For school based speech-language pathologists it can be difficult to come up with speech therapy activities that target everyone in the group’s goals. The speech groups can be diverse with each student having different goals. I’ve found that incorporating story books into the therapy makes targeting goals easier. In this blog you will learn how to target a variety of speech goals using story books.
Targeting Receptive Language With Story Books
Targeting receptive language is easy to do when utilizing story books, it’s so easy that you may not even realize you are already doing it. Here are some examples of how to target receptive language: simply have students identify pictures on the page (e.g. “Oh wow, does anybody see the big cat? Where is it”) or by having the student answer questions about the story. WH- questions are typically very easy to focus on during story book activities. Who was this story about? Where did this story take place? What was the problem in this story? How did they solve the problem?
Targeting Expressive Language With Story Books
In addition to receptive language, expressive language is also easy to address when utilizing story books. Have students expand their expressive language by describing illustrations. Ask the student “What stands out to you in this picture?” Or “Wow, what is happening here? Let’s describe this picture!” Encouraging use of adjectives is a great way to expand language. Model and build on what the student says. Students can also enhance their expressive language skills by answering WH-questions about the story. Be sure to model correct grammar and syntax for the student. For example if the student says “Her is at the park.” The SLP should rephrase and model for the student “Yes, She is at the park.”
Targeting Inferencing With Story Books
It is always fun having the students make predictions about what is going to happen in the story based on context clues and illustrations. This can really get the imagination going! Start by pointing out the clues to the students and modeling predictions for them. Then, later on in the story provide a prompt to have students point out the context clues and make predictions of their own. They can also use the illustrations in the book for visual supports when making predictions.
These cards from twinkl can be modified and used as prompts during story book activities to prompt inferences.
Target sequencing or story retell goals by having the student retell the story to the rest of the group immediately after the group is done reading it and again at the beginning of the next session. Using visual prompts can be helpful because this gives the student external support. You could simply have a visual that says “First” or “beginning”, “then” or “middle”, “finally” or “ending”. Repeating the story back to the student after he has told it to you will help make the sequencing stick and repetition is never a bad idea.
There are several easy ways to target articulation during story book activities. Do this by having the students repeat words with targeted speech sounds as a group or individually. Point to pictures and have the student label the picture that has a targeted speech sound in it. If the articulation goal is a little more advanced than the word level, have the student read a phrase, sentence or a page of the book aloud to the group while you take data on their artic goal.
If you are not sure where to start or what book to use Alyssa has some great book ideas in her blog here