These semantic relationships speech therapy worksheets make it simple to work on this skill. They are absolutely perfect for upper elementary or middle school speech therapy students who need to work on semantic relationships, and involve no prep- making them quick and easy to use during a busy day! In this blog post, I’ll share some of my favorite ideas and worksheets for targeting this skill area with your speech and language students- plus, why you should work on semantic relationships in the first place.
Why Target Semantic Relationships in Speech Therapy?
So, why target semantic relationships in speech therapy anyways?
When we have so many possible objectives that we could be targeting in speech therapy, and so little time, we want to get the most “bang for our buck”.
I want to work on skills that are going to be useful to my students outside of the therapy room. Understanding concepts such as location, direction, time, serial order, and passive voice are important skills to have. Once I began working on this skill area with a few of my students, I quickly realized how many of them struggled especially with spatial concepts and time.
How to Work on Semantic Relationships
Time and Sequence Semantic Relationships
I started with calendar and time vocabulary skills.
“Can you tell me what day comes before Sunday?”
“If your math test is two days after Tuesday, what day of the week is your test?”
“Can you tell me what month is two months before March?”
I was met with a quite a few blank stares. I immediately got out my dry erase board. It turned out that a lot of my students weren’t able to list all of the months of the year- so that was a great starting point.
I explained that the days of the week- and the months of the year- are like a cycle. They keep happening, over and over and over again.
We used sticky notes and we would place it on a target- let’s say, June. Then, I’d ask them to tell me what month came after June. Many told me the month that came before June, so this was a fantastic starting point: understanding “before” vs “after”.
We kept going with time and sequence concepts. We used holidays, daily school schedules, you name it. I included as many time vocabulary words and phrases I could think of. Eventually, I made semantic relationship worksheets so that I didn’t have to think of these questions off the top of my head- plus, so many of my students were benefiting from working on these skills.
Location Semantic Relationships
Once we’d gotten the basics of time, I moved on to location.
If you’re working with upper elementary or middle school speech therapy students- don’t assume they can tell the difference between “left” vs “right”. If your student doesn’t know the difference, this is a great place to start. If your student does know the difference, move it up a notch.
Can he show you what it means when an item is “to the left of” or “to the right of” another item? How about if one item is “on the right side of” or “on the left side of” another item?
Next, we worked on comparative relationships.
The basics of this included asking questions like, “Is a giraffe taller than a zebra?”
To make it more challenging for upper elementary and middle school speech therapy students, add in more variables.
An example of this might be, “Matt ran the race in 55 seconds. Jason ran the race in a minute. Matt’s time was ________ than Jason’s.” (Answer: shorter than Jason’s).
I included comparative relationship worksheets in this packet, but then created a whole task card set focusing solely on comparative relationships as well. These task cards are designed for upper elementary or middle school speech therapy students and work on vocabulary such as more, less, larger, smaller, higher, lower, shorter, & longer.
Another area to target when working on semantic relationships is passive voice. Passive voice is when the subject is acted on the verb (this passive voice article by grammarly.com is useful for explaining this concept).
I had my students tell me if two sentences meant the same thing or something different. For example: The meteorologist forecasted the weather. The weather was forecasted by the meteorologist.
Those sentences mean the same thing (though, one is much easier to read than the other).
I also have my students practice arranging words into sentences that contain passive voice (meteorologist watched thunderstorm The by the was). This gives them some more practice with understanding the concept.
I hope this article gives you some simple ideas for teaching semantic relationships in speech therapy. If you want quick and easy, ready-to-go semantic relationship worksheets (or semantic relationship task cards), be sure to check out these links to my TpT store. Also, before sure to grab your free Semantic Relationships Worksheet for grades 3-5 before you go!
Talk next time!
Karen @ The Pedi Speechie