How to Do Speech Therapy with 4th and 5th Graders (SLP Guide)
Are you a speech pathologist that works with 4th and 5th graders? Do you need tips on how to work best with your upper elementary students? This is the ultimate SLP Guide for working with 4th and 5th grade in a school setting!
In this blog post, I’m going to share some of my favorite speech therapy games, goals, resources, and intervention tips for this age group. I’ll explain what has worked for me after several years of experience- and what hasn’t.
I’m hoping this blog post will be like a casual conversation, from one school SLP to another! Make sure you bookmark this post if you are a school SLP!
This post contains affiliate links, which means we could receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.
How to Write Speech Therapy Goals for 4th and 5th Graders
Goal Bank of Ideas
If you’re a school speech pathologist, then you know you’re going to have a huge pile of paperwork!
SLPs often have several reports due at a time. Additionally, we usually are trying to write them in-between meetings and seeing students in a jam-packed schedule. Many times, we know what we need to write a goal for, but finding the right wording can be tricky.
Needless to say, it can be very helpful to have a goal bank that can provide a starting point of ideas. Please note, the goals in the goal bank are just that: ideas. We must always, of course, write goals that are individualized to our students. Which isn’t easy, and takes a lot of your SLP knowledge and expertise into account!
Gathering Information and Choosing Goals
So, where’s a good place to start when trying to figure out what goals to actually work on in speech therapy?
I often find it helpful to collaborate with my student’s teachers. The teacher can provide the SLP with work samples. The teacher can also relay areas that the child is struggling with within the classroom. SLPs may even find a classroom observation helpful.
I have used criterion-referenced assessments. One example of a published criterion-referenced assessment is the Functional Communication Profile- Revised.
SLPs can also use informal measures of specific speech or language skills, progress monitoring, and can reference state standards.
How to Write Measurable IEP Goals
It’s very helpful to learn the SMART framework for writing specific and measurable IEP goals. There are some CEU courses available for SLPs. This ceu course discusses writing SMARTer goals. Likewise, this course also discusses IEP goal writing.
SMART stands for:
Learn more about the SMART framework here.
Reference: Diehm, Emily. “Writing Measurable and Academically Relevant IEP Goals with 80% Accuracy over Three Consecutive Trials.” Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, vol. 2, no. 16, 2017, pp. 34–44., https://doi.org/10.1044/persp2.sig16.34.
Reference: staff, n2y. “Tips for Writing and Understanding Smart Iep Goals: N2Y Blog.” n2y, 22 Feb. 2021, https://www.n2y.com/blog/smart-iep-goals/.
Speech Therapy Intervention Strategies for 4th and 5th Graders
Although I have worked with this age group for over 8 years, I spent 5 years exclusively working with 4th and 5th graders in an elementary school. It was a very unique experience because it allowed me to really hone in on specific areas of need for this population.
By this point, many of my upper elementary students had corrected most of their articulation errors. The remaining errors often involved vocalic r and lisps.
I also focused heavily on specific expressive language skills. We worked on vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and morphology. We worked on understanding semantic relationships and understanding the embedded vocabulary within complex directions.
Read on to gather some more information on how I specifically targeted these areas of speech and language with my fourth and fifth grade students.
How to Teach the R Sound
As Dwight Schrute from the Office once said, “R is among the most menacing of sounds.”
For many SLPs, that quote hits hard!
While I know that treating R can be frustrating, it can also be very rewarding!
First, I like to start by doing an informal assessment, so that I can see exactly which R sounds my student is having trouble with. This also gives me a starting percentage for therapy. One example of a great screening for R in all positions is the Entire World of R Screening Form.
Next, I spend a lot of time initially working to establish vocalic er in isolation. This is based off of the recommendation from Sandra Holtzmann’s R course. It doesn’t matter if I’m teaching a retroflex R or a bunched R: I start in the same place.
You can use all sorts of tools to establish the vocalic er sound in isolation, but the simplest one of all is using your arms! Clasp your hands together in front of you. You can lift your elbows, and this is the reminder to “lift” the sides of your tongue.
Finally, I use vocalic er to elicit other vocalic r sounds. It makes sense when you think about it. All of the other vocalic R sounds can be shaped from vocalic er. (For example, vocalic AR is really “ah” + “er”). You can take this R ceu course to learn more about this strategy.
Additional R Strategies
- Co-articulation: Can your student produce R in the initial position, but not in the final AR position? I had one student who was able to say the word “RAIN” with a high amount of success. I wrote the word “RAIN” on an index card, and he drew a picture of a raincloud. Then, I got out another card, and we wrote the word “CAR” on it. I placed the cards side by side, like this: “CAR-RAIN”. We started with the jaw open for “cahhhh”, then slowly closed it as we transitioned into the “R” for rain.
- Minimal Pairs: Sometimes, SEEING and HEARING the difference can be helpful. Understanding that I’m saying the wrong word, and it has a completely different meaning, can make a huge difference.
- Change How You Explain It: Explaining things differently can have a HUGE impact. Change the name of the sound, or change how you’re explaining the tongue movement or positioning. Although this is an example of a different sound, it still illustrates the point. I had one student who COULD NOT get the /k/ sound until I called it the “low T” sound. I told her the touch her bottom front teeth. I changed my wording, and that was what made the difference.
- Try the other R: Not having success with a bunched R? Try the retroflex R instead!
- Visual Feedback: Grab a mirror! Use a typodont! This typodont is wonderful for showing lingual-placement and just providing awareness of articulators. This typodont doesn’t have a great dental arch, but it DOES help if you’re trying to extinguish “jaw shifting”. Just make the sure the mouth model you choose doesn’t encourage a tongue thrust (see the lisp section!). Get creative and silly! Do whatever it takes to help your student actually SEE and FEEL tongue shape, movement, and positioning.
Learn More about Treating R
This blog post provides more of a “quick reference” for a variety of treatment areas and topics. Want to know a lot more about correcting R? No worries! I’m here to help.
In this blog post, I shared 5 simple tips for treating R to get you started. You can also watch this Youtube video where I discuss my entire approach for treating R, from start to finish. I’ll also demonstrate that arm visual thing I just mentioned earlier in the video, so watch til the end!
Want to gain more confidence quickly? Make sure to download the Bunched R, Retroflex R 5 Minute Manual for SLPs.
How to Correct a Lisp
What’s the secret to correcting a lisp?
Want to know the secret to correcting a lisp?
Well, I’ll tell you!
The secret is to consider orofacial myology basics.
When I’m correcting a lisp, I don’t start with speech.
The first thing I make sure my student understands is normal resting posture.
Step One: Establish Normal Resting Posture
What is normal resting posture? Normal resting posture means:
? the tongue is lightly suctioned to the roof of the mouth. It should “live” within the dental arch. It should NOT be flat.
? The front part/ tip of the tongue should be resting against the alveolar ridge- NOT against the insides of the front teeth. I call the alveolar ridge “home”
? The jaw is relaxed, and there is about 2-3 mm of space between the upper and lower teeth
? The lips are closed so we can breathe through the nose
Normal resting posture is the starting point for speech.
Step Two: Consider Lingual-Mandibular Differentation
I do want to make a quick note of the fact that I won’t be successful with correcting a lisp if my student can’t move the articulators separately. The fancy term for this is lingual-mandibular differentation.
I’ll say it in a different way.
My student must be able to move the tongue without moving the jaw or lips.
Try this little experiment: say the /s/ sound, and say it for awhile.
While you’re saying /s/, shift your chin from left to right. Now shift it forward.
Are you hearing the distortion?
Step 3: Teach The Whisper T
The WHISPER T
The best way to elicit s in isolation is to use the whisper t!
Once your student understands normal resting posture, you have a much higher chance of success!
First, I tell my student to smile, then find “home” (the alveolar ridge).
Next, I put a mirror in front of my student, because I want him to focus on not moving his chin while we try to say our sounds.
After that, model a slow, coordinated, succession of “tapping /t/’s”. The focus is only on moving the tongue, and making sure the tongue keeps tapping home (instead of, say, going through the teeth).
Step 4: Teach the Long T
Spend a lot of time on the whisper t!
It takes focus and concentration.
But, once your student has that down, you can move on to the long t.
I like to have my student put their tongue on home (“just like you’re going to tap out a /t/”).
Then, we take a breath and carefully release the air, directing it in a forward manner.
Side note: this one often takes quite a long time to master. Don’t give up.
Frontal Lisp vs Lateral Lisp
When you’re working on s and z, you’ll want to make sure that you’re adequately explaining tongue movement and positioning. That means you’ll need to know exactly what type of lisp your student has. But, there are certain things I don’t recommend that you say or do when correcting a lisp. That’s because I’ve made mistakes along the way! Check out the biggest mistake I made in speech therapy when trying to correct a lisp.
Tips for Lateralized Sounds
There are a few other tricks in the bag if your student is still struggling! Remember, correcting a lisp takes a lot of time and patience.
What if I told you that there was a REALLY cool way to help your student actually visualize “forward” airflow? When lateralization occurs, it’s because airflow escapes into the cheeks and mixes with saliva. It can be helpful to have another way to really demonstrate this concept to your students. Luckily, I have just the trick! Learn how to use the straw technique for correcting a lateral lisp.
Finally, you might want some further ideas for correcting a lateralized sh sound. Read more ideas about correcting lateralized sounds.
How to Teach Grammar and Sentence Structure
I realize this area might make some SLPs cringe; however, grammar and syntax have an impact on reading comprehension. Therefore, it’s pretty necessary for SLPs to address grammar and sentence structure in therapy. Knowing where to start can be tricky, which is why I developed a systematic program designed to build grammar and syntax skills from the ground up.
In order to help students understand the background knowledge of sentence parts, and how words work together to form meaning within sentences, I utilize sentence diagramming. This is a powerful tool that really helps make grammar and syntax “click” for my students.
Start with Grammar and Syntax Foundational Skills
Initially, we spend a lot of time understanding subjects and verbs in simple sentences. You might be surprised to learn just how many of your 4th and 5th grade students can’t identify nouns or action verbs within sentences! Gather some informal data. Write these sentences on a piece of paper:
- The dog barks.
- A cat sleeps.
- The deer runs.
- An octopus swims.
First, ask your student to circle the verb. For example, in the first sentence, they would need to circle the word “barks”. After that, see if they can identify the noun (subject). In the first sentence, they would need to circle the word “dog”. Finally, see if your student can identify the modifier (in this case, the article). The article in the first sentence is the word “the”.
Of course, those are just the basics. If your student is struggling with those, there’s a high probability they’re going to struggle with embedded clauses and phrases.
My students really struggled with identifying grammatical parts of speech. It was no wonder they struggled to use them in expressive language tasks as well.
If your student is struggling to comprehend how words work together to form meaning within sentences, then they’ll also have trouble understanding how sentences work together in passages to form meaning. And that does not bode well for reading comprehension.
How to Work on Vocabulary in Speech Therapy
Teaching vocabulary in speech therapy can seem overwhelming at first, but luckily there are some guidelines to get you started. This research article (available to ASHA members) provides 5 recommendations for SLPs to follow. To summarize, it is recommended that SLPs carefully select vocabulary words to provide explicit instruction on. To get the most bang for your SLP buck, you’ll want to address tier 2 vocabulary words. This is a recommendation from the book Bringing Words to Life by Beck, McKeown, and Kucan. These are complex, high frequency words. They can be used across multiple contexts. An example might be the word ‘fortunate’.
Additional strategies linked to vocabulary intervention include increasing morphological awareness and knowledge. I will address this in the next section. The truth is, we need to give our students tools to learn vocabulary- because we simply can’t teach them every word there is to know!
Simply talking things over is also helpful. Have your students circle any words they don’t know in passages before reading. Then, go through and define those words using student-friendly wording.
Another idea is to use semantic feature analyisis.
Read this article for more ideas about vocabulary intervention in speech therapy with 4th and 5th graders.
Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York, NY: The Guilford.
Elleman, Amy M., et al. “A Review of Middle School Vocabulary Interventions: Five Research-Based Recommendations for Practice.” Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, vol. 50, no. 4, 2019, pp. 477–492., https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_lshss-voia-18-0145.
How to Work on Morphology in Speech Therapy
WHY SLPs Should Work on Morphology
Morphological awareness– or perhaps better described as morphological knowledge- is very important for SLPs to address in speech therapy. Morphological knowledge has an impact on vocabulary knowledge and comprehension. While you may focus more on grammatical morphology with the younger elementary crowd, derivational morphology becomes very important for upper elementary students.
Morphological Terms for SLPs
Here is a quick list of morphological terminology to get SLPS started!
- morphology: the study of words and how they are formed
- morpheme: the smallest meaningful unit of language, cannot be further divided
- morphological awareness: understanding how words can be broken down into morphemes (which can include base, prefixes, suffixes)
- morphological knowledge: understanding, recognition, and USE of morphemes
- bound morpheme: cannot stand alone as a word (such as the -er ending)
- free morpheme: can stand alone as a word (such as the word ‘farm’)
- inflectional morpheme: suffixes that convey grammatical information, like number, tense, subject agreement, and case- there are 8 inflectional morphemes in English (examples: ‘s, -ed, -ing); doesn’t change the core meaning of the word (if you make the word ‘dog’ plural, you’re still talking about a dog)
- derivational morpheme: prefixes and suffixes added to a word to create a new word or change the meaning, may change the part of speech (example: changing the word ‘farm’ to ‘farmer’)
- prefix: a morpheme placed at the beginning of a word, such as ‘un’ (unlock)
- suffix: a morpheme placed at the end of a word, such as -ing
- affix: prefixes and suffixes are affixes
- base: a word that can stand alone after affixes (prefixes or suffixes) are removed (this can be a single free morpheme, but it may also be a combination of morphemes)
- root: what’s left after removing all affixes, the “core” of a word- sometimes stands alone (‘care’: carefully), sometimes does not stand alone (if it does not stand alone, it is usually Latin or Greek origin, such as ‘bio’ in biology)
- stem: what remains after you remove inflectional (grammatical) affixes (example: talk+s)
You can check out this article from Reading Rockets with lists of the most common root words, roots, and affixes.
Common Core Standards Linked to Morphology
Common core standards for 4th graders involve the ability to use prefixes and suffixes as clues for defining words and also using the combined knowledge of letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read unfamiliar words. Additionally, there is a common core standard for fifth graders related to morphology.
Intervention Strategies for Morphology
For specific morphological intervention strategies, I find this research article (“Using Morphological Awareness Instruction to Improve Written Language Skills“) very useful. It details some specific speech therapy intervention activities for morphology SLPs could use, including:
- segmenting tasks (i.e. breaking down words into morphological units: cats= cat + s)
- word building tasks (adding prefixes or suffixes to base words to create new words)
- word sorting tasks
- direct instruction of word roots
- use the word relatives strategy
Incorporating Morphology into Grammar and Sentence Structure Lessons
When teaching grammar and sentence structure, I like to take the time to incorporate morphological awareness. While diagramming a sentence, I can show on a sentence diagram how adding a suffix (-ly) can change what part of speech the word is.
For example, sentence 1 might be “The loud dog barks”. We diagram this and show that loud is an adjective modifying our subject ‘dog’. Next, I say, “let’s add the -ly suffix”. I write our new sentence, “The dog barks loudly”. Now, we created an adverb by adding a morphological unit to our base word, loud. In doing so, we created a new part of speech.
Kirk, Cecilia, and Gail T. Gillon. “Integrated Morphological Awareness Intervention as a Tool for Improving Literacy.” Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, vol. 40, no. 3, 2009, pp. 341–351., https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461(2008/08-0009).
Green, Laura. “Morphology and Literacy: Getting Our Heads in the Game.” Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, vol. 40, no. 3, 2009, pp. 283–285., https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0091).
Moats, Louisa Cook, and Cheryl Smith. “Derivational Morphology.” Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, vol. 23, no. 4, 1992, pp. 312–319., https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461.2304.312.
Apel, Kenn, and Krystal Werfel. “Using Morphological Awareness Instruction to Improve Written Language Skills.” Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, vol. 45, no. 4, Oct. 2014, pp. 251–260., https://doi.org/10.1044/2014_lshss-14-0039.
How to Teach Semantic Relationships in Speech Therapy
I like to teach semantic relationships in speech therapy. Over and over again, I kept seeing my upper elementary students struggle to comprehend time and spatial vocabulary. Since these terms are often embedded into complex sentences, I realized this was an area I had to address. Additionally, my students struggled with understanding comparative relationships and passive voice.
When teaching my students about time vocabulary (or time order words), I like to make it very functional. Time order words can include terms like ‘earlier’, ‘prior to’, ‘before’, and ‘afterward’. We use the student’s daily school schedule, the days of the week, and the months of the year. I might ask a question like “What class comes before gym?”
You can easily see how understanding time vocabulary would also be very necessary other language tasks, like story retell.
Upper elementary students may understand basic positional words and terms (such as beneath, next to, behind). To make things more challenging, I include multiple modifiers while reviewing these concepts. For example, we might practice writing our names on the top left side of the page. We also practice terms like ‘to the right of’ or ‘on the left side of’.
Check out some grab ‘n go semantic relationship worksheets for this age group.
How to Work on Complex Following Directions in Speech Therapy
Many 4th and 5th graders need to work on complex following directions activities. I want to make these following directions activities as functional and meaningful as possible. I like to target directions that include spatial concepts, conditional concepts, temporal concepts, and sequential concepts.
Often, I will include multiple modifiers, and target more than one concept at a time. For example, I might include a direction that contains both time vocabulary (such as ‘after’) and spatial (location) vocabulary (such as ‘to the left of’).
As I mentioned previously, time (temporal) concepts can be very tricky for my students. We spend a lot of… time (no pun intended) in my speech room learning (or reviewing) vocabulary such as ‘before’ and ‘after’. An example of a higher level, complex direction involving embedded time vocabulary might include “After you raise your hand, write your name on the paper.” You could make that same direction a little more challenging by adding in some modifiers. “After you raise your left hand, write your first name on the paper.”
Spatial concepts are also challenging! An example of how I incorporate spatial concepts into complex directions (containing other embedded concepts) would be: “First, write your name in the top right corner of the page. Next, circle the first letter.”
If you wish, try out these complex following directions activities with your students.
The Best Games for Speech Therapy (Upper Elementary)
I love using games with my speech therapy students- even my older ones! It’s important to motivate my students. I want them to enjoy coming to speech, and there’s nothing wrong with brain breaks or choosing games that support speech and language objectives!
The first game I use non-stop with this age group is Disney Meme: The Game. My students have SO much fun with this one. We also use it to work on a variety of language goals. I give them a target word and they create a sentence about the picture. We’ve also used the pictures to work on comparing and contrasting and describing goals.
The next game I use all the time with my upper elementary students is Spot It. This game is fast, fun, and easy to use no matter what speech therapy goal you’re targeting.
Read the entire list of best games for 4th and 5th graders here.
The Best Materials for Upper Elementary Speech Therapy
Here a few of my favorite materials and activities for upper elementary students.
- Entire Year of Grammar and Sentence Structure (Grades 4-5)
- Lisp and R Bundle
- Story Champs Program (you can also learn more about this program on their website)
- Semantic Relationships Worksheets
- Prefix, Suffix, and Base Word Tile Kit
- Sentence Diagramming Beginning Workbook
Read more about challenging activities for 4th and 5th graders.
The Best Books for Speech Therapy (4th and 5th Grade)
There’s no doubt that books can be an effective way to work on speech and language objectives in speech therapy! Sometimes, we need books that are sound-loaded (contain specific speech sounds). Other times, we need books that allow us to address a variety of language skills, such as vocabulary, comprehension, and story retell.
I always love starting out the school year with The Name Jar. Graphic novels, such as Twins and the Dog Man series, are always a hit! Many 4th graders also still get a laugh out of Pig the Pug books, and Turkey Trouble is a staple in November.
Read my full list of favorite books for 4th and 5th graders in speech therapy, and make sure to grab your free Book Boost reference pages!
My Favorite Speech Therapy CEU Courses for Upper Elementary
There are a lot of great CEU courses for SLPs available. I’m going to share my top 4 favorite CEU speech therapy courses for this age level. These are courses I have personally taken and found beneficial. I hope you will too, if you decide to take them!
- R: Techniques And Interventions To Correct /r/ — Seven Steps, From Basics To Habituation
- The Informed SLP (www.theinformedslp.com)
- Do the Hard Things First? Treatment of Morphology and Syntax
- Natural Language Acquisition In Autism: Echolalia To Self-Generated Language
Items You Need In Your Speech Therapy Room (for Upper Elementary)
Here are some resources that you may find helpful to keep nearby in your speech room.
- Hanging File Folder Organizer: this is HUGE for trying to keep all of those random papers, worksheets, or lists organized!
- Dry Erase Pocket Sleeves: Believe me- you’ll use these ALL THE TIME with your upper elementary speech therapy students! You can reuse worksheets over and over again. They’re great to pull out during a busy day because you won’t need to continuously run to the copier!
- Art Caddy: The secret to grabbing what you need quick? The Art Caddy! I keep one on my therapy table at all times. Read this must-have materials post to see what I put in mine!
- Pen and Pencil Organizer: You will also want desktop storage for dry erase markers, pens, pencils, and crayons. This organizer belongs on your therapy desk or table and holds writing materials for your students to use.
- Pilot G-2 Pens: I know a lot of people prefer flair pens. But I’m in LOVE with these Pilot G-2 pens. You’re going to do a LOT of writing during the day- you might as well (kind of) enjoy it!
- Daubers: Bingo Daubers are really fun and motivating, even at this age level. They’re also easy to grasp if students have fine motor difficulties.
- Typdont: it’s really useful to have a typodont on hand for explaining lingual-palatal contact to your students!
How to Make Your Speech Therapy Schedule
Speech therapy scheduling is no joke- it’s like one MEGA game of tetris! To actually make your schedule, you will need specific information.
The Information SLPs Need to Create a Schedule
What you need to make your speech therapy schedule:
- your speech caseload list
- administrative homeroom list
- letter or emails to teachers
- as many sticky notes as you can find
- progress reports or IEP objectives at a glance
- any information you can gather from their previous SLP
To get started, you need a speech caseload list. Depending on where you work, this may be gathered in different ways. You absolutely need to know who you’re supposed to be working with. Sometimes, this may come from a special education secretary. It may also come from a Speech Pathologist in your district who works with younger grades and passes on this information to you. If you can’t find a speech caseload list, there should be a list of all students on IEPs in your building, which would at least give you a place to work from. It’s also possible that your school psychologist may have a list available.
You will also need an administrative homeroom list, so you can actually find your students. Alternatively, you may have access in whichever computer system your school uses to get homeroom information. I do like to have this information on paper, though. It’s much easier for scheduling purposes!
Next, Collaborate with Teachers
SORT STUDENTS BY TEACHER
After you have identified the students on your caseload, you sort students by teachers or home rooms. Once you have this information, you can send a letter (or email) to teachers. I let the teachers know which students in their room receive speech therapy services (and it’s nice to explain what they’re working on as well).
FIGURING OUT THE BEST DAYS AND TIMES FOR SPEECH THERAPY
I also let them know how many minutes and blocks of times per week I will need available to work with the students so that I can meet monthly minutes. You may be writing quarterly minutes, etc, so just figure out what works for your situation.
Teachers can let you know the best- and worst– times to work with students, no matter what model of service delivery you plan on using. Tell your teachers WHEN you need to have this information so that you can begin the scheduling process. The beginning of the year is crazy for everyone, and deadlines are a necessity.
When you have all of the time availability information back from teachers, the fun (that’s a joke!) can begin.
Finally, You Can Create a Schedule
Now that you know the students on your caseload, their needs, their teacher, and the best times for therapy, you can begin scheduling.
I do this usually using about 600 sticky notes. Sigh.
On one big index card, I write grade level. Then, I break that further into teachers. Underneath that, I have individual sticky notes for each student. I write A, L, or A/L on the sticky notes to indicate if they receive services for articulation (A), language (L), or articulation and language (A/L).
After that, I figure out which students could be paired together based on days, times, and needs.
Read this blog post for more detailed information on how to schedule your speech therapy students.
Running Classroom Language Lessons
Sometimes, I went into the classroom and ran classroom language lessons. This usually occurred in our resource rooms.
There are several ways you can do this. Usually, I start with one main “hands on” activity (such as a craft, simple cooking / edible crafts, a story read aloud, a movement activity, or completing a simple science experiment).
You can easily incorporate vocabulary, comprehension, and following directions into any activity.
We follow this up by describing a character or related item. You can make this fun and interactive. Try tossing a beach ball or large dice around, and students could take turns telling you one attribute (category, object function, parts, etc.) Alternatively, you also could turn this into a bean bag toss activity.
If you’re working with a smaller group, you might also enjoy pairing your story read aloud with a story retell yoga mat.
Finally, you could always finish up your lesson with a fun word-building game, like Wordical or Prefix and Suffix Bingo.
SLP Organization Tips
SLPs have a TON of paperwork, and often, lots of supplies! We work with a wide range of students. So, although you’re likely reading this post because you work with 4th and 5th graders, you probably have younger, or even older, students on your caseload as well.
How To Organize Your SLP Planner
There is no denying it: SLPs have a TON to keep track of. IEP due dates, evaluation due dates, meetings, therapy times, and more! It’s a LOT, and it took me quite a few years to figure out a system that worked. Want a sneak peek to how I organize my SLP planner? In this video, I’ll walk you through the basics.
I have an organized system to keep track of:
- my weekly schedule
- data collection sheets
- attendance sheets
- my caseload
- upcoming meetings
- reports due
- and more!
This SLP planner is available in my TpT store.
Need More Speech Therapy Ideas?
Well, I know that was a LOT of information! Hopefully, I gave you some fresh ideas and insight about how to do speech therapy with 4th and 5th graders. This blog is meant to inspire school SLPs, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me (email@example.com) if you have any questions, comments, or ideas!