It’s May and the end is in sight. The temperatures are growing hotter and you can feel summer’s presence right around the corner. The kids are antsy and you are frantically trying to close out the school year smoothly while keeping it together. This can sometimes be the best time of the year, and the worst. It’s important to remember to maintain a positive focus on the students and help them transition into the summer carrying all of the wonderful skills you have taught them over the school year. Below is a list of some fun and interactive activities that will help keep everyone motivated and engaged:
As always, I find this age group to be the most challenging in keeping focused and engaged. As we all know, keeping their hands occupied is the key, so any activity involving tactile or sensory input will be the way to go. For my articulation students, I have a cutout frog I tape to a paper bag and have each student “feed” the frog their target sounds that I either tape to plastic bugs or print out on cartoon flies. For more language-based activities, I generally focus on any spring-related concept, including creating paper flower bouquets with coordinating flowers for simple categories; making “ants on a log” with celery sticks and raisins for following directions; or “planting” pictures of simple objects into a bowl of “dirt” (i.e., pinto beans) for naming objects.
Mother’s Day activities are always encouraged in my speech and language therapy sessions. I love helping students create mementos that I know their mothers will love and appreciate. I can easily target building vocabulary and incorporating syntax with cards I help each student write. We also target ‘describing’ by having each student come up with three adjectives to describe their favorite things about their mother. Targeting comprehension questions is also easy as we discuss what their favorite memory is with their mother, who was there, what they did, etc. I love seeing the students’ excitement when they share their favorite memories about their mothers!
This time of year means a lot of statewide testing for this age group. They’re oftentimes exhausted, frustrated, and more ready for summer break than we are. I try to keep it fun and pain-free with these students, while also incorporating their speech and language goals. I love introducing the idea of maintaining a summer journal. I give them free reign on what topics they would like to write about and each student develops a list of possible writing ideas. I have each student develop their own personalized journal using whatever materials I can find. We then review basic writing skills and techniques and complete a few practice samples. This helps motivate them to continue their writing throughout the summer.
With just a few weeks left of school, summer break will be here before we know it and we can all finally enjoy our well-deserved break to recharge before we see our students next school year!
Author: Griffin Parrott, M.Ed., CCC-SLP