Sunday, September 15, 2013

Avoiding Back to School Blues with Food-Themed Plans

For as long as I can remember, I have dreaded going back to school.  I LOVE sleeping later, going to the pool, and everything else about the lazy days of summer, especially now that I have a mini partner in crime to enjoy these times: our seven year old;)  Alas, all good things must come to an end.  On the bright side, I have my home private practice and part time gig at the same Catholic School that I worked at last school year.  

Since I am in a private school, there is limited space for all specialties, so I share a space in the teacher's lunchroom.  Last year, I tried to embrace working in this space where my materials are stored in food cabinets and in bins on the windowsill and by the sink, but I didn't make much progress.  The heating system often caused anything that I tried to hang on the walls to fall down and the small, shared wipe board needs to be clear for all to utilize.  Then, it occurred to me that I was forcing cute decorations on a space that wanted none of it!  After spying a plastic picnic table cover at Walmart, a new game plan came to mind.  Rather than start with the, "Getting to Know You" and "Leaves" activities this time around, I could begin with a fun-filled month of food themes including picnics, pizza, popcorn, and ice cream all during the month of September.  This way, we can all hang onto summer fun a little longer.  There is one long table in the center of the narrow lunchroom, so I covered that with the checkered cloth.  I also found matching paper plates to use for collecting flashcards during game play. When October rolls in, I can switch the tablecloth for a Fall one.  This way, my work space is not only decorative for students, but also teaching staff.

Here is the collection of food lesson plans that I gathered for the food theme.  I already had most of these materials, except for the Dollar Tree ketchup and mustard die cuts.  Those are a recent purchase that I decided to use as word association cards in concentration games.  Incidentally, all the word pairs are food related.  Just on top of those, I have cheeseburger coasters that I'm thinking of using in a memory recall task.  Below the condiments are some peanut butter and jelly cards that I'm also using in a shorter game of word association concentration.  

The first lesson plan pictured on the left hand side of the bin above is a fun and functional activity that Rose at Speech Snacks created in a guest post in May.  Read more about this ice cream game here.

The next ice cream lesson comes from Jenn at Crazy Speech World.  She put together this fun noun and verb matching game for sentence construction.  I edited some verbs to address irregular tense and picked up these mini decorative trays that reminded me of an ice cream parlour.

At the end of last school year, I had many requests to repeat a popcorn lesson that I found at Speech Time Fun.  You can find this freebie that targets naming synonyms here.  All my students especially loved using the elephant card that caused you to put back all the popcorn that you had collected during game play.  I used my Dollar Tree popcorn buckets for students to collect their picture popcorn.   

I also had a couple games that I found at Job Lot in Massachusetts a few years ago.  The one below targets using social manners and it came with the adorable picnic basket and blanket.  I can easily work on vocabulary and turn taking with this gem.

 The other Job Let find was a pizza game that focuses on listening skills.  It came with the items pictured below plus an additional pizza in a box.  The object is to follow directions by accurately placing tokens with pictures on them onto the pizza.  If you follow directions, then you move ahead on the large pizza spatula board.  So cute!

But wait, there's more!  A little while ago, I purchased one of the "Moore" bundles on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) that included several food themed lesson plans all to benefit the therapists who lost supplies during the devastating tornado this year.  First up, is from one of my all time favorite bloggers, Rose at Speech Snacks (you know, the one who created the super cool ice cream lesson mentioned above;)  Her donation to the bundle was a restaurant package that includes a fun game board with cards, categorization drills, auditory processing activities, and using manners.  Never fear, you can buy yours here!

Yet, another score from my TPT "Moore" bundle purchase came from, The Buckeye Speech Path.  This 'Build a Pizza' activity is an open ended speech game that you can find here on TPT.

Moving right along are my clean McDonald's french fry containers with yellow craft sticks that Jenna discussed at Speech Room News.  Students will earn "french fries" for accurately producing sound targets.

As you can see, I created a binder full of food lesson plans for this unit.  The next one is a barrier game freebie from Carrie's Speech Corner using a lunch tray and some rather healthy food choices too.

Last, but not least, I will be debuting a game that I created similar to the other guessing games I posted about for the spring and summer.  I took pictures of some items inside a lunch box to clip on the outside handle.  Students need to first describe the pictured object and then reach into the box with their eyes closed and feel around for it.  I have used a "What's in Mom's Purse?" game with many students of various ages and they all LOVE this game.

That about covers it!  Thanks to all the fabulously creative bloggers who continue making fun and functional products!  I hope you can try out some of these lesson plans too!


  1. I will never complain about my space again! Kudos to you for making the most of your unique space!!!

    1. The room has a whole, new feel to it this year! Some students and teachers have mentioned how much they like it and I enjoy being in the space too. Not sure I'd be as content if I spent five days a week there though;)

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