Creating turkeys from leaves was one of my all time favorite speech therapy activities. It was my type of project; easy to set up, materials were easily available and it appealed to multiple ages and abilities. I could address following directions and prepositional vocabulary such as below, above, center, before, and after. I could expand it for the older elementary by using science vocabulary and discussing why leaves change color, and drop.
A walk to look at Autumn colors and changes in the trees, is a good way to start this project. Children can’t resist picking up the different colors of leaves and wanting to do something with them. I found the colors and shapes of Maple leaves work the best for this project. Keep in mind that each student needs two leaves. Pick those that still have a long stem attached. It is always helpful to have extras for those that get broken before use.
I originally posted this activity 6 yrs ago, so it may look familiar. Many of you probably haven’t looked back that far to find it in my archives. I found it recently and decided with some updating it was worth reposting. The original was made with an app called Story Kit on my school iPad and was uploaded to the children’s library here. I have updated it to a pdf file to allow access on multiple types of devices. Click on the button for access.
I originally placed all the turkeys on a bulletin board with signs. This became an introduction to satire. I hope you have as much fun with this as I did.
We had a good time preparing for Groundhogs Day this week. It seems to be a popular day this year as we are really ready for Spring weather.
There are a lot of free materials out there to help celebrate. We studied facts about groundhogs and checked our comprehension. We did comparisons between rodents. We explored shadows with a flashlight against the wall. Home Sweet Home is a good source for a short video clip. There is also a young student book you can download for free from http://growingkinders.blogspot.com. The Groundhog Book was written by Kathleen Pedersen. I downloaded it and was able to use my iPad again. I love being paperless. I can actually find what I need when I need it.
I found the idea for a bulletin board on Pinterest. There was a groundhog pattern for a free download here at pattern universe. We used the pattern to make our own groundhogs. I put the directions on Storykit so they would be on my iPad. You may be able to use them as well. The Storykit directions are here. Now we are waiting for February 2nd to see if we can bring out the shadows.
Do you need a simple project for the winter season? This tree was made by my students and completed during one 20 minute therapy session. Students at all grade levels seemed to enjoy making them. They also made a good bulletin board that was culturally sensitive for this time of year. I added the silhouettes to discuss winter sports and the word silhouette.
I targeted quite a few goals with this project. As usual, I used the app StoryKit to make the directions. My articulation and older students began by sequencing and taking pictures. They recorded the directions using their best articulation skills. My language students targeted vocabulary such as stencil, limbs, triangle, around, and tree trunk. My language processing students listened to the directions and followed them in the correct sequence.
I found a pattern for these darling little black crows on Pinterest and adapted them as a project for my speech therapy students. Crows and sunflowers just seem to naturally go together and I am all for getting as much use of my bulletin board as I can without completely redoing it.
This project met my requirements for a speech therapy project. The directions were fairly easy and the project could be completed within a 20 minute time frame. I could expand the project to include multiple speech goals. Most of the materials were available from our school materials closet and were easy to obtain.
Preparation was minimal. I used the die cut to cut out black circles and yellow triangles from construction paper. I have younger students who have a lot of trouble cutting and this consumes more time than I have. You could have students trace circles around a cover and cut them out. I had left over googly eyes from the dollar store and already had paper fasteners in the store room. A hole punch and glue sticks were other things I already had. Making the circles and triangles were the only thing that took preparation time.
I expanded this project to include most of my students. Incorporating the free app Storykit opens up a lot of possibilities. My language groups worked on sequencing the directions. They took the pictures to make a logical sequence and wrote some of the instructions. This also took some communication and collaboration as students agreed on what pictures to take, how to place the materials and what the direction should be 1st and 2nd etc.
My groups working on sounds in spontaneous speech created the verbal directions to go with the pictures. They listened to their recordings and decided if they needed to record again to improve their production. The school confidentiality regulations didn’t allow me to keep their recordings for publishing so you ended up with my lovely voice instead. My students listening enjoyed figuring out who was speaking when they were listening to the directions.
My younger students who are working on following directions and positional vocabulary followed the directions to create their crow. Concept words included whole/half, center, top, and through. It was interesting to see which students followed the directions for the fasteners or tried to use the glue stick instead. My students really loved the idea of the movable wings and posed them for the bulletin board. I had some students who could not part with their bird, so they didn’t end up on the board. Hopefully they took them home and explained how they were made to someone in their family.
The directions were published on Storykit. Click on the bird button below and you will see them. When you use this app the directions are made in a storybook format. When it is published it comes into your email like a story board. The app can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org. I did not find it through the app store.
School is finally starting in the Pacific Northwest. We have a late start here compared to other regions of the United States.. I am returning to my main school from last year and adding a new charter school as well. The charter school has middle school students so I may get a little more variety this year with the age range. I have had middle school students in the past and enjoy working with this age group. It is always fun to hear about the latest fads.
I needed a new bulletin board for back to school night and the start of school. I decided to make something that would be able to switch to the Fall season. That happens pretty quickly so back to school doesn’t stay up very long. The bee is our school mascot so I have handy bee note papers. I decided the slogan “It’s good to be back” would be a nice play on words. Bees go with flowers and sunflowers are a common Fall flower. That all led me to this video on how to make sunflowers. It turned out to be a fairly simple flower to make. You can click on the title to get the directions.
Sometimes dog walks give you a good appreciation of nature and nature gives free material for crafts. On a dog walk I noticed that the back end of pine cones look similar to the center of the sunflower. I clipped off the end of some pine cones and glued them to the center of my flowers. Mine turned out to look like this.
I added some green construction paper leaves. There you have a sunflower bulletin board that didn’t take long to make at all. I am sure students would enjoy making the sunflowers. It may be worthy of a nature walk if you have trees with pine cones nearby.