Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Big Pumpkin

This book, written by Erica Silverman, is by far my favorite book for Halloween.  The characters are familiar, without being scary, and the cadence of the story is repetitive, readily encouraging recall.  For those who haven't read it... it tells a tale of a witch who plants a pumpkin seed with the hopes of making pumpkin pie.  Her plans get foiled when the pumpkin grows so big, she cannot get it off of the vine.  Each Halloween character arrives to help, insisting that they have what it takes to get that pumpkin.  It is not until the tiny bat comes along and devises a clever plan to work together in getting that pumpkin, that they finally get to enjoy their pie together.  There are so many great lessons in this story and the kids really love that the littlest character is the one who outwits all of the bigger ones.

Inspired by this book, I created several activities to work on in therapy...

Included are templates to make these adorable puppets, which can be used to act out the story and aid in retelling.  Remember, the more senses you incorporate into your therapy, the more likely the kids are going to really "get it."  Holding and moving the characters tap into the sense of touch and adds another way to incorporate visuals, besides just the book itself.  And if you give the child an opportunity to complete repetitive phrases (e.g. First she pulled hard and then she pulled...harder.) you are also incorporating his or her sense of hearing, verbal turn-taking, anticipation, and the list goes on and on.

I also incorporated these same characters when creating pattern cards.  I laminated two pages back-to-back to save on laminating sheets.

A Big Pumpkin-themed game board is also included to be used along with any of your activities or drills.

For all of your little pumpkins working on prepositions and following directions, I have included an interactive book of prepositions.  This is definitely a favorite among kids and therapists.

This emergent reader can be practiced in therapy.  The kids love to be able to "read" their stories to their teachers and families!

Let's not forget BINGO!!  Great for working on Halloween-themed vocabulary.  Take turns being the "caller" once the child is familiar with the vocabulary.

And finally, for those little pumpkins working on final consonant deletion and/or velar fronting, I included minimal pair ghosts (15 pairs) and candy corn (12 pairs).  Both sets can be cut and placed back-to-back and then laminated.  Great for working on auditory discrimination!

Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dollar Store Dash Linky Party

After a life-changing move from New York to South Carolina, it was Teach Speech 365's Dollar Store Dash that motivated me to come back to the blogging world.  After all, what therapist can resist the dollar store?  Not this one!!

I started to gather the Halloween-themed items and ended up putting them back in exchange for items I could use throughout the year.

Here are the items I chose:
Pom Poms
Go-Together Cards
Mighty Mustache Fun Straws
Styrofoam Cube
Paper Plate Animal Craft Kit

Since I work primarily with preschoolers, they were my inspiration.  I will be using the Paper Plate Animal Craft Kit to work on body part identification and following directions.  I plan to cover the Styrofoam Cube with paper to create a picture die, which the kids can roll on the table or floor.  Each side will show a body part, which they can then choose to put on their Paper Plate Animal.  This can also be modified into a small group activity by integrating turn-taking skills.

The Go-Together Cards will be separated with only one-half of the pairs visible on the table. The kids will take turns choosing a card, identifying what is on each and then trying to figure out what goes with it.

The Poms Poms and Mighty Mustache Fun Straws will be used to target oral motor goals.  The kids will each get a straw to blow the Pom Pom across the table and over the edge. My favorite part about these straws, aside from the kids looking adorable with their mustaches, is that the mustaches are adjustable on the straw and work as a lip block!

More to come from the Palmetto State...