If your caseload is anything like mine, your students might shout out, “Christmas!” or “Wednesday!” when you ask them what the season is. For this reason, I always reinforce seasonal concepts throughout the school year. I change out my speech room décor, keep the same visual cue visible for reference, and plan therapy units to continuously target the seasons. Spring break is the perfect opportunity to discuss the exciting transition from chilly winter weather to the warm, often rainy weather of spring. Use these therapy activities before or after your spring break to teach your students all about the season ahead.
Give each student a piece of cardstock paper that displays 3 boxes side by side. Teach and draw the sequential steps of the following changes that occur from winter to spring:
- Trees without leaves, trees blossoming with buds, and trees with new leaves
- Planting a seed, a seed beginning to sprout, and a seed growing into a plant
- Child wearing heavy winter clothing, child wearing a light jacket, and child wearing no jacket
After the visual steps have been drawn and colored, review the sequences of events as a group. Next you can target retelling sequences and cut out the boxes so that students can practice putting the pictures in order all season long. Send the sequencing cards home with your students after you have finished targeting this in therapy for a great home carryover task!
2. Sensory Box:
Sensory boxes are my very favorite open-ended activity. Create them once and you can utilize them year after year to target a range of language skills like receptive and expressive vocabulary, following directions that include basic concepts, using descriptive words, and answering WH questions. My (and my students’!) favorite box for spring is to make a “garden” using beans, shiny Easter basket “grass”, small shovels and rakes, felt vegetables, and fake flowers.
3. Compare and Contrast:
Read the story And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano. There are many, many amazing springtime books out there, but this sweet book is my personal favorite for introducing the season. Create a graphic organizer to compare and contrast the visible changes that occurred in the weather throughout the story. For your younger students, draw or attach real objects (think: grass, seeds, branches, leaves) to a Venn diagram. Ask older students to write complete sentences on their diagrams to describe the change in seasons.
Wishing each of you a restful spring break!
Author: Lauren King, M.S. CCC-SLP