As a contract SLP, I say a lot of goodbyes. At the end of my time with a student, I like to take some time to reflect back on what they’ve accomplished and to talk to them about their future. I tend to take classic therapy activities off the table and make it more fun, so this post is all about those “last day of speech” activities!
I’m lucky to live in a Northern state, so I got to watch as all of our Southern colleagues wrapped up their year. As they posted online about their plans, I compiled a list of cost-free ideas that I thought would be fun! I’ll probably keep updating this as I see more great ideas shared on social media, so check back.
Play a Game
I love to play games on the last day. We’ve been playing with scattegories and skribl.io (warning – some of the content may be better for older kids). I post a new game every week, so check out my themed games for camping, bugs, and other fun topics.
For many people, camping is a sure sign that summer is here. I loved telling ghost stories in my dark office when I worked with elementary schoolers as a CF. The fluorescent lights in my office gave me headaches, so we’d often have “flashlight days” and play with different lighting. I have tons of ideas for how to talk about camping here.
Water Safety and Ice Cream
My mom is a 3rd-grade teacher and she always gets her students Dairy Queen gift cards as a parting gift. As an added bonus, I got a blizzard for patiently waiting for the DQ employee to charge thirty $1 gift cards. Anyways, I bet you can get ice cream gift cards for your students from a local business and talk to them about water safety. It’s an important topic that we will be discussing more this summer.
I’m a big fan of time capsules or letters to your future self. I think it would be so fun to have your students write a letter to themselves for the first day of school next year (if you’re feeling cute, you could mail them to your students the week before school starts!).
I don’t work with any high school students, but I imagine these would be so fun to do with older kids. I’m planning to use them with friends! Basically, you have to find your way out of a room using clues. Older kids will practice using their comprehension, deductive reasoning, and critical thinking skills to figure out how to get out of the room.
Disclaimer: I haven’t tried all of these escape rooms! As always, you are responsible for reviewing these materials and ensuring they are appropriate for your students and their unique circumstances.
- Minecraft Escape Room
- Hogwarts Escape Room
- Ultra Super Mega Death Escape Room
- Spy Apprentice Digital “Escape Room” Adventure
- Oscar’s Stollen Oscar
- Romeo and Juliet Escape Room
- Dog Man Digital Escape Room
- Jumanji Escape Room
- Unlock Disney World
- Escape From Wonderland Digital Escape Room
Hangman with Inspirational Quotes
I’ve posted before about this awesome make-your-own hangman site! I love the idea of using inspirational quotes as the final activity for therapy. I went ahead and made some for you! If you don’t find one you like, it’s pretty easy to make your own on their website.
- Follow your fear. – Tina Fey
- “Be bold, be courageous, and be your best” – Gabrielle Giffords
- “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe
Kid President Grad Video
If you’ve been following along, you know that I love Kid President. Watch this video with your students and practice your active listening as you talk about their reaction. Be your own Beyonce!
You can do so much with these awkward yearbook photos! I think I’d start my lesson with a caveat that we weren’t going to insult the people in the pictures, but we were going to have fun looking at some very awkward photos. They can make up the caption, infer a person’s likes and dislikes, and may make a guess about what clique or group the person joined. There’s a whole bunch of room for discussion about what’s expected and unexpected in these pics. googled “Awkward Yearbook Photos” and we’re going to make up captions, make inferences about what the person likes/doesn’t like or what clique/group they belong to, discuss expected/unexpected behaviors/clothing/poses/props, etc.
I found this freebie and thought it would be useful for reflecting back on how therapy went during this unique year. Head over to Michelle’s Communication Corner to check it out!
A scavenger hunt can be such a fun last day of speech activity. You may want to warn parents that the kids will be up and moving around the house! Split your group into teams and list items for them to find. They can run to find it and the first team to have everyone back gets a point. Here are some ideas: find something red, find something that has the letter t in it, etc.
Here are a few different scavenger hunts you can try:
- Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
- Nature Scavenger Hunt (TPT Freebie)
- Nature Scavenger Hunt (Freebie)
- Color Scavenger Hunt
Show and Tell
You know the rules of this one. Each student picks something around their home that means a lot to them. They get a chance to tell the other kids in the group about their item, then the others can ask questions!
3 Stars and a Wish
Have your students talk about three favorite moments from this year and one wish for the summer or next year. 3 stars and a wish – 3 favorite moments from this year and one wish for the summer.
Virtual Field Trips
There are so many lists of virtual field trips out there. I know that teachers started using them a lot as soon as remote learning began. I was a little slow to get onto that bandwagon, but I now love these virtual field trips. We can still work on language formualation in a fun way! Here are some lists of virtual field trips for you to check out.
- We Are Teachers – 25+ Amazing Educational Virtual Field Trips—Spring 2020
- How to Homeschool for Free – Huge list of Virtual Field Trips
Coloring Page Barrier Games
Does your student have a favorite character? If you google “[character name] free coloring pages” you will definitely find a picture that you and your students can work with. Print off one for yourself and email the same one to your student’s parents. Then you can take turns giving each other directions to color the picture compare the pictures at the end!
Make a slide show with summer GIFs. I like to use GIPHY to copy GIF links and then I upload them into google slides. This video helps to explain how to add GIFs with a URL to your google slides.
What they’ll remember
I encourage you to take this final moment to connect with your student. Build them up, encourage them, and give them all of the love that you can. In other words, take a moment to be human. When I’m taking data and managing paperwork, I often find myself too busy to really be present with my students. This is the time. The paperwork is toast (this last data point isn’t actually that critical) and your last teachable moment is an opportunity to model. Remember what Maya Angelou said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” I hope you take this moment to let your students feel seen, heard, and liked. You’ve got this.
If you like these ideas, please share them on pinterest!