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More Speech and Language Activities for Dr. Seuss/March/Read Across America

photoSorry it is probably too late to use most of these but I wanted to add some additional activities that go along with Dr. Seuss books.  These can be done with both small and large groups. Some could be done in individual therapy as well.

Green Eggs and Ham - This is a good extension of the book that helps children expand and use complete sentences. Place 2 piles of category cards on the table. One pile for colors and one pile for food.  Have the students take turns picking a card from each pile. Have them name each color and each food. Ask the child “Would you eat (color) (food)?” For example – “Would you eat purple corn on the cob?” or “Would you eat a blue banana?”  Have the child answer in a complete sentence: “Yes, I would eat a blue banana.” or “No, I would not eat a blue banana.” For more advanced children, you can have 3 piles, the third containing locations. So the child has to say if they would or would not eat the food in the location they picked.  For example, “I would not eat a blue banana on a chair.”  After they play the game once with you, the children can take turns asking each other, “Would you eat _____.”

Wacky Wednesday – Teachers might be reading this book but children with language issues may not know what wacky means or they may have trouble explaining why the scenes are wacky.  Explain that “wacky” means silly. Tell the children that you have pictures of thing that are wacky like in the book “Wacky Wednesday.”  This is a good time to use all those “What’s Silly” picture cards. Have the children take turns picking on picture and practice saying why it is silly. Have the child show the picture card to the group and ask if there is anything else that is silly in the picture.

Cat in the Hat - Talk about different kinds of hats. Bring in a lot of different hats or have picture of them. Talk about different times you wear hats and have the children volunteer times they where hats. Talk about jobs that require hats. Have each child pick two hats – have them say one thing that is the same and one thing that is different about the two hats. Sort that hats with the children. Make piles for hats for warm weather, hats for cold weather, hat for jobs, hats for costumes, silly hats, men’s hats, lady’s hats, children’s hats, etc.  Play a blending words game with all “-at” words like the ones pictured above.  Finally, to leave or to get up to play, have the children tell you a word that rhymes with “hat.”

St. Patrick’s Day Activities Updated!

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You can go to the post here and find even more speech and language therapy activities for St. Patrick’s Day.  Have fun!

Fox in Sox Activity for Dr. Seuss Birthday

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This is a rhyming activity and class book you can make based on Fox in Socks.  It can be done with a large group and have each child make one page or with a small group and have each child made 2-3 pages.

You will need pictures of animals and pictures of clothing.  Talk about the book and fox wearing clothing on the cover. Show children pictures of the animals. Can they think of a piece of clothing that rhymes with each one?   If children are not that advanced, put the pictures of the animals on one side of the table and pictures of clothing on the other. Name each picture as you lay it out. Have the children take turns picking up an animal and the clothing that rhymes with it.   Have each child say the full sentence. “An ape is wearing a cape.” etc.

Here are the animals and clothing I used:

goat – coat

dove – glove

fly – tie

cat – hat

fox – socks

kitten – mitten

ape – cape

pig – wig

ants – pants

llamas – pajamas

Next make a class book using the pictures.  Have each child pick which animal they want. Have the pages pre-made so the children can simply glue on the pictures and color them in.  Or if your groups are more advanced, they could draw and write their own pages. Then read the whole book to the class or group. Make sure during this activity the children have plenty of opportunities to produce the rhyming pairs.

Check my previous entries. I have other Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Activities including a class book called “Nool in Our School” based on There’s a Wocket in my Pocket and a rhyming match game for One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Language activities for Hide and Snake

IMG_9342I would like to do more posts where I share children’s books that are particularly good for speech and language therapy and some activities to go along with them. I think this book works best for small groups so everyone has several chances to practice saying where they see the snake.

Hide and Snake by Keith Baker is one of those books. In the book a snake is camouflaged in many pictures throughout the book. In each picture his head, tail, and body are visible somewhere on the page.

  • I like to read the story through once so the children can get a feel for the rhyming words. Then during the second read we look for the snake on each page. This is a good book for practicing using full sentences and describing without pointing.  Challenge the children to use their words to describe where they see the snake rather than just pointing and saying “there.”
  • Have the children take turns finding the head, tail, and body and using a full sentence with a preposition. For example, “I see the head under the mitten.” “I see the body wrapped around the green hat.” For many children you will need to provide support to help them expand their sentences.
  • You can have the children practice asking each other “Do you see the snake?” or “Where is the snake” to have them practice asking questions or using correct syntax for questions.
  • You can also practice present progressive constructions by having the children answer “He is hiding____” or irregular past tense verb “He hid _____.”
  • For abstract thinking, talk about how the snake might have gotten into these places and what he might do there. Talk about how the children might feel if they saw a snake in these places.  Discuss other animals and places where they can hid.
  • Share a story about a time you looked for something you could not find and talk about how you found it. Have the children share stories about a time they could not find something.
  • After you are finished the read throughs. Hide paper or toy snakes around the room.  You can make some like the ones pictured above or you can by plastic ones at most dollar stores.  You can have this done beforehand and have the children take turns getting up to find a snake. Have them come back and say where they found the snake using all full sentence with a preposition and the location.  For example, “I found the snake under the pencil holder.”  You can also have the children take turns hiding snakes for one another.

Shadow Activities for Groundhog Day

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  • This works best with a small group. The children take turns being each others’ shadows.  Tell the children that your shadow does what you do. Demonstrate this with a light, going outside, or standing near a window that lets in light to make a shadow. Do some actions and have the children do some actions. Tell them each time, “If I (action), my shadow (action). Tell them now they are going to be each others’ shadows.  Put the children into pairs and have them stand face to face. One child is the actor first and the other child is his shadow. Tell the shadows to do what their friend does. Each child picks 2-3 actions to do and the shadow should do it along with their partner. Remind the shadows they should be doing exactly what their partner is doing. Then have the children tell you what they did using full sentences and cohesion words.  For example, “First we jumped, then we waved our arms, and last we put our arms out.” Then have the children switch and the child who did the actions gets to be the shadow.
  • This works for any size group.  The examples are pictured above.  Find large line drawings and cut them around their outline. They should be somewhat definable from the outline. Then trace their outline using black paper to make their shadows. Fold several pieces of construction paper in half. Glue the shadow on the front and the object on the inside. Show the children the picture of the shadow and have them take turns guessing what it could be the shadow of.  For each child’s guess, talk about why it might be or might not be that object depending on the shape.  When each child has had a turn to guess, reveal what the object is. Talk about how they knew. For example, “The carrot’s shadow had a point at the bottom” or “The ice cream cone had round parts at the top.”

Crazy Sock Day or Silly Sock Day Activities

sock daySome schools or classrooms do a collective Crazy or Silly Sock Day.  Here are some sock day activities you can incorporate into your speech and language practice.

  • This is a good game for individual or small group therapy.  Talk about how “sock” begins with the /s/ sound. Round up pictures of things that begin with /s/ and some pictures of socks.  Show the children each picture while emphasizing the /s/ sound of each word. Tell them they are going to use each picture and the sock pictures make up silly sock sentences for Silly Sock Day.  For example: Socks are in the sink.  Socks are riding a skateboard. The scissors are cutting the socks.  Some examples are pictured above.  Have the children take turns picking an /s/ pictures and using the socks to make up a sentence.  Write their sentences on a board to hop out or count out the words later.
  • This is a good game for categorization and also asking yes/no questions.  Use a sock puppet that you have made. Tell their children that the sock puppet is hungry but only wants to eat certain things. Choose a category that the puppet wants to eat that only you know.  The children have to figure out that category that he wants to eat.  Put out a lot of pictures using category cards. Have the children pick a picture ask the puppet, “Does you want to eat (picture name)?”  Based on whatever category it belongs to have the puppet either say yes or no.  If the answer is yes, let the child feed the puppet. If the answer is no, move on to the next child.  After they’ve had a few turns, periodically ask if someone knows the category that the puppet wants to eat.  For children who may need more help with guessing the category, line the pictures up and point out what the puppet has already eat.  “He ate a car, a truck, a van, a train….These are all….”  You could also play this game using functions – like the puppet only wants to eat things you write with or initial/final consonants – the puppet only wants to eat things that begin with /s/. Depending on the children’s level, you could also have them use the puppet and have a category in their mind that the puppet only wants to eat members of and have the children take turns being in control of the puppet.
  • For a funny abstract thinking game, show the children two large socks.  Ask them what else socks could be used for? For example here are some things my students have come up with in the past: mittens when you don’t have any, dog ears for a costume, a tail for an animal costume, a pretend elephant trunk, a bag to carry small things, an ice pack, tie a few together for a scarf.  Let the children pass around the socks to get a better idea of things they could do with them.

Present Matching

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This is a nice activity to do around the holidays or around a student’s birthday.  It is a good activity to help with making inferences, explaining them, and theory of mind. It takes a bit of prep work but it is definitely one that I have used repeatedly and the children really enjoy it as most children enjoy talking about presents.

Find pictures of people engaging in various activities that they seem to be enjoying. Find people with smiles on their faces while they complete the activities. This lets the students know that the person pictured enjoys the activity. Then find pictures of objects that could be used for the activity that are not already in the first picture. The point is to find which object each person would want based on the activity they are completing.  Glue the activity picture on one card and glue the object picture on another.  For example: a person enjoying gardening and a watering can, a person baking and an apron. More picture examples are above.

There are a few ways you can play this game:

Pull out the pictures of the people/activities and give a short description: “She/he likes to ______.” Put them all out on the table.  Tell the students that they have to match the people with the present they would want the most. Then pull out the pictures of the objects one and a time.  Ask, “Who would want _____ for a present?”  The students take turns finding the person who would want the object based on the activity they are doing. For more advanced students, have them practice explaining why they chose the person.

Some children may need prompting to pick the correct object. You can help by pointing out features of the pictures, for example, “He has tools, he likes to build, what can he use to build?”

For children that may be less advanced, put 2-4 present choices out on the table. Show them the person card and give the short description. For example, “She likes to run. What present would she like to get?” Have the student pick which object the person would like from the choices provided.

For more advanced children you can put all the people on one side of the table and all the present objects on the other. Let the students take turns picking the person and the present they would want from all of the choices.  Once children get the idea of the game, you can make a memory game out of it by putting all the pictures face down on the table. The student turns over one person and then turns over one object to see if it is a good match.

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