still looks like a beehive. I adapted my beehive to have a “stuck in honey” section.
Here’s how it works. If the student bounces the “bee” into the egg crate, they get points according to where they land. When the bee lands in the “honey,” the student loses a turn (alternatively, you can deduct five points.)
This was super fun and I used it across all my elementary grade levels (TK -5th). Crazy Speech World offers even more fun ideas and resources for using bees in speech therapy that you can read all about HERE.
Bee Videos For Elementary Speech Therapy
The best place to look for bee activities for elementary speech therapy is on YouTube! You can find so many great non-fiction videos to teach vocabulary, main idea, compare/contrast, summarizing, and so much more.
Bee Resources & Activities For Elementary Speech Therapy
Scholastic has a whole lesson plan unit on bee activities for elementary students to use for English Language Arts.
Create a bee craft to work on describing the bee’s body parts! This is an amazing craft idea from The Classroom Creative.
Read Works also has free reading passages with “bees” as the focus of the non-fiction informative texts. This is perfect for mixed groups because you can target grammar, main idea, and listening comprehension, and you can work on articulation carryover for /s, z, r, th/.
Finding resources that can be used to target a lot of speech goals is super helpful for the busy SLP. Using Simon’s Cat videos in speech therapy can help with planning a mixed group lesson.
What Are Simon’s Cat Videos?
Simon’s Cat are a series of comic strip animated short videos that you can find on YouTube. The videos are primarily without words, and are in black and white. You can watch these videos on your iphone, ipad, laptop or computer to target so many different skills! If you are worried about ads and unwanted images popping up during your lesson, I recommend watching Simon’s Cat videos with safetube. Safetube is free and allows parents and educators to watch videos without the ads. If you don’t have internet at your school site, there is now a Simon’s Cat comic book!! You can get it on amazon HERE. This is an amazon affiliate link.
Why I Love Simon’s Cat Videos For Speech Therapy
These videos are free. Less money to spend on Therapy materials.
There are a ton of videos. Seasonal themed and generic, so I can use them in speech therapy all year long.
Simon’s Cat videos can be adapted across a variety of ages. I have used them with 1st-8th grade. I am pretty sure they would be accepted among the high school ages too.
I like watching them. If I enjoy the resource, therapy always seems to be more exciting because I am excited to talk about the videos.
Simon’s Cat Videos can be used with mixed groups. Sometimes planning for each student in my mixed groups can be hard because I have to find separate activities and then manage the group to stay on task. By having one resource to cover everyone’s goals, on task behavior is higher.
The setting in the video is usually a Simon’s house and the characters are a man and a cat. I know that many of the videos my students have been exposed to the vocabulary, so I don’t have to spend a ton of time around scheme and background knowledge. Some of my students haven’t been certain places, so picking therapy materials that take that into consideration is helpful.
These videos are short! They are only 2-3 minutes in length, so you can get through them in a 30 minute session.
How To Simon’s Cat Videos In Speech Therapy
There are a lot of ways to use Simon’s Cat videos in speech therapy. I will either use the videos the entire session or we will do some work on individual goals for 15 minutes and then do a video as a group lesson for the next 10-15 minutes.
Articulation Speech Therapy Ideas
During the video, you can have the students write down or tell you words they saw or heard with their speech sound. After the video, they can say each word five times or use in a sentence. You can also write a cheat sheet of target words from the video.
The SLP can have the student answer comprehension questions from the video with their target speech sounds.
Summarize the video using the target words from the video with their best speech sounds.
Language Speech Therapy Ideas
Work on narrative comprehension and oral narration using these videos. Jot down some comprehension questions from the video prior to the students arriving to use to discuss the video. Have students work on story telling by adding on details to what would happen next if the video didn’t end. If you need some graphic organizers to help with this, grab this free set from KiwiSpeech HERE or Speech Time Fun’s summarizing graphic organizer HERE.
Teach and show vocabulary with these videos. The SLP can pick target vocabulary words to teach from the video. During the speech therapy session, target antonyms, synonyms, word associations, attributes and adjectives to describe items in the video.
Discuss the main idea of the video and work on making a new video title for the video.
Teach specific grammar concepts such as third person singular, pronouns, plurals, verb tense, and noun-verb agreement.
Social Skills Speech Therapy Ideas
What are they thinking about? Work on teaching that our eyes give people clues about what they are thinking about. Have your students identify what the character’s are thinking based on where their eyes are looking.
identifying emotions and non-verbal body language. Have your students explain how the characters are feeling and what clues they noticed such as eyes widening, smiling face, or body hunched over.
Perspective taking- work on students explaining what people could be feeling or thinking in the video.
Social inferences & predictions is a way for use to figure out what someone may do next, so we can figure out what to say or do in a social situation.
Conversation – have your students watch the video and then have them discuss what they liked/didn’t like about the video.
Thinking/Talking bubble – because these videos are wordless they are perfect for working on what people are thinking and what could be in their talking bubble. Make your own speech and thinking bubble on a dry erase board, or grab a dry erase think bubble from the dollar store or on amazon HERE. (amazon affiliate link provided).
Humor – these videos are very funny and are perfect to discuss why they are funny!
How would you use Simon’s Cat videos in speech therapy? I would love to hear your therapy ideas.
Working as a SPED team can be hard at times. One day, we’re feeling confident and proud in our jobs and the next, we feel inadequate. Some days, I feel like a giant failure. And there are days when I do fail. Over the years though, I have found that the best SPED teams are the ones comprised of educators who strive to connect, show respect, have empathy, and encourage each other to do better. Today, I wanted to share 10 Ted Talks For Your SPED Team that can help inspire and get your team more connected.
I know that I need inspiration to keep fighting the good fight to help my students become better communicators and learners. I have found that certain Ted Talks have helped me to keep going when I was down in the dumps. As a SPED team we have to have each others backs. Today, I wanted to share 10 Ted Talks For Your SPED team to watch to help build your partnership.
10 Ted Talks For Your SPED Team
1. The Power Of Vulnerability by Brene Brown is a great Ted Talk that shares about the power of vulnerability and having empathy for others. So often, we need this skill with our IEP team and with the families we work with during the year.
2. Everyday Leadership by Drew Dudley is a great reminder how we can be leaders every day just by being present and sharing our gifts with others. I know sometimes I can get down and turn to negativity. We forget that we can impact each other just by an encouraging word, a Starbuck’s coffee or listening to our teammates.
3. The Myth of Average by Todd Rose shares some very interesting views on education and how we should be engineering lessons for our students. It is a great reminder that we shouldn’t be teaching to the average student! I loved watching this one.
5. A Guerilla Gardener In South Central LA by Ron Finley – shares his story about how he made a food forest in front of his yard to help better his community. He inspired me with his story because Ron saw a problem, got tired and took action. So often, we want someone else to take care of the mess. When we step in with the small daily actions, we can see change.
8. How To Speak So That People Want To Listen by Julian Treasure shares some very good information about how to get people to listen to us. We want parents to follow our recommendations. SLPs want teachers to try strategies in the classrooms to help students with communication. SPED teachers want support from their administration and general education teachers.
9. What Kids Wish Their Teachers Knew by Kyle Schwartz talks about how we can better listen to our students. Our children with speech and language impairments may struggle with communicating their ideas. Sometimes we overlook them, get frustrated with their behaviors or discount that they have something share that is important. This reminded me that my students are complex little humans who can teach me how to better connect and serve them.
This year, I am trying to streamline some caseload management processes into a digital format. What I love about using Google Docs for speech referrals is that you can view and share information digitally. This means fewer piles of paper to organize, and that I can store the info digitally and then can print out the referral information if needed.
Why I love using google docs for speech referrals
There are some tasks for which I prefer to use pen and paper, but sing Google Docs for speech referrals is one tool I am very glad to have in my belt. Here are a few reasons why I love using Google Docs:
Once you’ve created your Google Doc with your speech referral process, you can email it to your entire staff with one quick click!
Sometimes my staff need a reminder about my process. Instead of writing out new emails with the same answers, I have been able to automate this process. I can just re-send the referral process to teachers.
I have fewer piles of paper. I can store information digitally and print referrals only when I need to (or not at all)!
I can access the information at no matter where I am. If I need to access the information to help me plan for the week, I always can.
Teachers can send me their referrals for students using Google Forms. They can easily check off sound errors and answer questions about their student’s communication.
I have a paper trail for when someone sent me a referral. I don’t have to worry about losing the referral form because it is all digitally stored.
How to access and use my Google Docs for speech referrals
One of the great features of google docs and forms is that you can share them with people! So, you can access the google docs and forms that I have already created.
This will show in view only, so you’ll need to save it to your drive first. To do this, go to File –> Make a Copy –> then save it to your drive! This will allow you to edit the file as you need for your own caseload.
If you hit request access, it will send me an email and I will not be able to respond to requests. If you follow the method above, you will get access and be able to edit for your own use.
Have you made any speech therapy Google Doc forms? I would love to add some digital forms and docs to my stash. It’s saved me so much time and helps me communicate effectively while completing all my necessary tasks.