Seems boring, I know. But out of all the therapy products I have, Year-Round Literature for Language and Artic has made the most difference in my therapy. From this book, I have a whole bookshelf of books for therapy and four packed filing-cabinet drawers of grab-and-go materials.
I started working in the schools in 1993, right around the time thematic units started booming, and I loved it! I love books and look for any way to use them in therapy, and it’s so easy to plan around a central theme. Year-Round was the first book that really broke down the information into ways I could use books to address the multiple goals in groups. Here’s an inside page:
Each unit has three books and several games – perfect for targeting multiple goals in groups. I even went a little crazy with Boardmaker and file folders because some of my Functional Academics students needed visuals.
To make these, I used an icon for each question and then answer icons have Velcro so they come on and off.
In this example, the snowball, path, and pocket are glued onto the manila folder. During a group, I take off the Velcroe’d pictures and pass them out according to goals. For example, a student working on /k/ would get the /walk/ card, and a student working on verbs would get the /throw/ card. Then, I say, “What is a snowball used for?” and we look at our cards and match up the answers to the questions.
Then, I make it a little harder with three choices, like this one for categories:
Sometimes, I pass out the cards one at a time to students, and other times, they get a whole bunch, depending on the group. It is so easy to target artic and language with these activities!
I also have Velcroe’d sentences where students have to arrange the cards to make sentences. For my FA students in particular, we talk about how the uppercase letter is the first card, the period is the last card, and then work on filling in the middle. We get a lot of discrimination and sequencing with the sentences.
It was a lot of work to set these up, but I now have multiple themes and four drawers to grab the folders from. A lot of preparation time then has turned into a huge time saver now. I’ve gotten a little lazy in recent years and haven’t made as many file folders. But since I’ve done these units so much, it’s much easier to come up with my own questions, and I’ve learned that my kindergartners and 1st graders need to be sequencing words in sentences, especially sight words, so I don’t use as many pictures. But I still use these units frequently with my FA students. Most of my students come twice a week, so we do these activities the first day and then a game the second day to narrow down targets, and I really like that pattern.
There are so many resources now through Teachers pay Teachers and bloggers that are in my inventory of supplies. Year-Round Literature for Language and Artic is still a valuable resource for addressing multiple goals in a group and can be a springboard for incorporating more books into therapy, and it’s still my go-to when planning. If you like using books in therapy, consider this resource.