So basically every speech therapist on my Instagram feed is going back to school this week.  When I worked in the schools, I LOVED to use “Chrysanthemum” in our first week speech therapy sessions.  Like super puffy heart loved it!  In fact, I used a few of Kevin Henkes’ books during those first few weeks.  Today, I am going to share some of my activities that I used in those first weeks to get acquainted with each of my students.  In turn, they were able to get to know me and each person in their group.  (I participated in the activities just like the kids!  It made sharing things about ourselves that much easier.)

Chrysanthemum Activities for Speech Therapy

Using a Name Poem in Speech Therapy

As I write this post, the actual term for this is escaping my brain.  All I can come up with is an “acrostic” poem but I am not sure that is correct.  Either way, it is a great activity!!  I love it for a language activity since each child must come up with describing words about themselves.  It’s awesome because we have to work past the “good” and “smart” to get to the bigger words like “intelligent,” or “brilliant.”  Plus, I LOVE the kids that use “awesome” for their letter “A” characteristic.  To start, either type each student’s name down the paper and print or the kids can write their own names.  Have a thesaurus or two available to help with words.

Name Map

Another fun one that I like to use the first day of therapy.  Each student was given a sheet of paper with their name typed on it.  (For less prep on you, just give the kids each a piece of blank paper for them to write their name.)  Have the kids draw pictures of their favorite things like food, color, sport, hobbies, etc.  Maybe they can even draw a quick portrait of themselves.  Allow them to be as creative as they wish!  After everyone is done, have each child tell about themselves using their name map.

Name Map for Speech Therapy
This one is from several years ago! How do I know? Since receiving my Master’s, I no longer refer to myself as a “speech teacher.” Plus, I have had another kid!

Letters and Blocks

I loved this activity when working with my pre-Kindergarten to 1st (heck, maybe even 2nd) grade students.  I wrote each child’s name on the table (with dry erase markers!) or on a sheet of construction paper.  Each child counted the letters in their name.  Then they had to request that number of blocks.  You can use unifix cubes or legos; whatever is available!  So if their name had 7 letters, they asked for 7 blocks.  The child stacked their blocks then we compared!  Who has the longest name?  The shortest name?  Whose stacks are the same?  Talk about “over” and “under” such as “What letter is under the “N” in Kent?”  If using multi-colored blocks, ask “What color is the “M?” to work on colors!  You get great language concepts out of this activity without the kids knowing they are learning!

Name Activity for Speech Therapy
Make sure to use blocks that are the same height! Otherwise, a 4 letter name looks taller than a 7 letter name!

This book is just of the several I liked to use at the beginning of school.  What are some of your favorite back to school books?

Still needing some fun ideas for back to school?  Check out my post about crayons and articulation!

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