In graduate school one specific “pearl of wisdom” has stayed with me and guided my therapeutic style. My professor of Development & Nature of Language made the point that language is best learned in “naturalistic” contexts. Sounds easy enough, but creating activities that motivate language-impaired elementary through middle school students AND support academics can be exhausting, especially this time of year when we need to charge our batteries in the days leading to SUMMER.
That’s why I created my latest packet: Interactive Language Activities: Simple Science Experiments. It is for busy SLPs that need fun, structured, academically-based language activities. It also has a pretty broad application: I’ve used it with a range of language-impaired students as young as third grade and up to eighth.
Included are four experiments requiring minimal materials (3-5) and prep-time. Activities are hands-on and target academic language skills. Here’s a look at what’s included and how I’m using the materials:
- I like to start with reviewing vocabulary. There are 6 “Essential” terms that are used throughout plus 6 for each unit. Discussing the tier 2 vocabulary (common across academic context) familiarizes students with important concepts before they are encountered in the activity. This provides a nice opportunity for students to make connections apply their word knowledge. Mine always like to play “Memory”!
- I included a lot of visuals and everything is black & white. To save printing and paper, just slide the pages into sheet protectors and let students have fun using dry erase markers!
And honestly, the materials are simple. I was able to gather most of the materials from my school cafeteria (and my own cabinets, of course!)
The activities really got my kids talking, and we all love spontaneous conversation! One little guy blurted out his first four-word sentence and my older students actually spoke to each other!
I always like opportunities to work on sentence structure and expository writing, especially after completing engaging activities! Repeating the experiment about midway through the packet was an effective way to see what students remembered and if they could make more observations.
You can check-out this product at my TpT store. Keep it natural and have fun building language!