Tip Tuesday: Incorporating Literacy into Articulation Therapy for Non-Readers!

Literacy in Artic Therapy

I have always incorporated literacy activities into speech therapy regardless of student goals.  I just modify various activities depending on the current language, cognitive and reading level of my students.  This is part 2 of this literacy series.  You can find part 1 here.

So here are a few simple ways I incorporate literacy in articulation therapy for non-readers (and early readers):

1)  Grapheme/Phoneme Relationship:  This is a fancy way to say that whenever I am targeting any articulation sound I always have the letter present and visible.  I am teaching my non-readers this particular letter makes this sound.

2)  Upper and lower case exposure:  I feel it is extremely important to expose our students to both upper and lower case letters so I make sure to have both upper and lower case of the letter sound we are focusing on.  Best part?  The letter is another visual cue I use in therapy.  Over time and after much practice I fade out the use of other cues and just point to the letters when I want my students to make that sound.

3)  Fun Letter Making:  Making the letter of our target sound using food or other fun craft materials (e.g. pretzel sticks and minis to break apart for curves, Twizzlers, pipe cleaners, etc.).  Best part about using food?  Everyone gets a snack at the end of the session! Yum!

(Below is a picture of how we can use pipe cleaners to make a child’s name but you could do this with just one letter, the target sound your child is working on and you could use food or other materials)

name out of pipe cleaners

4)  Letter Craft:  Many times when focusing on articulation, I will have my non-readers participate in “making” their letter sound by gluing objects, pictures, etc. (that begin with that target sound of course) onto the letter of the sound we are focusing on.  Another twist to this activity is creating letter puzzles which is also very fun for students to do as well!

Letter “P” during Pirate Play.  Gluing Pirate related pics on “P”

5)  Magnetic Letter Match Up:  I use magnetic letters for this b/c its fun to “stick” stimulus cards on filing cabinets, radiators (at my old office, I used the radiator that no longer worked, but it was metal so it worked for me), or cookie sheets.  When working on discriminating between or targeting more than one sound, I will use an activity where we sort the stimulus cards by the target sound they have and place each card under the correct magnetic letter!

6)  Gross Motor Letter Match Up:  Using the same concept as above I’ve had students sort stimulus cards by letter using some gross motor activities:
Mini Golf into correct letter “hole”: I place each letter in a separate shoe box and students golf into the correct box after producing the word
Ball Letter Bounce:  bouncing the ball on the correct letter corresponding to target sound on each stimulus card
Bean Bag Letter Toss: same premise as above
Car Letter Race:  Use play cars to race over/on to correct letter

7)  Target pictures with word labels:  I ONLY use target pictures with WORDS written above or below the word for more experience looking at single words.

8)  Highlighting target sound in words:  When sending speech homework home, sometimes I like to have my non-readers point out then highlight the target sound within their target homework words. This is a great task for identifying the position of their target sound in the word.

I hope you enjoyed these ideas!  Do you incorporate literacy into your articulation therapy sessions?  Feel free to share your ideas below!
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