Why are these little things SO intriguing to my students?! Every student that saw them for the first time practically shouted, "COOL!" Have you started using them in speech yet?? Keep reading to find out how I used them for an entire week (yes, for every goal) in my speech room!
First off, here are the mini objects my sweet friends over at Speech Tree Co sent me (and be sure to scroll down to the bottom... I've added a coupon code for you!):
They come in an incredible clear case so that they can sit up on my shelf so adorably and organized! (if you've been around here for awhile, you know that's not my strong suit).
Can you even?! So cute, and they just scream "PLAY WITH ME!" which is definitely why my students are obsessed.
Okay okay, so let's get into the real reason for this post.
I'm going to make this simple and straightforward:
Let's separate every goal area I addressed, and how exactly I used the mini objects for each goal.
This is an easy one since the objects are separated by phoneme. This means you can literally pull these off your shelf, and you're ready for therapy.
But, of course I had to add some extra fun to practicing speech sounds.
- Give each other directions to hide different items ("hide the CANDY CANE under the chair")
- Find a couple buckets (I use the mini ones from Target) OR draw 3 circles on a whiteboard (I usually just draw on my table). Sort the objects by initial, medial, and final phonemes
- Add other objects that start with the target phoneme and make up silly sentences: i.e. I have a student working on /b/. I set up our /b/ mini objects all over my table, and blew a bubble towards one of them: "BUBBLE on the BUG!" "BUBBLE on the BOW!"; you could also incorporate stuffed animals (I use Beanie Babies) with target sounds: "The GECKO is GIVING the GUM to me!"
4. Older student? Grab your whiteboard! I wrote on this whiteboard, "first, next, then, last," and we picked four objects from his sound box (/r/). He thought to himself for one minute, coming up with his own unique story, and then recorded his story using his best speech! He used the objects he picked out, and the sentence starter as a visual cue during his story telling. Then, we played back the story and talked about "stars & steps" (strengths & areas to work on).
I like to introduce grammar and syntax to my students through use of my own writing. I'll make purposeful mistakes that they have to correct!
I took my mini objects, and picked a random one out of a box (TIP: if you have mixed groups with language and articulation, pick objects that target the articulation students' sounds).
Here is an example of a descriptive writing piece I did. I wrote it with my students, and we went back and corrected errors together.
Then, they used my model to write their own descriptive writing after choosing a mini object (for most of my kids, I chose the object because I could control how descriptive the object was. For example, a castle is a lot more descriptive than a leaf).
You could also pick mini objects, and have the students write stories. You could make it a challenge: who could use the most mini objects in their written story?!
Okay, I realize this picture looks upside down! That's because it's facing the student opposite of me. It's a felt bed that came in a random story pack I bought off Amazon. I grabbed it out of storage, grabbed my mini objects, and my lesson was ready to go!
I gave simple directions to this particular student (on/under) after we had read a book about a character looking for something he lost under his bed.
You could do this with literally anything! Plastic cups, animals, little people, misc toys... whatever engages your student!
Next up in my mixed group, I grabbed this color block die I bought from Target, and grabbed target articulation boxes of mini objects. We sat on the floor together, taking turns "hiding" objects. First, we'd pick the item from the box (and practice with our best speech!). Then, the student would roll the die. Whichever color landed on top, the student had to find something that color in my room, and give another student a direction using that item. For example, if I landed on green and am holding my mini object "horse," I might say, "Hide the horse under Miss Long's green mug." GREAT opportunity to increase MLU, practicing phonemes, and drill those spatial concepts!
Want more ideas? I have ideas for language, retell, summarizing, and more.
Check back next week!
Want your own set? AND $10 off?!
Grab this set (above) for $10 off with code TYPEBSLP at checkout before 3/31.
I love supporting my fellow SLP small businesses!
See you soon!