Lazy Day Therapy

While I can get creative with activities, sometimes I just need a break from thinking. Lucky for us as speech therapists, we usually have a stash of articulation decks. I even have decks of regular cards with pictures on them. these are my favorite because I can play regular card games with them and adapt them for speech therapy. Here are a few of my favorites.

Go Fish
Enough said, this is a staple.

Use a 52 card deck with articulation/language words included. Deal 10 cards to each person with 2 rows of 5; keep them all face down. On your turn, you may draw from the top of the deck or the discard pile. The goal is to get the numbers Ace through 10 in order. If you draw a number (say an 8), you can place it in the 8th spot. Keep going until you can't replace any cards. Jacks and queens are "garbage" and need to be discarded and Kings are wild. The person to flip over all their cards and have Ace through 10 in order wins!
How to adapt: ask students to say the word on each card, say target words in sentences.

Just Guess
Use a 52 card deck with articulation/language words included. This game might seem familiar from the college days (ahem...). Hold the deck of cards. Look at the top card without showing the student. They are allowed to guess which value card you hold a total of 2 times. If they do not guess it right away, tell them if the card you hold is higher or lower than their guess. After the second guess, reveal the card. If the guesser was correct, the dealer must say the word on the card in a sentence. If the guesser was wrong, they must say the word on the card equal to the difference between their guess and the value of the card. For example, your student guesses 7, you indicate the card is higher and they guess 10; the card is revealed to be a Queen and your student must practice the word twice. When the student guesses the card on the first try, they become the dealer.

Crazy 8s
Use a 52 card deck with articulation/language words included. Try to get rid of all your cards. You can play any card of the same suit or same value as the one at the top of the pile. Eights are wilds and let you change the suit to anything you want.
If you don't have cards with suits, allow students to match the cards according to if the sound is at the beginning, middle, or end of words.

Use a 52 card deck with articulation/language words included. Deal out all the cards. No one is allowed to look at their cards. All players turn over the top card of their piles and put them face up in the middle of the table. Whoever has the highest ranking card takes both cards and adds them to the bottom of their pile. When 2 cards of the same value are revealed their is a "war." Players take 2 new cards, one face down and one face up on top of the cards in the middl. Whoever has the higher ranking face up card wins all the cards in the middle. Keep going until one player has obtained all the cards.

Shuffle the cards and spread them into rows face down. Try to find the most matching pairs while practicing your target for the day. When you find a match, you get to go again.

Use a 52 card deck with articulation/language words included. Each player is dealt 4 cards. You may only have 5 cards in your hand at a time. Place plastic spooks in the middle of the table, one for each player minus 1. The dealer starts play by looking at the top card, deciding if they want to keep the card, and then passing along cards they don't want. When a player collects 4 of a kind, they grab a spoon. All the other players try to grab the remaining spoons. Whoever does not get a spoon loses.
Sometimes I'm afraid of students grabbing, so I have students put their finger on their nose and play "pig" instead. The last player to put their finger on their nose loses.

Use a 52 card deck with articulation/language words included. Place 4 cards face down in front of all players. No one may look at their cards. Before beginning play, each player may peek at one card once. On your turn, you must either draw the top card of the deck or the top card of the discard deck. If you draw a card, you may use it to replace one of the 4 cards in front of you, but you are not allowed to look at your cards before deciding which to replace. Place the drawn card face down and you must discard the card which was replaced. Each numeral card scores face value (Ace=1, 2=2). Jacks and Queens score 10 points. Kings score 0 points. The player with the lowest score at the end of the game wins.

Figur(atives) of Speech

Figurative Language. Ugh, sometimes this makes me groan. In a K-8 school, I know that most of my language kiddos who stick with me into the older grades will be facing this within the classroom. Figurative language is particularly hard  for students with language disorders because it's not concrete. Most of my kids hate the poetry unit, which is happening right now because April is poetry month. Picking out rhyme is easy, but then I start asking my students about words that sound made up and are hard to say: alliteration, onomatopoeia (that's hard for me to spell!), metaphor, hyperbole (or hyper-bowl as they like to say), simile, and personification. These are long words and hard to remember. I keep the definitions of each figurative langauge element on my wall for my students to quickly reference. I'd rather have them get the definition correct than guess 4 times and confuse themselves more.

April 30th is going to be "Poem in Your Pocket" day at my school. As my 6th graders GROANed, I explained how Katy Perry's music is poetry and has example of figurative language and that got my students' attention. We started by talking through Katy Perry's song "Firework" which has examples of metaphors, similes, and onomatopoeia. I then asked my students about their favorite artists in order to create a new material.

Altogether, I used 42 pop songs to teach figurative language. By the end of a 2 week period, most of my students could identify similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, and hyperboles. You can find the materials I made in my TPT store. I had alot of fun with this "Figurative Lyrics" unit and my students keep asking to do it again. I promised to revisit it, but we have more goals to work on in the mean time. :)