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Creative Speech Camp…In Your Speech Room!

Today, we are super excited to have a guest post from Claudia over at Creative Speech Lab. She is going to show us how to bring a summer camp style into our rooms. You will absolutely love her ideas, and I’m certain you’ll discover a few tips and tricks to help bring some fun into your speech room this summer!! Enjoy the tour! – over to Claudia…

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I’m Claudia Doan from Creative Speech Lab, and I want to congratulate you on reaching the light at the end of the tunnel…summer vacation! You worked hard and now you finally get to play hard.

Believe it or not, there are others who cherish summer more than you…kids! Let’s face it, children would stay in summer camp all year round if we let them, and who could blame them? Ice cream, swimming, crafts, skits, games, s’mores and stories around the campfire….count me in!

So why not bring some of these magical summer camp moments into your speech room?

Whether you’re working summer school or want to help your students feel upbeat and motivated as they transition back to school, Creative Speech Camp is for you! The Creative Speech Lab is dedicated to sharing experiences that teach speech and language skills so let’s check out some fun and motivating ideas!

Beach Ball Learning:

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What’s summer without a beach ball? Lightweight and colorful, beach balls are easy to toss around in the speech room! Here’s how you can use this motivating prop in an educational way.

  • Articulation: Write words containing the sounds you’re targeting in various locations on the ball. You can even separate words by their position (i.e. initial, medial, final) by writing them in different colored sections of the ball (as shown in the illustration above). Simply toss the ball around, having students say the words their hands touch (in isolation or in a sentence!)
  • Language: Write vocabulary words on the surface of the ball and ask students to define the words their hands touch as they catch it. You can also ask them to provide the synonym or antonym of words or even write idiomatic expressions or multiple meaning words for them to describe. So many possibilities!

S’mores and Stories

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There’s something special about sitting around a campfire under the stars, roasting marshmallows and telling stories. What if I told you there’s an educational way to bring this experience into the speech room?

One sure-fire way (pun intended) to bring s’mores into the speech room is to simply bring in graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows and let the language fun begin!

  • Sequencing & Prepositions: Ask students to explain each step in the s’more-making sequence (without pointing)! They will discuss each step of the assembly and the position of ingredients (e.g. “the graham cracker goes on top of the marshmallow and the chocolate is between the graham cracker and the marshmallow”).
  • Temporal Concepts: Did you put the marshmallow in the s’more before or after the chocolate? Was the second graham cracker added after the marshmallow? (You get the idea).
  • Past-Tense Verbs: After the s’mores are assembled, ask students to narrate the sequence once again using past-tense verbs to describe what they did.
  • Vocabulary Attributes: Perhaps the most fun part of all is to describe the color, shape, size, function, category, parts, location, texture and taste of the ingredients and even compare and contrast their attributes!

Stories Around the Campfire

As you nibble on s’mores, it’s time to tell stories! But not just any old stories…speech stories!

  • Articulation: If you need a great way to target articulation skills at the conversational level, this is it! Pull out an articulation card from the deck and begin a story using that word. Then ask your student to select another card and incorporate that into the story. Continue taking turns creating a silly story and ask your student to retell it at the end (the cards serve as excellent visual cues!)
  • Language: Target vocabulary skills by employing the above method using cards containing multiple meaning words, figurative language or classroom vocabulary. However, the use of cards to create stories while working on language skills is optional. Simple story creation allows students to work on story grammar and pronoun usage as stories are created. As they retell the story, they can practice using past-tense verbs and are sure to work on sequencing and oral language skills! Don’t forget to ask “wh” questions about the story when it’s finished!

Put on a Play!

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Kids love to perform, especially in silly plays! My fondest memories from summer camp were the skits we performed for our families and friends.

These hilarious Speech to Stage – Reader’s Theater Articulation Plays for Groups: Monster Bundle and Speech to Stage: Articulation Reader’s Theater Plays for Groups, School Nurse provide an innovative way for you to target six articulation sounds in groups! Scripts can be mixed and matched depending on who is in your group. Not only are scripts kid-friendly and funny, but they will provide your students with a lot of articulation practice as well as an opportunity to participate in the same activity together!

Speech on the Beach!

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Want to bring the beach into speech? No sunscreen needed!

What’s camp without a fun craft? This Summer Craftivity & Worksheets packet from Teaching Talking allows students to create an adorable beach craft while working on vocabulary, directions, sequencing, verb tense, basic concepts, asking & answering questions and social skills! What’s not to like?

When I go to the beach, there is always a child somewhere playing in the sand. Whether building a sandcastle, leaving footprints or searching for seashells, there’s nothing like it! One way to bring it all into the speech room is with Jenna Rayburn’s Beach Hunt: Interactive Articulation Sensory Tub Activity. Simply create a sensory bin with sand and bury the beach-themed articulation pictures inside, and have your students dig up the fun!

And, I’ve saved the best for last. What do kids love most about summer? You guessed it…ICE CREAM!

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My 50+ page Shake ‘n’ Make Ice Cream with a Scoop of Speech and Language provides a simple (and delicious) ice cream recipe with step-by-step photographs that are super easy to follow! This packet will last weeks as you target 10 language skills and 5 speech sounds!

I hope you feel inspired to bring a little Creative Speech Camp into your speech room. Your students are sure to love it!

Thank you for hosting me, Speech Room Style!

For more creative ideas, freebies and giveaways, check out Creative Speech Lab!

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