Using Take Out Menus In Speech: Keep Students Engaged and Working on A Variety of Goals

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Need more speech therapy ideas for mixed groups?  Struggling to find time to prep it all?  Grab your take out menus and you are ready to go!

Need a free and fun way to mix up speech therapy? Try using take out menus from restaurants! This post shares how to use them for engaging lessons.

I don't know about you, but I have a file folder filled with take out menus of local places near my school for lunch deliveries (and of course one for home when I don't have time to cook, hey….I am human and a busy mom!).  So I always have this low prep therapy tool nearby!   Would you have ever thought to use take out menus in speech?  Here are some goals you can easily address:


Students can locate their target sounds in the menu.  They can practice saying them, role play to pretend to order food and use their target sounds to do so, and be bombarded by hearing their target sounds often.

Social Skills:

Students can discuss the right and wrong ways of ordering food, phone skills, taking messages, making a list of foods a group would want to order, problem solving if foods are not available, and so much more!


Are the menus categorized?   Do your students know what all the words on the menus mean?  Why is a salad under appetizer and a steak under entree?  How can we compare/contrast items on the menu?  Can we describe using the EET?

WH Questions:

Ask students a variety of questions and have them use the take out menus to respond!  For example:

  • Where is this restaurant?
  • Who will deliver the food?
  • What can we eat for lunch?
  • When can we call to order the food?
  • Why do we get food delivered?


How do we order?  What happens first?  Next?  Last?  How does the food get delivered?  How do we eat the food?  Clean up the food?  Prepare for the food to arrive?


Students can work on their fluency strategies while pretending to order food from a restaurant.  Role playing is key!

Higher Level Thinking:

Can students predict what will happen next?  Can they infer which restaurant you will be ordering from if you give them clues?  You can work on cause and effect by providing them different scenarios to answer like “What would be the result if I did not have enough money to pay the delivery person?”  You can have students explain why they would want to order from one restaurant over another.  Give them a budget and have them work together to decide where to order from.

Need a free and fun way to mix up speech therapy? Try using take out menus from restaurants! This post shares how to use them for engaging lessons.

Can you tell there are so many fun and educational ways to use take out menus?  There was no prep involved!  Just had to grab some menus and decide which goals to work on!  I do suggest maybe writing down a cheat sheet of questions to ask so you can probe the skills you want to target.

Since you can use this one item to work on so many goals, it is perfect for mixed speech groups!!!  YES!!  Those tricky speech groups can require so much prep!  Not anymore!!  Just grab take out menus and have each student in the groups respond to questions and tasks to work on their individual goals.

What else can you do with take out menus?

Have students make their own!  Can they combine items they like from various restaurants?  Can they come up with their own food descriptions?  Why not actually try and call and order food for the group!?

Want to hear more ideas?  View my live video below on the topic!

Want to work on more social skills related to going to restaurants?  View my Going To A Restaurant Language and Pragmatic Skills Pack by clicking HERE!