Weather Themed Lesson Plans for Speech Therapy
Weather Themed Lesson Plans for Speech Therapy
By this point in the year, I am dying for warmer, sunnier weather. The novelty and beauty of the snow have worn off, and the days feel gray and boring. Springtime always brings an excitement to my city, and it makes me want to spend time outside exploring and relaxing. Weather is one of my favorite themes to target during therapy because of its versatility, its practicality and it’s functionality. Here are some of my favorite Weather themed activities for speech-language therapy!
The number of Weather themed crafts feel boundless! This time of year, Weather crafts are likely focused on rain, rainbows and sunshine but there are great options for snow, storms, and even autumn weather (cooler temps, falling leaves, wind, etc.) Most of these projects only need crafting basics too like paper plates, construction paper, paint, cotton balls, and more!
Puffy Paint: White puffy paint is a staple for so many crafts! There are tons of recipes that just use shaving cream and liquid craft glue. This paint can be used to make textured, three-dimensional creations for snowmen, snowflakes, and clouds. Add a little blue food coloring to use for raindrops, or dye it all the colors of the rainbow for springtime crafts.
Fake Snow: Mix 16oz of Cornstarch and 1 cup of conditioner (unscented, or scented depending on your preference). The consistency should not be sticky, but should hold it’s shape if you form snowballs in your hand. This makes a great sensory bin activity! Hide mini-erasers, laminated pictures, plastic animals, pinecones, whatever you have on hand to create themed sensory bins for Winter weather!
Liquid Raindrops: You’ll need blue tempera paint, water, construction paper, straws or pipettes (like the ones here) Mixing the paint with a little bit of water (you want a runny consistency), and using straws or pipettes drip paint onto the construction paper. Then using the clean end of the straw, blow paint so it spreads across the paper. For a more COVID safe method, use the pipettes to blow the air and spread the paint. Students can design their own water patterns, then once the paint has dried you can cut out the paper into raindrops and hang around the classroom to decorate!
Do your students love Bingo Dabbers, like mine do?! These are my favorite ones here, and they are amazing for all sorts of crafts and therapy activities! There are tons of free printables for dot art, just Google for everyday therapy use. Depending on the age of my students, I will either print out a Rainbow outline, or have my students create one free-hand on construction paper. Then we’ll add cotton balls to the ends of each side for some three-dimensional clouds! We might target following directions, vocabulary, “wh” questions, speech sounds, whatever the students goal areas might be while we glue on the clouds.
Tornado in a Bottle: This is such a fun experiment to try with students of all ages! I did this when I was little, and it’s the perfect STEM activity to tie into weather themed lesson plans! For elementary aged students, this is a great opportunity to research and learn about tornadoes. If you are learning about other severe weather systems you could compare and contrast hurricanes and tornadoes. This science experiment can be used to target following directions, making predictions, answering “wh” questions, asking questions, commenting, labeling, exclaiming, and more. If you wanted to target specific speech sounds or phonological processes, find mini objects to put into the bottles and watch spin around in the tornado! To make a tornado in a bottle, you’ll need: two 2-liter bottles (take the packaging off so you can see through the bottles), water, items for debris, food coloring is optional but a fun twist, and this handy device called a Tornado Tube. There are other DIY methods out there, but this is what we made ours with growing up as kids and it definitely simplifies the process! (Based on the customer reviews, don’t forget to take off all plastic from the bottles, including that ring of plastic left after you’ve removed the cap!) Fill one bottle ⅔ of the way with water. Then you can add food coloring, or small items. Food color isn’t necessary and it can make things a bit messier, but it helps to see the vortex better so there is a bit of high risk, high reward. Then connect the tornado tube to the filled bottle. Connect the empty bottle to the top of the tornado tube, making sure both ends are well secured. Flip the bottles over so the filled bottle is on top, then gently swirl the tubes in a clockwise direction and watch the vortex form! The shape is just like a real tornado. Have you ever tried something like this with your students?! It can be so much fun and a great way to facilitate spontaneous language!
There are so many ideas for weather related crafts. Check out this post here for more ideas! What do you do with your students to brighten up your speech room this time of year?!
Float by Daniel Miyares: This is a WORDLESS picture book. Have you tried these yet in therapy?! I still get intimidated by them sometimes, but man are they a great way to target literacy and comprehension skills, and of course language! Float’s illustrations tell the story of a boy who makes a paper boat and takes it out for adventures on a rainy day. Reading wordless picture books with students can help develop their understanding of characters, setting, and sequence of events. The illustrations can help them to make inferences, summarize what they see, and understand context clues. I love to have my students help tell the story and watch their creativity and imagination come to life. Students can then make their own paper boats (Hii following directions!) and then create their own story of what would happen to their paper boat on a rainy day. Wordless picture books are also an amazing opportunity to target core vocabulary for our AAC users!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett is a CLASSIC and is a great selection for students in preschool and elementary school! This book has tons of opportunities to target vocabulary, “wh” questions, sequencing, problem solving, and can be an awesome way to target conversational skills. Check out this freebie from The Dabbling Speechie that ties perfectly with the story and can be used for story retell, recalling details, sequencing and other comprehension skills!
Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. Patricia Polacco is a wonderful storyteller, her characters are also so vivid! This book is wonderful to target main idea vs. supporting details, recalling details, “wh” questions, sequencing, and vocabulary. There are great opportunities to make inferences and predictions, and can be used to facilitate conversations amongst groups about bravery, things they are afraid of, family traditions and more! This book is great for 2nd-4th grade students!
Dress for the Weather Game on ABCYA. Help this Puppy get dressed for the weather by preparing different outfits that match the season outside of his window. I love this because there are tons of options to choose from and it will have you keep trying until you match the correct clothing to the season and even highlight the article of clothing you need to change.
Sid the Science Kid- Weather Game: Sort weather items to match the seasons and type of weather in this PBS Kids game. This game comes with a Closed Caption option too!
PinkCat Games: Have you tried out PinkCat Games during tele-therapy? It’s a free website that you can select from TONS of different quizzes and concept areas, like this one, perfect for preschool and early elementary students. Once you search and select your questions, you can choose from three free game options: Build a Monster, Smarty Pants Animal Race and Quiz Wheel. Build a Monster is a great game that elicits spontaneous language just from its pure silliness. Animal Race and Quiz Wheel options are great for groups, or your more competitive students. For each game you can choose your own settings like number of teams, length of play, the maximum number of possible answers, and more. Here are a few options that I found just from searing “Weather” quickly:
Weather & Clothes: Perfect for Pre-K and Kindergarteners, asks players to label clothing items and different types of Weather.
Receptive Weather Vocabulary: Identify weather and seasonal vocabulary with pictures. Great for Preschool and early elementary students.
There are also options for older students with much more specific types of weather related questions and vocabulary targets which would be great to use as companion activities to weather and science units!
Here are some more freebies for you all about weather!
Core Vocabulary Weather: Free Sample! I recently made a new Core Vocabulary deck with target vocabulary all about weather! This deck here is a free sample of what is included in the larger deck, and is a great activity to use in therapy. The sample deck has three different sentence strip options and comes with sound effects! Check out the entire deck here!
Weather Preschool Language Unit by Itty Bitty Speech
Weather Idioms: Great for older students targeting figurative language!
Weather Interactive Book: My preschool students love interactive books! Print, Laminate and prep for easier cleaning!
Weather Vocabulary Cards: Print and prep more than one set of these and you’ve got a new memory game, or Go Fish cards!