Group speech therapy can be an effective option for building vocabulary. It makes it more fun for the students and allows a single therapist to work with multiple students at a time, easing the overall workload and helps to maximize the time spent in therapy sessions.
There are many options for fun activities to improve students’ speech progress and keep them excited and engaged. We’ve come up with several ideas to give you a start on creating activities that your students will find engaging and helpful. These activities can be used for small groups of students both in person andduring teletherapy sessions if all activity materials are available.
Pros of Group Therapy
Joining a group therapy session may seem like an intimidating experience for the student, however there are several benefits to it that individual therapy may not offer. There are opportunities for the students toform relationships with peers who may be able to relate to one another and share experiences. Group therapy can also improve peer communication and social skills which can offer relief to the students who will know that they’re not alone in their experiences. Children can teach and learn from one another through sharing and communicating and this can help to improve their self-esteem.
Identify the Skills of Each Child in Your Group
Develop or find worksheets that feature various pictures of common vocabulary words on them. Look for a mixture of simple worksheets and have options with harder, more complex wordson them. This way, you’ll be ready to move up, should you discover students are further along and need more of a challenge.
Have students take turns finding the words you say on the sheets, or give each child their own sheet, positioning them so they cannot see one another, and then ask them to find the words. If they’re working on definitions, you can describe the word and have them find it.
Use this exercise to determine the types of words each student needs to work on, whether it’s basic vocabulary, categories, or curriculum vocabulary, and structure your vocabulary-building activities from there.
Fun Group Therapy Activities
Group activities are beneficial as they promote trust, communication and personal growth amongst group members. Common goals are achieved together, trust and respect are developed for one another and an overall sense of confidence is gained through the participation of group activities. Let’s look at some suggested activities for group therapy.
Using the words you know each child needs to work on, create BINGO sheets for each of them. It’s okay to use the same cards without changing the position of the words for each student because they can all win at the same time. Say each word and ask students to cover it up as they hear it. Switch it up and give definitions for each word so they can figure out what you are describing. Playing BINGO is a fun activity for students that encourages growth in a variety of ways.Fine motor skills are practiced when picking up and moving bingo pieces around. Social skills can be developed by having students take turns being the ‘caller’ for the rest of the students. Visual scanning occurs as students search for their squares. There are several ways that BINGO can serve as abeneficial activity for group therapy.
Bring in Objects and Demonstrations
If all the students in your group on working on similar words, bring in objects for demonstrations to explain the words and concepts. If you’re working on categories, bring in play food, toy cars, and similar objects to allow students to talk about and sort them. If students are learning about the water cycle in their general ed classes, bring in anything you can use to demonstrate the concepts of evaporation and condensation. Providing these hands-on experiences encourages learning through the utilization of multiple senses. By participating in interactive activities, students canretain information in an efficient manner.
Place picture cards at one end of the room and the students at the other. Working with two students at a time, call out a word, and ask the students to race to bring it back. The first student to return with the correct word wins. Interactive games, such as races, encourages students to develop social skills, teamwork and focus.
Give each child a pile of vocabulary cards and ask them to sort them into groups. You can also do this as a group, asking the children to say what the word is, and what you do with them.Then talk about why the card goes into the pile it belongs in. These types of sorting activities target the development of fine motor skills. When played in a group, children also have the opportunity to work with others and develop social skills.
Try Out These New Activities
All these vocabulary focusedactivities make speech therapy more fun and enjoyable for the group and the therapist. Interested in finding a job as a speech therapist? At Sunbelt Staffing, our team is committed to helping you find the job that is perfect for you. Whether you are looking for a permanent, travel or per diem position in a large healthcare system, small town medical facility or some of the best school districts, Sunbelt Staffing is here to help you shine on in your therapy career.
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