7 Tips for Using Dice in Speech/Language Therapy

Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
How do you make 'work' more fun for middle school students? It can be quite the challenge! My middle school students function at an elementary school level in many areas, but as they've gotten older, they aren't as interested in board games as they once were. 

Using dice has come to my rescue on more than one occasion when dealing with disinterested middle schoolers! Of course, elementary school students will love these games, too!

Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
The basic, open ended game can be used for almost any goal. It is so easy to keep around and pull out when students are refusing to work. All you have to do is divide a sheet of paper into 6 sections and number each box. 

The students can even do this themselves, choosing their color paper and deciding which of their targets will go in each box. Besides the fact that giving students choices can make them more willing to participate, the act of deciding gets them thinking and talking about what they have been learning in speech.  Each student can be giving different types of responses and still play the same game!

In the photo, the student on the left is practicing /r/ in the final position with pictures from Rainy Day 'R'. To get even more productions, have the student say the word the number of times that is rolled! The student on the right is using pronouns to tell about the pictures from Articulation & Language Games: Talk About 'SH.'

How about using dice to get 100 productions of a target sound? This game makes it easier!

Cover a die with red and green paper on the sides and put tape over it. Students roll the die and keep producing words with their sounds until they make a mistake or roll a stop. Then it is the next student's turn. While they are waiting, they can place checks in the boxes, color or dot them if you keep track of how many productions they did. The first student to get 100 correct productions wins!
I made this into a freebie for you! Get it here.

Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
Did you ever play Bingo with dice?  If you use two different colors to number the boxes, students can roll to see which box to answer about and cover.

This is a great visual way to build math skills for co-ordinates and quadrants and your students won't even realize it! Pictured in the photo are my Homonyms: Multiple Meanings D Bingo cards, but you can use any bingo game.

Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
Connect 3 is a fun game that can easily be played with dice and a page with boxes!  I like to use different colored boxes to match my dice. Then I hide the dice in a bag and let the student take one out to roll.

After responding about the target in the matching box, they write their initials in the box. Any time that they fill in an adjacent box, they connect them. The person who connects three, or has the most pairs, is the winner.

In the photo, you can see vocabulary for friendship qualities from my Social Skills: Friendship Rules packet. You can use this idea with any kind of work, though!

Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
Narratives are such an important skill, which so many of my students lack. I bought some sets of soft foam math cubes at the Dollar Store and covered them with the stickers from my Story Grammar Marker set. I covered them with tape and I was ready to go!

Use any pictures that contain some story elements and will get your students started. In the photo, you see some Spring actions from my Spring Adapted Book and Activities Set. Students roll the dice and tell the information they want to add to their story. Orally, I have done this to help my students practice formulating correct sentence structures, but you could have students write their answers and form a written narrative, too. When they have figured out all of the elements, it is time to tell the story!

Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
For a quick vocabulary review game, have each student write 6 of their target words on an index card. They roll the die to see which word to define and use in a sentence correctly to earn a point. I give them 7-10 rolls each and see which student got the most points when I need it to be quick!

You can see how quick and easy it is to do this in the photo that shows this activity from my Homonyms: Multiple Meanings B set. I had them figure out the word when given the definition and then use it in a sentence to show that meaning.

Using dice in speech therapy makes it more fun! Looks-Like-Language
To change things up a bit, sometimes I combine spinners and dice! My students need lots of practice formulating ideas into sentences, so sometimes I have them spin to get one idea to use and roll to get the other idea, then combine them in a concise, correct sentence.

The photo shows this idea using action photos from my Spring Adapted Books & Activities packet along with a question spinner, found in my Articulation & Language: Talk About 'SH' set. Students roll to get the picture to use and then spin the spinner to ask or answer using that question word about their picture.

My students often need thinking time before responding, so I like to do one round where everyone rolls  and another round where they take turns giving their answers. It may take a little more time, but I have found that the added co-operativeness and willingness to do the activity for longer compensate for the extra time! Do you use dice in therapy?
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