Uh oh – we’re in a drought. A theme drought! It’s the middle of summer and after the 4th of July, there are no more holidays for a while. What’s an SLP to do? How about we celebrate our essential workers with some doctor activities for SLPs.
Maybe you’re pulling out your favorite drill books and thinking about playing matching… again.
Or you’re one of the lucky few who has a Cariboo game and you’re thinking you’ll try to play that via teletherapy. Maybe it will work?
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! I’ll help you to plan this week and the rest of the weeks until we’re out of this drought and back to our regularly scheduled therapy. Sound good?
Last week we dove in with some fantastic Pirate activities. Not to toot my own horn, but I found 25+ pirate-themed activities (toot toot). You could probably talk about pirates for an entire month if you wanted to!
Two weeks ago, I put together a Summer School SLP Survival Guide. With six kid-approved themes, data sheets, and a progress report template, you’ll be a #summerschoolboss.
Let’s dive into week 1 of a new series: Community Helpers. Hop on in as we learn about doctors, firefighters, police officers, nurses, EMTs, SLPs, teachers, and lots of other community members!
I just got a new instagram account @kaylacalabro_slp, so please go follow me there. I have like 12 followers (give me that pity follow!)
Doctor Activities for SLPs | Literacy-Based Instruction
This week I’m organizing my post a little differently. I’m going to share all of the materials at once and then give you ideas for how to use them at the end of each section. I tried to collect materials for pre-k to upper elementary this week. I focused on a picture book (Froggy Goes to the Doctor) and a couple of non-fiction articles written at a lower reading level. Check them out below and then see some brainstormed activities to target different language areas.
Froggy Goes to the Doctor
Mask Social Story
Non-Fiction Reading Materials
- Brittanica | Doctors – LOWER ELEMENTARY: This article explains who doctors are and what they do! It’s a great way to introduce and remind students about how an encyclopedia works.
- Study.com | What does a doctor do? – UPPER ELEMENTARY: Explore what a doctor does. This would be a great shared reading task with comprehension questions at the end.
- Vocabulary: Who’s Who in the Hospital?
- What’s a PCP?
- Becoming a Doctor
Community Helper Activities for SLPs | Doctor Videos
bn Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood | Doctors are Grownups Who Help Us [song]
Virtual field trip
Why do we get vaccines?
Doctor activities for SLPs | Games
As I scour the internet for theme-based games, I’m realizing how hard it is to find decent games that will be useful for therapy. I try to avoid anything that requires a Flash Player. I also avoid the ad-riddled content. My philosophy up until now has been to only recommend free content, but I am changing that philosophy today. I’m still going to offer things that are “fun cheap or free” to borrow Jordan Page’s wording. I will always always make sure that what I’m recommending is something I would use with multiple students for multiple targets.
- Playing Doctor Daniel – I love Daniel Tiger almost as much as I loved Mr. Rogers. I think this activity would be perfect for your littles and would allow you to reinforce vocabulary in a really fun way.
- TocaBoca Doctor ($3.99 on the iOS App Store) | iPad game – As I mentioned, I would only recommend a game that I use in therapy. This would be a great opportunity to practice talking about body parts and using your verbs/vocabulary words in sentences.
- Play-based activities (Not Socially Distant) – Let’s say you’re reading this in the future and the Covid-19 Crisis has ended. These activities are great for pre-k and younger elementary students. If you’re creative, you may be able to recreate them via teletherapy with parent coaching or as a home-carryover task.
How to Target a Variety of Goals Using These Materials
I feel like I could do a whole separate post on how I use the materials in my own therapy for a variety of goals. I’m a strong believer in using naturalistic activities to target speech, language, and pragmatics goals.
ASHA Members – this article really helped me to frame my therapeutic approach in the therapy room and is helping me to revisit naturalistic therapy during the pandemic using teletherapy.
- WORDS: identify target words or make a list of related words with your student’s target, then practice as you read the story. If you want more repetitions, you can “warm-up” and “cool down” with some drill.
- PHRASES: Similar to the above, but add an adjective or adverb (e.g., big dog, fast car, round ball).
- Beginner sentences – give them a carrier phrase (e.g., I see, I have, I want, They have, etc.).
- Advanced sentences – have your student make up a sentence with their target word. OR have the student answer a question in a full sentence using their sound.
- PARAGRAPHS: Practice retelling the story using good speech sounds. You can get multiple repetitions by doing a book walk first and guessing what the story will be about, then reading the story, then having them retell the story.
- CONVERSATION: This is similar to the retelling that I mentioned above. I consider retelling with a delay a good way to target this. Maybe have your student tell their parents or siblings about the story.
- VOCABULARY (all resources) – doctor, shot, nurse, waiting room, mask, virus, cold, disease
- Regular Verbs (Froggy Goes to The Doctor) – want/wanted, crawl/crawled, brush/bushed, flop/flopped, need/needed, scoot/scooted, circle/circled, follow/followed, step/stepped, measure/measured
- Irregular Verbs – give/gave, wake/woke, see/saw, feel/felt, make/made, say/said, fall/fell, sit/sat, throw/threw, forget/forgot
Pragmatics and Social Skills
- What do you like about going to the doctor?
- What do you not like about going to the doctor?
- What is your doctor like?
- What do you think a doctor’s day is like?
- Why do doctors help kids?
Act it out: Practice these scenarios with manipulatives or in a skit!
- Getting a shot
- Going the doctor
- Having a physical
More Resources for SLPs
- Did you miss the window for FREE CEU’s from ASHA? Check out SLP Nerdcast to get a whole bunch of CEUs by just listening while you weed your garden or go for a socially distant walk. They have a really interesting take on clinical issues with both BCBA and SLP perspectives.
- Are you a parent who is struggling with the unknowns of this summer? Listen to Lynn Lyons’ facebook live chat about how to help kids during these uncertain times. I posted this to my facebook page.
- Whether you’ve begun an anti-racist journey or you’re continuing your practice of being culturally sensitive, this article on ASHA, An Informed Lens on African American English by Megan-Brette Hamilton, PhD, CCC-SLP was a useful read for future evaluations impacted by AAE.
- Remember graduate school? It hasn’t gotten any easier during Covid times. Read about one grad student’s experiences here.
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