Preschool Leaf Lesson Plan for Co-Teaching

Preschool Leaf Lesson Plan for Co-Teaching

Working with the Prek-2nd grade population can be hard to plan your co-teaching lessons because there are a LOT of goals to juggle. That’s why you can format your themed co-teaching sessions in a way that gets the adults in the room to participate. Check out this blog post for ideas on structuring your push-in or co-teaching lessons.

Today, I wanted to help you with a leaves preschool lesson plan that you can adapt for small groups and your whole class lessons.

Although the leaves lesson plan is for your preschool-aged students, you can also adapt the activities with K-2 grade, especially with your self-contained classrooms.

Books for Your Leaves Preschool Lesson Plan

Have a preschool leaf lesson plan for your small groups and whole class speech therapy sessions!

On the carpet, you will want to do a leaf-themed book. Here are some of my favorites (Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience):

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger (has repetitive text)
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
Leaves by David Ezra Stein
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro

As you read the leaf book, pair verbs with iconic gestures to help increase engagement. An iconic gesture is a movement that resembles the word.

Visual supports for language and story retelling goals are super handy in your sessions. I created this easy-to-prep story retell visuals resource for the old lady series. You have a printable or digital option! Check it out HERE.

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 October months with a fall, spider, and pumpkin theme for your elementary caseload. 

Movement Activities for the Carpet Time

Don't stress about planning a preschool leaf lesson plan for your speech therapy groups! This one is done for y ou.

If you co-teach in a classroom with a SMARTboard, you can do a leaf song. Here are a few fun songs:

Season Song for Kids by The Learning Station
The Leaves on the Trees by The Kiboomers
Why Do Leaves Change Color by Super Simple Songs
Autumn Leaves are Falling Down by The Kiboomers

Check out this video from Miss Nina for some movement ideas to use with the Autumn Leaves are Falling Down.

During carpet time, you can also play Simon Says fall-themed verb charades.

Station Activities for Your Leaves Preschool Lesson Plan

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.

Here are three leaf-themed language activities you can plan:

Make a leaf sensory bin and throw in your favorite mini trinkets for students to find under the leaves. You can add a mini rake to make it feel like you are raking leaves. I tend to put mini trinkets with my students’ speech sounds related to their language goals. You can read more about dinkydoodads on the blog HERE.

Another variation to this bin is putting fall-themed vocabulary words hidden in the leaves and going on an “I spy” hunt. The fall vocabulary printables are included in the fall-themed push-in language lesson plan guides.

At another station, students can make a falling leaves craft. It’s super easy to prep, and you can do it with any craft supplies you have on hand. You can do it with pieces of construction paper, tissue paper, or paint with Q-tip. If you love easy prep crafts, I have a blog post specifically with fall ideas!

Gather some leaves outside at your home or school and use them to make a leaf rub with crayons. You can also use the leaves to discuss attributes such as color, size, texture, shape, function, etc. With a ruler, you can talk about length, work on quantity of more, less, or equal, and explain why leaves fall off trees during the fall season. 

Want more themed co-teaching lesson plan ideas?

I often share co-teaching lesson plans on my Instagram @thedabblingspeechie

You can look at the highlight reel to find the most seasonal ones!
And if you need some more themed lesson plan ideas, here are a few that you can check out:

Apple Theme Preschool Co-Teaching Lesson Plan

All About Me – Likes and Dislikes

Sound Push-In Lesson Plan

Apple Sensory Bin Ideas for Early Elementary

Apple Sensory Bin Ideas for Early Elementary

During the fall season, a great theme to plan for your speech therapy caseload is an apple theme!

Your students can relate to apples because they are snacking on them, baking with them, and enjoying sweet drinks like apple cider!

Today, I will share all my best tips and ideas for making an apple sensory bin. Using a sensory bin after reading an apple-themed book can be a great way to keep your students engaged while also working on vocabulary from the theme.

Apple Sensory Bin Filler Ideas

Apple sensory bin ideas for your speech therapy caseload!

Here are some of my favorite apple sensory bin fillers (Amazon affiliate links):

Shredded red or green paper
Red or green pom poms
Dyed dry pasta red or green

Must-Have Apple Materials for Your Bin

One of my favorite finds is these plastic apples. You can add them to a sensory bin, set them up as a dramatic play apple stand, or hide them around your speech room. I love that I can use my apple-themed verb and vocabulary set from the Themed Therapy SLP membership by printing four to a page. Check out a demo on my Instagram.

Need some apples to throw in your bin? Use these fake apples from Michaels. They are just the right size to be thrown into a sensory bin!

To make an apple orchard, you need toilet paper rolls or dixie cups. You can see more on Instagram. Cut slits on both sides, print out some apple trees and slide the trees onto the toilet paper roll. You can then add those to your bins. If you need printables for apple trees, the ones in the picture are from the Themed Therapy SLP membership.

Get inspired with apple sensory bin ideas for speech therapy!

Apple-Themed Speech Therapy Activities for Prek-5th Grade

If you don’t want to stress about planning themed therapy, join the Themed Therapy SLP membership. It’s designed to take lesson planning off your plate so you can enjoy your speech therapy sessions. Join here!

How To Use These Apple Sensory Bins in Speech Therapy

Easy apple sensory bin ideas for speech therapy!

One of the BEST ways to use themed sensory bins is to pair them with a book. You can reinforce all the vocabulary or use the bin as a story retell prop kit. If you want to see an example of a story prop kit, check out the one I shared about Apple Trouble.

For the apple orchard sensory bin, you can drop the pom poms in the dixie cups or the toilet paper rolls. You can work on in/out, up/down, fall, pick, gather, eat, bite, etc.

Furthermore, you can turn it into a game where the student rolls the die and sees how many apples they can pick.

For the bins with the plastic apples, put mini trinkets with your student’s sounds, and work on inferencing by putting small picture cards inside and having students guess. Before putting the apples in a bin, have students find all the apples that fell from the tree. Put them around your room and give receptive language commands to reinforce spatial concepts.

When students select a plastic apple in the bin, you can target open/close, in/out, look, what, find, etc. Have your student work on placing the apples in and out of a basket and other basic concepts.

When using the apple sensory bin with the fake apples from Michael’s, put your favorite speech or language flashcards in the bin with paper clips attached! Then, your students can select the cards with a magnetic wand. Have your students put their flashcards on the table. Give your students clues for items; they can cover them up with a fake apple when they find them.

How Would You Use These Apple-Themed Sensory Bins in Your Sessions?

SLPs have the best tips and ideas for maximizing the use of material with students. Considering your speech therapy caseload, how would you use these bins to work on goals? Share in the comments to help give SLPs more ideas for re-purposing these themed bins.

Need more apple-themed ideas? Check out these blog posts:

Apple Co-Teaching Blog Post

Apple Activities for Middle School

Pirate Themed Toys for Play-Based Speech Therapy

Pirate Themed Toys for Play-Based Speech Therapy

If you love doing a pirate theme with your caseload, this blog post is about the best pirate-themed toys to use with play-based speech therapy.

Owning pirate props and toy sets can be just what you need to bring the pirate theme to life. You will find Amazon affiliate links in this blog post for your convenience. 

Pirate-Themed Games To Play With Mixed Groups

Use these pirate-themed toys to enhance your play-based speech therapy sessions

Pop Up Pirate is a fun game you can play with your mixed groups. Using this resource’s toy companion cheat sheet can help you adapt the game on the spot in your sessions.

Mystery Island Pirates is a board game where your students will be racing to get their ship to the island! You can use the game to work on handling unexpected situations, like when you land on an island with enemies and have to go back spaces.

Don’t Rock the Boat Skill and Action Game is an excellent game choice if you have a lot of goals on your caseload around social communication and vocabulary. You can use this game for turn-taking, commenting, and problem-solving. Or, you can demonstrate tier II vocabulary for balance and overboard. Because this game has penguins, you can theme smash penguins and pirates! 

Treasure Props and Dramatic Play Sets

When you have themed props with your pirate unit, you can ditch the worksheets and bring vocabulary and concepts to life.

You can use this Pirate pretend play set to work on basic concepts, acting out pirate scenes, work on noun functions, and wh-questions.

Learning Resources has a set of treasure chests that you can use to target the following goals:

Basic Concepts: open/close, quantity, colors
Verbs: look, find, hunt, lock
Tier II vocabulary: reveal, discover, treasure

Need themed therapy pirate materials for your Prek-5th Caseload?

Do you love using themes with your Prek-5th grade caseload but don’t have time to find all the needed materials? Come join the Themed Therapy SLP membership (there are monthly and annual options). You won’t have to stress about planning themed units because all the work has been done for you. The membership gives you access to 2-3 monthly themed materials, including word lists, Google Slides, No Print resources, visual supports for crafts, book cheat sheets, and printables. Check out how to become an SLP Themester HERE

Pirate-Themed Toy Sets

If you need some pirate-themed toy recommendations for your play-based speech therapy this blog post has lots of great ideas to add to your stash!

Your students will dig this kinetic sand pirate set because it is like a treasure chest sensory bin! It comes with gold sand and some jewels. Make sure you grab a tray to control the overflow of kinetic sand. If you want to add in extra gems, here is a set. You can add mini trinkets that are sound loaded for motivating practice fun! Read this blog post for more information about how to use mini items. The Themed Therapy SLP membership has a pirate unit for Prek-5th grade and has a toy companion cheat sheet for this toy! Sign up HERE.

iPlay, iLearn pirate toy set is a bit pricey, but it is a comprehensive toy set that you could use all year. You have many options for targeting speech and language goals. 

What Pirate-Themed Toy Will You Use With Your Caseload?

If you love doing a pirate theme, what toys or props do you love to use in your play-based speech therapy sessions? Share any fun pirate-theme toys or materials you have found to be a success for your therapy sessions in the comments. For more pirate-themed speech therapy ideas, check out this blog post

Plan your pirate-themed unit with hands-on therapy props and toys! Your next speech therapy session will be filled with engagement using these themed toys.
3 Tips for Choosing Themed Therapy Materials

3 Tips for Choosing Themed Therapy Materials

Are you a newby to the themed therapy approach? Maybe you are a seasoned them ester SLP? Either way, it can be tricky to pick the right themed therapy materials for your caseload. If you always find yourself spending tons of planning time looking for the right materials, then you have come to the right place! Keep reading below for 3 tips that will help you choose the right themed therapy materials for your students.

Need help with how to choose themed therapy materials for your speech therapy caseload? Check out this blog post that gives three tips for knowing if a themed therapy activity is right for your students!

Join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership

If you love using a themed therapy approach with your students and want to cut your planning time, join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership today! Each month you will have access to a variety of themed materials for your elementary students. Gain access to materials you can use for the whole month. With membership access you can reduce your planning time and focus more of your energy on making meaningful connections with your students.

Don’t forget to join the FREE 5-Day Themed Therapy materials Organization Challenge that will be running July 18-22nd.

Need help with how to choose themed therapy materials for your speech therapy caseload? Check out this blog post that gives three tips for knowing if a themed therapy activity is right for your students!

Tip #1: Make sure your materials match your theme

While you are selecting the stimulus items for your lesson, you want to make sure that the stimulus items, as well as the materials and toys, match your theme. Using cute, themed graphics with various (maybe slightly random) stimulus targets is a skill-based therapy approach. This is totally fine! However, if you want to implement a themed-based approach, the vocabulary you select also needs to be theme-related.

For example, if you have a variety of functional vocabulary words on cute tent graphics, you may not be using a themed-therapy approach. When the vocabulary on those tent graphics is camp, campground, tent, fire, bug spray you are now using a themed-therapy approach. Your vocabulary, stimulus items, toys, and props should all connect to the theme. Check out my instagram for more examples!

Tip #2: Select themed therapy materials you can adapt across your caseload

Selecting versatile materials that are easy to adapt across ages and goals is a key tip for a themed therapy approach. Ask yourself can the themed materials be used with any books related to the theme? Could you use them with early and upper elementary students? When you can adapt the material to cover a lot of goals, it means less time planning lesson activities. Check out this camping blog post for examples of how you can use this theme to cover a variety of ages and goals.

Tip #3: Some themed therapy materials are worth purchasing

How do you know a material is worth the purchase? Before purchasing try asking yourself these questions:

  • Can the material be re-used for many sessions?
  • Will it increase your students’ engagement?
  • Can you use the materials for the whole month?
  • Can the material be stored and used again the following year?

Whether it is a no prep worksheet or something that requires some cutting and assembling, it is worth the purchase if you answer yes to any of those questions.

While you are getting your materials together, you might need some organizational tips! Here is a blog post for digital speech material storage and ideas for printable storage.

Need help with how to choose themed therapy materials for your speech therapy caseload? Check out this blog post that gives three tips for knowing if a themed therapy activity is right for your students!

The Themed Therapy SLP Membership membership is designed to align with a themed-based approach. It is here to take lesson planning off their plate so that they can focus on enjoying therapy.

Ice Cream Preschool Activities for Speech Therapy

Ice Cream Preschool Activities for Speech Therapy

Eating ice cream on a hot summer day is something that many of your students experience on break!

That’s why it is a great theme to plan during the summer months.

Whether you need quick low prep digital activities or ideas for hands-on speech therapy ideas, this blog post will share engaging ice cream preschool activities for your speech therapy sessions!

Hands-On Ice Cream Preschool Activities

Struggling to come up with ice cream preschool activities that will engage your students in speech therapy sessions? Check out this blog post with different therapy ideas to use with an ice cream theme.

Your speech therapy lessons will always be more engaging if you find ways to make them hands-on. Use ice cream playdough mats for an easy-to-prep activity covering many speech and language goals. The mats pictured are from the ice cream push-in lesson plan guides. Here are some ideas for using the playdough mats:

-Following directions
-Commenting, requesting, and describing by attributes
-Reinforcer for any goal, or they can earn playdough or decoration after practicing their sounds
-Demonstrate basic concepts for the middle, bottom, on top, on, off
-Sequencing the steps for making an ice cream cone

Create an ice cream sensory bin using this kinetic sand set from Lakeshore Learning, or add white cotton balls, cups, ice cream scoop, colorful mini pom balls, or cut-up rainbow straws.

Easy to adapt ice cream preschool activities for speech therapy!

Ice Cream Themed Unit for Prek-5th Grade

Using a theme-based approach for your entire elementary caseload can help you plan more efficiently with therapy. But, it can become time-consuming hunting down enough activities to cover preschool through 5th grade. Because I don’t want time to be why you don’t use themes to serve your students, I created a Themed Therapy SLP membership to help take themed therapy planning off your plate. When you sign up for the membership, you get access to three monthly themes that have everything you need to cover goals on your caseload. See the pictures below for some of the ice cream-themed activities you can use for July. Doors re-open for the membership on July 22nd. Get on the waitlist HERE.

Have an Ice Cream Party in Speech Therapy

Struggling to come up with ice cream preschool activities that will engage your students in speech therapy sessions? Check out this blog post with different therapy ideas to use with an ice cream theme.

You can plan a real ice cream party with your students, which can be great for wh-questions and social pragmatic language. As a whole class lesson, you can map out all the details and then work on speech and language goals during the ice cream party in the next session.

If you don’t have the money to do a real ice cream party, use a pretend play set and invite your student’s favorite stuffies and characters to an ice cream party. Or, you can take a trip to the ice cream shop. I love the set from Melissa and Doug, but there are many playsets on Amazon (Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.)

Need more ideas for how to use an ice cream play set? Check out this blog post.

Digital Ice Cream Preschool Activities

Whether in person or teletherapy, digital apps and tools can help increase engagement and keep therapy low prep for you!

ABCya and the My Ice Cream Maker app are great for teaching sequencing for making an ice cream cone. You can also work on the following skills:

-Following directions
-Describing by color, size, texture
-Making an ice cream cone for someone else to work on perspective taking and conversation
-Answering wh-questions
-Use sound-loaded words or phrases to work on speech sounds in a naturalistic activity

Sago Mini has a fun fair app that features an ice cream cart to make your own flavors.

Get some ideas for digital ice cream preschool activities you can use in your mixed groups for speech therapy.

If you are looking for language Boom Cards that focus on various skills, check out these ice cream sequencing Boom Cards. Some of the activities may be more advanced for the preschool level. Still, the three and four-step sequencing activities work on basic temporal concepts (i.e., first, next, then), and there is also an emphasis on targeting verbs and vocabulary related to ice cream.

Based on research sharing that focusing on a broad set of language skills leads to better reading comprehension, you can approach language therapy to target various skills in one digital activity.

Needing More Summer Speech Therapy Ideas for Preschool?

Ice cream isn’t the only summer theme that works well for preschool-aged students! There are lots of other play themes you can use. To read more about that, check out this blog post

Research articles:

Lervåg, A. , Hulme, C. and Melby‐Lervåg, M. (2017). Unpicking the developmental relationship between oral language skills and reading comprehension: It’s simple, but complex. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/cdev.12861

Hadley, E. B., Dickinson, D. K., Hirsch-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2018). Building semantic networks: The impact of a vocabulary intervention on preschoolers’ depth of word knowledge. Reading Research Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.225

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