As school-based SLP’s, we’re going to be working with so many different grade levels throughout the day. Especially if you’re like me and you love to push-in to multiple classrooms throughout your day or week. The more grade levels you see, the more time you’re going to be putting into planning. It’s simply the nature of school SLP-ing. However, taking a single theme and modifying it across grade levels has been a life saver when it comes to my planning time. Here are some ways you can take a single theme and use it for multiple grade levels!
Adapting Your Themed Speech Therapy
First things first, you will need to select your theme. Once you’ve selected your theme, planning for each of your grade levels will be easy. I like to start off with a story that goes along with the theme I’ve chosen. Beginning with a story helps students build background knowledge and get exposure to the thematic vocabulary. Epic! or ReadWorks are great for finding grade specific stories and books. If I have a story in mind, but can’t find the books, YouTube read-alouds are always a great go-to.
YouTube videos that go along with your theme are also fun and engaging for your student. Starting off with a song using my theme with my younger elementary students is always a fun way to start our session. For older elementary students, I try to show a video with more narration and vocabulary.
Hands-On Activities for Themed Speech Therapy
Any theme you’ve picked can be incorporated into a variety of hands-on activities that can be adapted for the grade levels you work with. For my PK-1st grade students, I use a coloring/drawing worksheet, a simple craft or a themed sensory bin. For my 2nd-3rd grade students, I start incorporating a sequencing/story-retell activity or a vocabulary and comprehension activity based on the story or video I used. With the 4th-5th grade students, I select “higher level” activities. This may be creating word webs with our thematic vocabulary or making a list of the figurative language we find in the story we read together.
Themed Speech Therapy in Action
Here is a quick look at what my therapy plans will include using a “Back-to-School” theme with my students:
- PK – 1st Grade: Lola Goes to School
- 2nd – 3rd Grade: If You Take a Mouse to School
- 4th – 5th Grade: The Day You Begin
Movement Based Activity:
- PK – 1st Grade: School bus craft with a sentence strip targeting verb use or incorporating core words
- 2nd – 3rd Grade: Target the story grammar elements in the story selected; have students draw the events of the story and retell the story
- 4th – 5th Grade: Create semantic webs using words and pictures with tier 2 vocabulary words in the story; encourage students to write sentences using the target words
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Themes to Use for Speech Therapy Activities
BONUS THEME IDEAS:
- Road trip
- The Gingerbread Man
- Hot Chocolate
- Cookies – all the tips for how to use this pretend play toy in therapy!
- Dental Health
- Eggs – here is a fun language activity for this theme
- Penguins (the cutest winter animal)
Not sure what theme to use? Here is a list of my favorite themes for speech therapy activities:
- Back to school
- Seasons – spring, summer, fall, winter
- Community helpers
- Squirrels (check out these fun squirrel ideas)
- Around the house
- Farm (lots of ideas in this post) and digital therapy ideas HERE.
- Flowers and Garden
- Camping – the BEST summer theme ideas HERE!
- Ice Cream
- Super Heroes
- Monsters (click here for some teletherapy monster activities)
Access Free Themed Speech Therapy Lessons
Don’t forget to download your free Themed Therapy Guide. This guide has what you need to get started planning your themed speech therapy sessions. Simply click the image above for this free resource!
What are your favorite themed activities to use in speech therapy? Let me know in the comments below!