Using Pop Culture in Speech Therapy

If you listen when your students are coming into school in the morning or while they are chatting in the lunch room, you’ll be sure to hear snippets of conversation about video games, TV shows, movies, sports stars, and more! Pop culture is something that most kids love talking about, and we can harness the power of this high-interest topic to get your students more engaged in speech time! Let’s take a look at some ideas on how to do this! 

Main Idea

Pop culture is a great tool for teaching kids how to find main idea! This can be done in a few different ways. 

  • Show a short clip from a movie or TV show that kids will like (be sure to check the copyright and preview the clip first!). Then brainstorm ideas for the main idea of the clip, along with the supporting details. These can be displayed on chart paper. 
  • Students can also work to find the main idea of a comic book or comic strip by just looking at the pictures. Then, they can write a sentence for the main idea and either draw a picture or write sentences for the supporting details. 


Students can also work on sequencing by using pop culture! They can use pictures to put events from a movie or TV show in the correct order. They can also use sequencing to describe the events of a sports competition basketball game or soccer match. This can be done by speaking, writing, or drawing pictures with the events in the correct order. Finally, students can arrange mixed-up song lyrics in the correct order to work on sequencing! 

Compare and Contrast 

When it comes to pop culture, there are many things that students can find similarities and differences between! These include:

  • Episodes of TV shows, especially in the same season where there is a running plot line. 
  • Movies in a series or group, such as Marvel movies. These movies have similar characters and storylines but there are different things happening in each movie. 
  • Songs in the same genre or from the same artist. Students can compare and contrast the lyrics or the topics of each song and find similarities and differences. 
  • Teams are a great thing to compare and contrast. For example, a student who is a football fan might compare and contrast the record and other statistics of teams from the same franchise in different years, or two similar teams in the same league. Students can also compare and contrast individual players. 

Figurative Language

Figurative language abounds in pop culture, especially in music! Students can find figurative language such as similies, metaphors, and hyperbole by highlighting song lyrics. Personification is often found in movies, especially animated ones! Finally, symbolism is found everywhere in movies, video games, and TV shows. 


If you need more low-prep ideas on how to use pop culture to engage your speech students, then check out my monthly membership for themed materials, SLP Elevate!