Quick, Easy and FREE Thanksgiving Play Tips!

One of my favorite categories to use along with the Thanksgiving theme is (you guessed it!) FOOD. What a natural go-together! The basic Thanksgiving vocabulary, such as Pilgrim, Indian, log cabin, teepee, etc. can be incorporated into play based on daily routines, while actually building your little ones’ communication skills for food names, eating and drinking!

Free and easy Thanksgiving play- Looks-Like-Language!
Watch out for craft store sales to get great little props. The Pilgrims and Indians in my photo are wooden pieces that I think were meant for scrapbooking or decorating frames! Of course, raiding your children’s toys (if you are brave) or checking garage sales are other ways to get great finds. Best of all, the log cabin and teepee will cost you next to nothing! Did you figure out how they are made?

You need some internet images, an empty tissue box, and an empty toilet paper roll! For real! Oh, you need scissors, glue, and a paper clip, too. (If you want to make them really pretty and do it as a  craftivity for your students to take home, you might want to paint the tissue box and toilet paper roll brown first. I totally skipped this step!)

For the log cabin, I cut out around the opening for the tissues, leaving about a half inch of the box left to provide a sturdy frame. Glue the log cabin photo onto one side of the box and cut out the tissue box and the photo around the door frame. Bend it back so it can open and close. Add extra construction paper logs around the other sides if you’d like more detail.

For the teepee, cut along the length of the toilet paper roll to open it. Pull one set of ends together in a way to get the other ends opening up in a teepee shape. Glue or tape the skinny ends together and secure with a paper clip. Glue the teepee photo onto the toilet paper roll, aligning the openings, and cut the toilet paper roll opening to match your photo.

Voila! Instant Thanksgiving theme!

If you don’t have play figures, cut out Pilgrim and Indian finger puppets, and small pictures of the foods or target words you need to elicit and you are ready to go! Then, they can talk about who is hungry or thirsty, what food each person wants, how are they going to get it (catch the turkey, grow the pumpkin, shuck the corn) and where it goes (in the teepee or in the log cabin.) For even more fun, have your students make food from playdoh.

There’s no worries about messing up the play houses since they are so easy and inexpensive to do! But, if they do survive the play, you can store all of the picture cards, finger puppets and other play items in the tissue box until next year!

My Journey to the World of an SLP

How did you decide to become an SLP? I’m joining with The Frenzied SLPs to tell you our stories of what led us to this path in life. I’m sure that there are as many different stories as there are SLPs!

The journey to be an SLP- A Frenzied SLP Link-up- Looks-Like-Language
My interest in speech therapy started at a very young age. I was in elementary school when I had a young cousin who was unintelligible to everyone in my extended family, except for my aunt and I! It got me thinking that maybe I had a special skill.

Time passed, and I remained interested in working with children. I ran a small summer camp for local kids with a friend, babysat and volunteered my time with disabled children while in middle/high school. However, I entered my undergraduate years planning to become a reading specialist, combining my love of books and children. 

Then I realized that there was no undergraduate major for reading, at the same time that I was highly recommended to take an introductory course on speech and language development. I was fascinated with all of the information that I learned that semester, and my major was decided!

Being an overachiever, I took quite a few education classes and double majored in psychology, as well.  When it came time for a Master’s degree, I decided to continue with speech/language pathology. I’m very glad that I did! I must say that, in my long career, at times I have felt swamped with too much to do and overwhelmed with paper work, but I have never been bored!

Each student I have worked with has had me learning as much as I was remediating! Every child is unique, learning in a different way and bringing their individual strengths and weaknesses to the learning curve. From infants to high school and regular education to special needs, I’ve had the privilege to touch many lives for the better!


What is your story? Please share in the comments!

Building Thanksgiving Sentences FREE Activity-4

Build Thanksgiving sentences with pictured words! Free from Looks-Like-Language
If your school is like mine, you have a few days to get through before Thanksgiving! Why these short weeks before a holiday sometimes seem the longest is beyond me!

To say Happy Thanksgiving to my loyal followers, I'm getting this last section of my Thanksgiving out to you ahead of time. I really hope it makes your planning a little easier this week.

Download it here, and have a wonderful holiday!

Building Thanksgiving Sentences FREE Activity- 3

Build Thanksgiving sentences with pictured words! Free from Looks-Like-Language
I just love using visuals! They really help any students with processing or learning problems, they support at risk learners, and pictures just make it more fun for kids! I do tend to forget how much more easily most students will write than mine will, but don't be concerned. Your students who learn at a faster rate will have fun with the pictures and then can go write their own sentences after!

Building Thanksgiving Sentences has picture supports at two levels- supporting comprehension using color coded WH questions and noun-verb-noun sorting for higher level students. Fun for everyone!

This week you get the action/ verb pictures for making sentences. Download it here!

Planning Made Easier- Quick Tips for SLPs

Planning.. Is that a problem for you? I know a lot of SLPs and SPED teachers who think that is one of the biggest job problems, right after all of the paperwork. In fact, most of them say they'd like to leave the school system as soon as they reach full retirement age and then work somewhere else. They don't know what specific kind of job they want, but they all agree that it has to be one that does not require planning!


Making Planning Easier- Tips for SLPs from Looks-Like-Language
Of course, we can all plan for the week, but what can be done to make the process quicker and easier? My time spent planning has gotten easier over the years, so here are my tips in case they are helpful for you. If you are just starting out, you might as well face the fact that planning will take considerable time. However, there are ways that can make it quicker for next year!


Organize Your Caseload


First, I start with a master list of my students and goal areas that I made when determining groups at the beginning of the year. Click here if you want to see how I use it. While I do this on paper to keep a copy at home, a photo of it will work as well. I'm sure there must be some app out there that will do this, too. If so, please share!


Organize Materials


I keep my thematic materials in page protectors in a binder. Label the binders by theme or skill with this freebie!


Making Planning Easier- Tips for SLPs from Looks-Like-Language
When I need to plan for the month ahead, I look in the binder as the first step, pulling out any materials I have already made that can be adapted for the current year's students and goals. I also pull out a few open ended materials that are just plain fun. 

Try hanging them up on a bulletin board so your students can see them, too! Often I will switch my planned activity around when a student requests one of these activities, as long as I can still accomplish the goal, since students learn better when they are invested.


Keep Notes


One of the tips that really helps me is to jot down notes if I have figured out an especially creative or fun way to adapt a material to meet two wildly different goals. Do you have some groups that are like that? I have some where the kids actually have no goals in common! They just are available at the same time and can be at the same table together! These kind of groups make for some creative planning. Meeting 4-6 different goals in one hour a week with no overlaps gets you thinking about different ways to use the materials!


Making Planning Easier- Tips for SLPs from Looks-Like-Language

Search TpT the Quick Way!

Once I've pulled out the materials that I think will work for my current caseload and goals, I'm off to TpT to check out what freebies or paid products are available to fill in my other needs. Having this wonderful resource is amazing! Before TpT, I had to spend so many more hours planning and making materials. I didn't have the money to buy commercially available materials, and they just needed to be modified tremendously, anyway!  

It is very easy to refine your search on TpT, making it quick and easy! First, enter your skill or theme, in this case, Thanksgiving. Then choose your subject. If you click 'specialty,' you have the the choice of speech therapy.  Then enter your price range. If you want to look at freebies first, go under the member sponsored ads and click on 'sort by' to get 'most recently.'  This will let you start your search with the most recently posted freebies and work your way back in time, saving you from seeing sets that you may ave already downloaded. Quick and easy!


Two Fun Freebies!

I did exactly this in my search and came up with these two fun freebies to use this year!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Turkey-Costumes-Bingo-Freebie-2218325
Turkey Costume Bingo from Communication Blessings is a fun way to bridge from Halloween to Thanksgiving, as well as being a fun activity to complement many turkey books! 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Print-n-Play-Thanksgiving-FREEBIE-967080
It is always great to have an open ended game around! This set from Gold Country SLP is fun and easy! It is also black and white, making photocopying easier!

If you like these ideas, be sure to download my FREE editable binder spine labels to make your life easier!
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