Angie, one of our CF-SLP team members, is always looking for creative and fun ways to target a variety of speech therapy goals. Here, she writes about a wonderful therapy craft activity that’s perfect for some pre- or post-spring break fun!
Make a model of the bee in advance. Sessions almost always go more smoothly when my elementary school students have a visual example of the therapy craft, and an objective to work toward.
Laminate and lay all the parts of the bumblebee out on the table. Each part should be matched to a number from 1-6. The students can practice making simple predictions by answering questions like, “What do you think we’re going to make today?” or “What clues led you to believe we’re going to make this?”
Show the students your pre-made model of the bumblebee and affirm whether their predictions were correct or incorrect. Practice rolling the dice in a race to collect the different parts of the bumblebee. You can target so many goals for this activity. Here are some different ways we targeted speech/language goals:
- Articulation: Students practiced their speech sounds by making the repetitions corresponding to the number on the dice-plus ten more repetitions!
- Describing: We described the bumblebee using a variety of attributes. Depending on the number rolled, students described what category a bumblebee belonged to, the bumblebee’s function, what it looks like, what body parts it has, where you might see it and so on.
- Vocabulary: This is a great way to practice synonyms and context clues for springtime words. For our session, even numbers meant naming synonyms, where odd numbers challenged students to define words given context clues.
- Pragmatics: In our session, we read about bumblebees, how they work together in their colonies, and how stinging someone can result in death for bumblebees. This resulted in great, natural conversations revolving around how bumblebees must be “Social Problem Experts,” and how they should carefully decide how to address small, medium and big problems! We talked about emotions such as fear, anger, frustration and sadness, and how we can mitigate negative emotions.
After reading about the bumblebees and discussing social skills, have your students work collaboratively to build their bees. All the students should roll a die in order to earn parts. Bumblebees have to work collaboratively in the hive, so this creates a wonderful opportunity to practice teamwork and flexible thinking strategies.
We were also able to incorporate some math language into our session with phrases like “I have fewer parts than you!” or “The bee has the least amount of stingers but the most stripes!”
When we finished this activity, all my students were “buzzing” about what they did in speech.