Friday, March 28, 2014

Three Speech and Language Lessons Using Plastic Eggs

Like many of you that have braved the winter along the East Coast and Midwest regions, I couldn't wait to celebrate spring!  Although, spring is just a tease right now with a day or two of 40 degree temperatures followed by snow!  Nevertheless, I pulled out my Easter decorations and spring materials over the last week and I have some oldies and a new idea to share that will surely put a smile on your face even if you're still drinking hot chocolate at the end of March!  All of these activities involve plastic eggs, a good ol' fashion egg hunt, and a side of speech and language.

Back by popular demand from last year are my idiom eggs.  So many of my students struggle with interpreting figurative language, and this is a fun way to make something challenging a little more tolerable.  I used a sharpie to write idioms related to spring and Easter on each egg, and then I cut small scraps of green papers and wrote a simple interpretation on one side and points on the other.  Since some idioms were easier to interpret than others, I designated those to be worth just one point, while harder, less familiar idioms were worth two to three points.  After students collect these eggs in a hunt, they sit down, pick an egg from the basket, try to guess the meaning, and finally, open eggs to see if their responses are similar. Earning points adds a little more incentive to take some time to process interpretations.  Here is a list of the idioms that I have on my plastic eggs:

  • He is all ears when we talk about Mindcraft.
  • We have candy coming out of our ears!
  • The grass is always greener in someone else's yard.
  • You're no bunny until some bunny loves you.
  • We always have to walk on eggshells around her.
  • You have egg on your face.
  • He cracks me up!
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket!
  • Please don't spill the beans!
  • Chicks rule!
  • He just loves to egg people on!
  • You're such a good egg!
  • Her ring is 24 carrots.
  • Grinning from ear to ear.

Next up, I have my famous, early intervention eggs.  You can read much more about this activity (here).  I actually use these eggs all year round to stimulate little ones to communicate using a variety of intents such as requesting "more", "help", and "all done". These eggs filled with mini treasures are also great for labeling/naming objects, greeting, imitating simple actions with sounds, pointing, following directions, and commenting.  The skies the limit!  If you want, you can hide the eggs for an egg hunt or just sit on the floor and play with them one at a time.

Finally, I recently came up with an idea for practicing EVERY target speech sound using just a couple bags of eggs, some paper bags or baskets, scrap paper, and an iPad or speech sound card decks.  I found several of these adorable carrot eggs at the Dollar Tree and couldn't resist buying a bunch.

Since they are see through, I folded pieces of paper with numbers one through three written on them and then placed one paper in each egg.  This time, each child should have his or her own paper bag or basket to collect eggs for the hunt.  Using either your iPad with your favorite articulation app or speech sound card decks, have students take turns opening eggs in their baskets to reveal how many productions they need to make for each target word.  If working on a motor memory for speech is important, then have them practice the same word a couple times.

I hope these activities help bring some signs of spring to your speech room!  Enjoy!!

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