You want to keep your older speech students motivated but don't want them expecting games every day? Maybe they can't handle a game and you need another option…I am here to help!
Keeping our older students motivated can be a huge challenge. They have been receiving speech for years, school is hard for them, and/or they might be embarrassed about their difficulties. We need to be creative to motivate them to continue to put effort in, find love in learning/school, and make our tiny speech rooms warm and inviting. I have learned some tricks over the years that have kept my students motivated which I will share with you. Hopefully it saves you some time and headaches in the future!
Using Videos To Keep Speech Students Motivated
Our students love technology. Many of them spend hours at home browsing You Tube. If we can tap into their interests AND take the reading piece out of the activity which might be what overwhelms them and causes them to demonstrate avoidance behavior…it can be a win for us! But what kind of videos can we use?
- Commercials: there are tons of commercials out there that are funny and requires inferential skills, vocabulary skills, social skills, and figurative language skills. CLICK HERE to view my blog post all about this idea and sample commercials you can use PLUS actual inferential questions you can use as well!
- Wordless minimovies: take the words out and students have to infer what is happening using the music, body language, and comprehending what is going on. I also have a blog post with my favorites which you can check out HERE.
- MysteryDoug: want to work on nonfiction?! This free site is awesome and uses motivating topics. Students really enjoy learning about the topics shown and can work on nonfiction summarizing too. Learn more about this awesome free site by clicking HERE.
Using Puzzles To Keep Speech Students Motivated
It is hands on and fun. They can work collaboratively or independently. You can use commercially available puzzles and have them work as a team for social skills or give them pieces as reinforcers and then can build at the end if they earned it. You can also make DIY puzzles too. Learn more about using puzzles in speech by checking out my blog post on the topic by clicking HERE.
Using High Interest News Articles to Keep Speech Students Motivated
Sometimes we need to bring in a reading passage to work on carryover and skills. We cannot avoid it sometimes. Sometimes we need it to assess progress or just need a quick activity that requires little prep but we don't want to sacrifice the fun on the therapy session. I love using NewsELA, a free website that has motivating and relevant articles for students. They also provide you with the capability of differentiating the article for different reading levels which helps also. We can provide students with articles at or below their reading level so we cannot overwhelm them with the reading piece and truly target our language goals. CLICK HERE to learn more about this awesome free website and some fun ways I use it in speech to target my goals.
Using Comics to Keep Speech Students Motivated
Comics are fun. They are visual. Why not use them?! You can purchase some comic books. If you know your students particularly like Batman, get them excited about the idea of Batman and Harley Quinn in a new anthology. You can also let students create their own comics on paper or digitally with various free websites. Here are some free websites I recommend:
For more ways to use comics in speech to target a variety of goals such as inferencing, articulations, and social skills, check out my blog post on the topic by clicking HERE.
Using Free Websites To keep Speech Students Motivated
I love finding and sharing free websites that students can use to target a variety of skills. Like I said earlier…they are motivated by technology so why not use it. Plus, it provides a low prep activity for us! I share ideas often in my Instagram stories. If you don't already follow me there , CLICK HERE to do that and I recommend checking out my stories daily since I often share low prep and free website ideas! Anyways…some awesome websites that I love to use are:
Using Free iPad Apps to Keep Speech Students Motivated
If you are fortunate enough to have an iPad to use in speech, there are several FREE apps that you can use that are fun, motivating, and can be used to target a variety of speech goals. I have an entire round up blog post of them which you can check out by CLICKING HERE.
I hope this round up of ideas will help you keep your older students motivated. I didn't even share 1 game! How awesome?! I hope these ideas will help you make planning a bit easier and keep your students engaged. The more engaged they are…the less negative behaviors we will see. Don't we want our sessions to go smoothly and get the job done?! Don't fear working with older students. Know you can always count on Speech Time Fun!
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