The OT and I try to plan one fun day a month we pick a book to read and a craft to do with the students. This is a great way to see kids in larger groups, targeting groups social skills and self-monitoring, and to mix up the usual groups a little bit. "Reading" varies from looking at the pictures to the student's doing the reading based on the group. We put the craft up on the bulletin board outside of the office and the kids get to show off, and talk about, their creations all month long. It is also a perfect opportunity for the OT and I to see students together and, of course, everyone ends up having a good time.
Spookley the Square Pumpkin, by: Joe Trioana
- You can get the book on Amazon or get the app for your iPad. I really love the app, it has a spooky voice and you can set the book to auto-play or to go page by page.
- THIS book companion has some great activities it is chock full of cute materials for sequencing, graphic organizers, making predictions, story retell, comparing and contrasting, peer interaction, personal narrative, and a really cute craft!
- With the elementary aged students we love to do THIS craft from Things to Share and Remember. For the older students and those who require more of a challenge, we like to do THIS craft. I found it on Pinterest and followed the link to this site here.
- If you are looking for something with a little less prep, we have also created stencils for a square, round, and triangle pumpkin then had the students choose from colored construction paper and create their own unique pumpkin.
- CRAFTS TARGET SKILLS: (1) requesting (paper, stencils, materials, & bonus points for having on student be "in charge" of the materials so the other students need to make a request directed at a peer), (2) describing (their own pumpkin and their friend's pumpkin), (3) for a social skills group-maybe not who need less support for the fine motor skills- you can pair this with a dice game where students ask each other questions, (4) asking and answering "wh" questions
If you don't have access to a kitchen or maybe just prefer not to send your students back to class with a sugar rush (boring, haha) this one is for you. Again, it is more of an assembly task then a recipe but this site has some beautiful pictures and and all you need are tangerines and some celery.
- There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly by Lucille Colandro. These books are an absolute favorite of mine. My goal is to have one for every month of the year and, much to the dismay of my students and fellow SLP, I am almost there. In all seriousness, my students really enjoy these books. The repetition is great and allows the students to participate, especially my AAC users, and these book companions offer some great activities at different levels.
- Froggy's Halloween, by Jonathan London. Another really cute story with repetition and a simple story line for retell
In my eyes all things pumpkins and monsters are fair game in October. With that in mind when making plans for my language groups, these are some of my go to materials:
- Toca Kitchen Monsters, if you haven't use the Toca Boca apps with your students or clients you have to give them a try. They have the cutest graphics and really simple games which easily lend themselves to conversation and expanding language. This kitchen game gives you a choice of monsters, different foods, food prep and cooking using various kitchen tools. It is a great way to get in some functional food vocabulary and gives your students multiple opportunities for requesting, language expansion (what is your favorite food?, would you eat the fish?), and describing (I want the blue monster with yellow hair). For my AAC users it is a good opportunity to get some meaningful repetitive practice (to reinforce those motor plans) for that food and kitchen vocabulary. I like to pair it with this Monster Snacks activity that focuses on pronouns and grammar or this Monster Multiple Meanings activity for my language students.
- Targeting prepositions is something that seems to come up often, either in IEP goals or as an area of focus. This cute activity is a fun way to practice receptive and expressive prepositions (do I get bonus points because it's free?).
- This Halloween Bingo is great to play the week leading up to trick-or-treating. It has fun activities that address answering questions focused on all things halloween.
- Jokes are a big thing at my school! They are a fantastic way to get your more timid AAC users into the game and bridge a gap between my AAC students and their peers, everyone loves a good joke. These Halloween Joke Tellers are really fun. You can program the punch lines into your student's devices before hand so they are ready to go! It is also a great way to practice getting attention from teachers and peers ("excuse me, can I tell you a joke?"). For my student's working on non-verbal cues I like to plan a lesson around those cues that tell us someone is available or unavailable, then walk around school looking for some to tell a joke to ("hmm their head is down and they are looking a their computer, do they look like they are available to talk?).
- This is a great go-to packet for all kinds of language activities. You can use it in conjunction with other materials or pair these activities with any book, craft, or game. It also works really well for mixed groups, everyone is doing the same activity but with different targets.