It’s late Summer and you turn on the Discovery Channel. What do you find? Dun dun… dun dun… SHARK WEEK! Each summer, Shark Week mesmerizes everyone with wild stories and footage. What If we take shark week from Discovery Channel and make it into Shark Week Speech Therapy? You can use this theme as a lesson plan for upper elementary students and adapt it for small groups and co-teaching (push-in or whole class lessons). To read more about push-in setup, check out this blog post. At first glance, it may seem like this is a one-week kind of theme, but I’ve put together a few of my favorite ideas that will help you plan shark activities for at least 2 weeks.
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Get Your FREE Themed SLP Planner
Want to keep track of your lesson plans for future years? Use the free editable themed therapy lesson planner and idea guide to help you plan out your themes for the school year. It’s a free download on this blog post.
With a themed speech therapy calendar that is editable and over 100 seasonal and nonseasonal themed ideas, you will have your monthly themes planned out for the school year!
Shark Week Book for Speech Therapy
“Shark Lady” by Jess Keating is the perfect book for shark week speech therapy. Buy it on Amazon or watch it a YouTube read aloud by Story Time with Ms. Jay. Get Epic also has an animated Shark Lady book. Use EdPuzzle to listen, too.
- Review any Tier 2 vocabulary words with your students. Some tier 2 words I found were fearless, doubt, eager, myth, and devise.
- Ask your students a big thinking question such as “Have you ever seen an animal that you thought was beautiful but other people thought was scary or ugly?”
- Stop every couple of pages to ask a think-aloud question.
- Point to pictures in the book that represent some of the vocabulary words.
- Talk about character traits. How would they describe Eugenie as the story goes on?
- This EdPuzzle has questions built in with picture choice answers.
- Complete this Quizziz about the story.
- Discuss how the word “fearless” relates to this book. How is Eugenie Clark fearless?
- Create a timeline about Eugenie Clark. What other questions do they have about her?
- Do a word search like this one from Wordmint.
Want a cheat sheet for “Shark Lady”? I have a full lesson plan cheat sheet for this book as part of May’s “Ocean Animals” theme in the SLP Themed Therapy membership.
Shark Week Videos
Videos are the start to some great shark activities that you can use in small group or whole class instruction.
SciShow on YouTube has great options with Super Sharks or How Sharks Find Food with Electricity. After watching the video, ask comprehension questions. What questions do your students have about sharks?
If you’re using this as a push-in lesson, here are some ideas:
- Break your students into groups and assign staff members to different groups.
- Provide whiteboards and dry erase markers for each group.
- Pause the video after a key point is shared and ask the class a question.
- Allow each group to write an answer on their white board, and then share it with the class.
- When the video is finished, you can have the students write out the main idea, supporting details and a summary sentence about the video.
- Don’t forget to float between groups and ask questions or help keep students engaged.
- Close your session with: What is one cool thing you learned about sharks?
Some other fun videos to watch are LIVE shark cams!ith these shark themed speech therapy activities. Here are a few I found:
Tips for Using the Shark Videos in Speech Therapy
While watching the live feeds, talk about what the sharks are doing. How many do they see? How are they similar and different? What other fish do they see? Research sharks with your students.
You can also use these as some conversation starters—Have your students been to an aquarium? What did they think of it? Did they see sharks? How do they feel when they think or see sharks?
More Shark Speech Therapy Activities to Extend the Themed Lesson Plan
Like I said earlier, there is plenty of opportunity to extend Shark Week into multiple weeks with even more shark week ideas. After you’ve read “Shark Lady” and/or watched some Shark Videos, check out some of these shark activities.
Mystery Doug has some fun videos with some questions your students might have about sharks. Doug answers
Before you watch, ask your students what they think the answer is. After you watch, ask students if their predictions were right. Don’t forget to ask your students what questions they have about sharks!
Brain breaks are always fun with students, especially in whole class instruction! Coach Corey Martin has a great movement break for you to complete. This is a great tool to break up your push-in lessons.
Last but not least, don’t forget about Shark STEM. Learn about shark buoyancy with this YouTube video from the Houston Public Library. You’ll need a plastic bottle, sharpie, 1 balloon, vegetable oil, funnel and a large tub filled with water. While completing this, pause the video and ask your students what they think will happen. After, they can draw a picture of the activity, and verbally explain what happened and why it happened.
Looking for More Shark Week Ideas
Shark Week(s) is a great speech therapy theme for students of all ages. If you’re an SLP serving Prek-5th, Speech Sprouts has some great shark activities for the preschool speech therapy population. What shark activities you are using in therapy?