Best Ocean Books for Your Elementary Caseload

Best Ocean Books for Your Elementary Caseload

One of the most efficient ways to plan your themed therapy units is to find books that will cover different ages and skills.

Today, I wanted to share some of the BEST ocean books for your speech therapy elementary caseload. Planning extension activities is easier when you have a handful of themed books to pull from for treatment.

Plus, using books in therapy is a low prep material that works well for mixed groups.

Tips for Choosing Themed Books for Speech Therapy

It’s hard to give you ocean books that will perfectly fit your caseload’s needs because we all have different ages and needs for our students.

Typically, when choosing books, I consider how versatile the book is to adapt for different goals and ages and if I can use the book to cover therapy for two to four weeks.

When I search for themed books, I either aim to find stories that fit the ages I serve or cover skills I need to target. For example, if I have students working on wh-questions, CORE words, and needing predictive text, I may select Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck.

If you need some tips for effective shared book reading techniques to use when reading the story in therapy, check out this post

Amazon affiliate links will be provided throughout this blog post. I receive a small commission at no additional charge for you when you use the link to purchase items.

Ocean Books for Prek-1st Grade Levels

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae would be a great ocean book to use in speech therapy if you want to teach the category of ocean animals. Each page has information about the different animals and targets vocabulary and verbs related to each creature. There is fun rhyming prose with the text; however, there is a lot of text on each page. You can read chunks of the book across several sessions. Because there is a lot of text, there are many opportunities for finding words with your student’s speech sounds.

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck provides a repetitive text that allows many opportunities to see and hear vocabulary words or target specific CORE words. This book greets each sea animal and says goodbye, which can provide practice with language for greetings.

Need Cheat Sheets for Your Ocean Books To Reference in Speech Therapy Sessions?

If you are running mixed groups and struggle with remembering what targets you can use for your group’s different goals, check out the themed book cheat sheets from the Themed Therapy SLP membership. Not only do you get book cheat sheets for each themed unit, but you also get various digital and printable materials to use as extension activities. Doors re-open July 22nd for the membership, so get on the waitlist HERE.

Ocean Books for 2nd-3rd Grade Levels

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson is a book choice for students working on story narrative elements.

This book also uses rhyming prose, which is excellent for working on phonological awareness skills.

In the story, the snail wants to go sail at sea and hitches a ride with the whale. Each page shares where the whale and the snail go, so the pictures highlight different things in the ocean.

Some skills you can target with this book are homophones, s-blends, word opposites (i.e., night/day, emotions), and basic concepts.

Dory Story by Jerry Pallotta is another book that works well for story narrative goals. It’s a tale about a boy who takes a dory into the ocean to explore. As the young boy rows out to sea, he sees different animals eating food, such as blue fish eating mackerels.

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!

This book highlights ocean animals’ food chain and addresses why the boy’s grandfather says not to go out in the dory alone.

Ocean-Themed Books for Older Students

For older students, you can use these two books focusing on non-fiction text. Shark Lady by Jess Keating is the ultimate theme smash because it covers types of sharks, a woman scientist’s work, and the theme of finding beauty in something that others may find scary.

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs by Kate Messner is about the works of environmental scientist Ken Nedimyer. This book teaches about the ocean and provides a theme of small acts individuals can do to help preserve the coral reef. Sea urchins

With rich vocabulary embedded in the book, you can target a lot of tier II vocabulary, comprehension, and discussions that spark personal connections to the reader.

What Ocean Books Do You Use in Speech Therapy?

What types of ocean-themed books do you recommend for SLPs serving Prek-5th grade? Share in the comments your recommendation and how you use that book in therapy. If you need more summer-themed book ideas, check out this blog post.

Want extension activities to use with your ocean-themed books? Check out these blog posts and resources to help you plan engaging therapy:

Ocean Sensory Bin

Ocean-Themed Crafts

Ocean Language Activities for K-2

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!
Make an Ocean Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

Make an Ocean Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

When it starts to heat up outside, that’s a great time to pull out your summer sensory bins! Sensory bins pair well with books and can cover LOTS of goals, making for a great mixed group activity.

Today, after reading this blog post, you will be able to create your ocean sensory bin for your speech therapy sessions. You can make the sensory bin as grand or simple as you want!

Ocean Sensory Bin Fillers and Materials You Need

Use this ocean sensory bin for your mixed groups to cover a variety of speech and language goals.

You want to layer the container with filler items (textures) and materials as you build your ocean sensory bin. Here is a list of potential things you can add to your ocean sensory bin (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):

 

If you want to see how I set up an ocean sensory bin, you can check out it on Instagram. When using printables that you want to stand up, you need something sturdy like blue kinetic sand or something that has weight like blue dyed rice. 

How to Set Up Your Sensory Bin

How to setup your ocean sensory bin for speech therapy so you can cover your mixed groups with ease!

To set up your ocean sensory bin, you either want the bin to be all ocean water or a combination of shore and sea.

In the picture, I used kinetic sand for the shore and blue playdough for the ocean. I cut out green cardstock to use as seaweed and put ocean figurines throughout the bin.

You can add mini trinkets and discuss what you found on the beach shore or in the ocean. Using mini charms is a great way to work on speech sounds during the session. Or, you can play, does it belong at sea to work on yes/no questions and create sill sentences.

When planning out your sensory bin, pick the filler you want and select your materials. The most accessible sensory bin is just adding blue pom balls or cut-up blue straws and ocean animal figurines!

Where to Find Ocean Animal Printables

There are sensory bin printables in the ocean push-in language lesson plan guides if you need ocean animal printables. In May, the themed therapy SLP membership has an ocean animal unit, and there are printables and a cheat sheet for using the sensory bin. Get on the waitlist to become a Themed Therapy SLP Member in July 2022

Ways to Use the Ocean Sensory Bin for Language Skills

This ocean sensory bin can be used to target a variety of language goals. You can use the scuba divers to work on “who, what, where” questions. For example, you can ask, “What is the diver holding?” or “Who is he swimming by?”

Target basic concepts for through, under, over, around, near, far, up, down, in, out, etc.

You can work on describing the ocean animals by attributes and act out different prepositions and verbs with the ocean animals.

Use the ocean animals to retell or talk about what happened in the ocean-themed book you are using in therapy. Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck or Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae are two great books with early elementary.

Use this ocean sensory bin to cover your speech therapy goals and keep your students engaged during the session.

Need Ocean and Summer Language Activities for Your K-2 Students?

If you are working ESY speech services or just have to work all summer, why not have engaging summer-themed language activities done for you? When you don’t have to worry about lesson planning, you can focus on your student’s progress and leave work feeling stress-free! Click the pictures below to check out all the activities and grab them for summer therapy!

Speech Sound Ideas to Use with the Ocean Sensory Bin

Use this ocean sensory bin to cover your speech therapy goals and keep your students engaged during the session.

When targeting speech sounds with the sensory bin, use a cheat sheet of sound-loaded carrier phrases or words during the hands-on lesson.

For example, you can work on “catch the _____” for /k/ and /ch/ or “lookout, the ____ ran into the seaweed.” for targeting /r/, /l/, /k/ and /s/.

Here are some examples of words to use for a variety of sounds:

/f/ – fish, find, fast, fun, full,
/k/ – catch, knock,
/s-blends/ – swish, swim, splash, small, spray, spout
/l/ – look, low, whale, eel, sail,
/sh/ – shrimp, shallow, show, ship, ocean, swoosh, push

What ideas do you have for this sensory bin?

How would you target goals using this ocean sensory bin? Share in the comments your tips! Remember when making your ocean sensory bin, use what you already have on hand! You don’t need to make it expensive to have an effective sensory bin. For more sensory bin ideas, check my page with all the goods about sensory bins! If you are on the hunt for some ocean-themed crafts, this blog post shares tips for how to use them as therapy props!

Easy Summer Crafts For Speech Therapy

Easy Summer Crafts For Speech Therapy

You either love or hate crafts as an SLP. While I am not a fan of messy crafts that involve glitter and expensive craft supplies, I am down to do crafts that help my students stay engaged. And, if you can use the craft as a functional therapy tool, it’s a go for me! Try these easy summer crafts for your speech therapy sessions when you need to find engaging activities that pair well with a summer-themed book.

The summer crafts in this blog post require minimal supplies that you can afford or hopefully find in your school supply room.

Craft Supplies You Need for Summer Crafts

Here are the things you will need (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):

 

Some of the crafts featured in this blog post are from the summer crafts for the speech therapy set.

Beach-Themed Crafts for Speech Therapy

If you are doing a beach theme, make a kid buried in the sand craft! You will have one craft template and can print targets for your speech or language goals. Every student does one craft in your therapy sessions but has targets for practicing their goals.

Easy planning for you and keeps students engaged! And they can take it home for home practice.

Ocean-Animal Crafts for Speech Therapy

There are LOTS of fun low prep ocean animal crafts that you can pair with your favorite books. This craft is fun because you can glue targets on the inside of the craft and then use it to work on basic concepts and with your pretend play activities. For more ocean-themed craft ideas and books to pair with them, check out this blog post

Easy summer crafts to use in your speech therapy sessions to cover goals and ideas for how to use as therapy props!

Summer Crafts That Pair Well With The Summer Season

Easy summer speech therapy crafts that will keep your students engaged in the session!

Making a sun with a paper plate or just with construction paper is perfect for summer because it’s hot outside! You can have students glue or write words on the sun rays or on the back of the paper plate.  If you are working on summer weather concepts, you can write activities you can do when it is hot outside. Or, write down things that are hot and cold!

For more ideas for how to use this sun craft, check out the REEL on Instagram.

You can also make a lemonade craft or easy tissue paper or paint crafts for a summer 4th of July BBQ. Check out the pictures below. The lemonade craft is part of the summer crafts for speech therapy resources. And, the watermelon and fireworks low prep crafts are from the summer push-in lesson plan guides

S’mores Craft For Speech Therapy

LOTS of kids are eating s’mores over the summer whether they are camping or having backyard firepit hangouts. This is an easy craft to do and pairs well with a camping theme! Need this template? It’s part of the summer craft set

Books to Pair With These Summer Crafts for Speech Therapy

Beach Day by Karen Roosa has fantastic pictures! After reading this book, I had my students create a beach theme, and then they got to sprinkle natural sand on their craft with Elmer’s glue. You can read about it HERE!!

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen is a great little story about camping. You can read about some of my camping-themed therapy ideas that I did last year.

When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore is a fabulous beach-themed book! You could create a sandcastle or dragon craft with this book!

Alex and The Amazing Lemonade Stand by Liz & Jay Scott look like a fun read! I just ordered it. It would go perfectly with my Ice Cold Lemonade Craftivity.

Easy summer crafts for speech therapy that you can use with mixed groups and your favorite summer books!

What Summer Crafts Do You Love to Use With Your Summer Themed Activities?

What crafts do you love to use for the summer season? If you have one that is easy to prep and engages your students, share it in the comments! As always, tag me on social media @thedabblingspeechie if you use one of these crafts so I can see what you are up to in your speech therapy room. 

3 Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy

3 Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy

When you plan a themed therapy unit, one of the best ways to keep the engagement up in your speech therapy session is by pairing a themed book with an extension activity.

An extension activity reinforces or reviews concepts from the theme or book that you just read. So, that can include sensory bins, an informational YouTube video, a game, a writing assignment, task cards, or a craft!

Themed crafts can be an easy way to plan your mixed groups or whole class lessons. Today, I will be sharing three ocean crafts you can use in speech therapy. 

Craft Supplies You Will Need 

Have simple ocean crafts for speech therapy that you can use for whole class instruction or mixed groups!

For these ocean crafts, you need basic supplies, which means it is nice on your wallet! You may find some or all of these things in your school supply room. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.

  • Glue
  • Streamers (Dollar Tree)
  • Paper plates (Dollar Tree)
  • Cardstock
  • Acrylic paint, water color paint, or dot markers
  • Plastic eyes (optional, you can draw in with a marker or cut out with black construction paper)
  • Markers

Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy That Work on Goals

When it comes to crafts, you want to consider the prep time needed to make the craft. If it isn’t too complex and targets many goals, then the craft is worth the prep.

To make this “Who is hiding in the seaweed?” you print off the template in the ocean language lesson plan guides. Then, print the verb and vocabulary seaweed strips on dark green and light green colored cardstock or white cardstock.

Students can paint their ocean animals with dot markers or watercolors. Then, your students can glue the seaweed pieces to hide their ocean animals. During the craft, you are working on the concepts on/off, colors, turn-taking (only have one glue per table so students can share), and “who” questions. Students can practice the verbs or vocabulary on the seaweed before gluing it on.

You can put it on a bulletin board or send it home for additional practice.

Have simple ocean crafts for speech therapy that you can use for whole class instruction or mixed groups!

Books That Will Pair Well With This Ocean Craft

Have easy to prep ocean crafts for speech therapy to use in your whole class lessons or small groups.

This craft pairs well with the following books:

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck 

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

Crab Craft To Use in Speech Therapy

This crab craft has a lot of possibilities to be used as a therapy tool after your students create it!

It would help if you had a paper plate, red paint, and construction paper. Print out your ocean images or pictures of your student’s speech words. Have ocean-themed vocabulary words to glue on the inside of the crab included in the ocean language activities unit. Or, you can use the Any Craft Companion to print out speech or language targets.

Your students will paint the plate red and cut out crab legs with red construction paper. Glue the speech or language targets on the inside of the craft. Once the paint is dry, students can use the crab to catch things with their mouth. So, pull out your flashcards and have your students feed the crab the cards after practicing. Or, your students can follow directions with their crabs!

Watch the Crab Craft Tutorial on YouTube

Books the Would Pair Well with the Crab Craft

There are several crab-themed books you can use with this craft. Here is a list of them:

You’re a Crab!: A Moody Day Book by Jenny Whitehead

The Brave Little Crab by Beth Costanza

The Happy Snappy Crab by Tiger Tales

If you want to have visual supports with this craft to use on the SMARTboard or laptop, you can get access to Visual Themed Crafts in the Themed Therapy SLP membership re-opening summer 2022. You can get on the waitlist HERE so you don’t miss any details. 

 

Jellyfish Ocean Craft for Speech Therapy

With this jellyfish craft, you can work on basic concepts and follow directions after you make it!

The blue streamers can help your students understand the verbs “sway’ and “float” while moving the jellyfish craft up, down, high, low, right, left, and around.

Cut a paper plate in half and either paint or glue blue construction paper to the plate. Then, cut out blue streamers to be the jellyfish’s tentacles.

Students can write their speech or language words on the back or use the Any Craft Companion to glue them on the craft.

Books to Pair with This Jellyfish Craft

You can use Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae because it features a jellyfish in the book. If you are looking for some books specifically with jellyfish in the storyline, check out these:

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

I am Not a Fish! by Peter Raymundo

Jellyfish (A Day in the Life: Sea Animals) by Louise Spilsbury

If you are looking for more craft ideas to use in your speech therapy sessions, check out these easy paper plate craft ideas!

3 Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

3 Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

Remember when we were all learning how to use Facebook for the first time (then learning it again when it changed! Oh the confusion!). If you are a new themester SLP, it’s possible you’re feeling just as overwhelmed learning a new style of therapy with your caseload. What’s great about themed therapy is you can easily take a single theme and use it across a lot of different ages and goals. This will help you streamline your planning and take the overwhelming out of planning. 

 

If you’re feeling like choosing a theme is like a buffet, there are so many choices that it makes it hard to pick just one, then this blog post will definitely help you narrow down choices.

What to Do When You are Lacking Inspiration for Your Next Theme

If you are struggling with what theme to do next, check out this blog post where I share 30 of my TOP fave themes for therapy. Plus, you can grab a FREE themed therapy idea guide for easy planning. It comes with an editable themed therapy planner to help you keep notes on what you did in therapy. Check it out HERE

Three Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

 If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

The first thing you will want to think about is picking a theme that is going to be interesting for your younger and your older students. When you pick a theme that’s interesting for multiple age groups, you will cut down on a ton of your planning time. When you use this strategy, you only have to pick one theme you want to do with your upper and lower elementary students.

For example, a camping theme and a plant life cycle theme will be relevant and interesting for your younger and older students. Check out how to adapt these themes here and here.

Tip #2 Use One Themed Therapy Activity to Target Many Goals

It can be easy to tell yourself that you need a different activity to specifically target each of your student’s goals. This is the #1 to increase your planning time. The beauty of themed therapy activities is you can pick one themed activity that is open-ended enough to target a ton of goals.

To do this, you prep one activity that can be adapted for the different skills you want to target depending on the students you are working with. With less individual activity prep, you can plan engaging lessons efficiently. Check out this penguin sensory bin or this windsock craft for example of how you prep one material or activity for a wide range of goals.

 If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

#3 Tip: Re-Use Materials Week After Week

If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

Reuse, reuse, reuse! Don’t be afraid to use the same materials week after week. Switching up the materials slightly will make them feel novel to your student and will be very easy prep work for you. For example, when using themed vocabulary or verb cards such as the ones in the seasonal grammar and vocabulary sets, you can use magnetic wands to make it different.

In one session, you put different amounts of magnetic chips under the cards and the student who gets the most chips at the end wins. In the following session, add themed game cards (hint: check out the blog post for the free printables) to the task cards. Lay them out on the table and have students select. If they get a popsicle, for example, they get to keep it. But, if there is a sun behind their card, they lose a popsicle. Whoever has the most at the end wins.

How do you adapt materials so that you can reuse them? Share your best therapy tips in the comments.

Ready to Start Experiencing the Benefits of Themed Therapy?

If you are spending a painful amount of time planning for your caseload at school, after school, and at home, then I have great news for you! A Themed Therapy Planning How-To Course for the Busy SLP is now available until March 17th. You can earn clinical maintenance hours for your ASHA and state license while also becoming a rockstar at efficiently planning themed therapy for your Prek-5th grade caseload. Want to learn more about joining? Check out all the details HERE

 

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