Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links to for your convenience.

I'm thinking it's time for a summer themed activity!  There are several variations of the "Three Little Pigs" that I love, but I think my favorite is "The Three Little Fish And The Big Bad Shark" by Ken Geist and Julia Gorton.  This book is probably most appropriate for preschool and kindergarten.

In this story, the three fish build houses out of seaweed, sand, and a sunken boat.  If you know the story of the Three Pigs, you can pretty much guess how this one unfolds.  Instead of huffing and puffing, the shark munches, crunches, and smashes down the first two houses.  In a clever twist, when the shark tries to munch and crunch the boat house, all of his teeth fall out! :) 

Usually when I use this story, I review the three pigs with the kids.  Then I explain that this story is similar and ask them to guess what materials the fish might use to build their houses.  I then tell them that the fish use seaweed, sand, and an old boat made of wood.  At this point, I bring out tupperware containers filled with seaweed (or cooked wet spinach if I can't get my hands on actual seaweed ~ they haven't caught on to this trick yet), sand, and a wooden block.  We talk about how sturdy houses made of these materials would be.

After reading the story, I use stick puppets (I printed 3 fish and a shark from google images) and have the kids reenact the story.  They really get a kick out of playing the different roles, and I typically have kids fighting over who gets to be the shark.

I created this simple open ended game that can be used to target different IEP objectives.  You can get a copy here.  Make sure you print multiple copies.  Playing the game is simple.  Each child in the group has a turn answering a question, following a direction, saying a target word/sentence, etc.  After their turn, they select a card from a pile in the center of the table.  If they get a fish, they get to keep it.  If they get a shark, the shark eats all of their fish and they are returned to the pile (or taken out of game play, whichever you prefer).  The child with the most fish at the end of the game is the winner.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Gruffalo

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to for your convenience.

If you don't have "The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, you might want to consider adding it to your wishlist.  This is a very cute story about a clever mouse who meets different predators (a fox, an owl, and a snake) in his walk through the forest.  To avoid being eaten, mouse tells each of the predators that he is meeting "the Gruffalo," and describes a fierce, seemingly fictional creature ("He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws").  Imagine mouse's surprise when he meets a creature that fits his exact description!  Well, like the fox, owl, and snake, the Gruffalo wants to eat the mouse too, but is outsmarted by the little guy.

Story Stick from
 I used  this book as one of my end-of-the-year activities and the kids really loved it. There is an "Official Gruffalo Website" for the book with activities that you can print. Making Learning Fun has some cute printable activities as well.  For my sessions, I used their story stick printables on a paint stick to target sequencing story events and this activity for retelling the story.

I also used the app Mixed-Up Monsters by Top That! Publishing (free on iTunes) to target use and comprehension of adjectives and modifying phrases.  I created some monsters on the app, saved them to my photo gallery, then printed them onto cards.  You could use these for a "Go Fish" type of game ("Do you have a monster with a head like a vampire, a body like a tree, and green feet?") or a simple barrier-type game.  I had a pair of students draw a card and describe the monster to another pair of students controlling the iPad.  The goal was for the students with the iPad to create the same monster as depicted on the card.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Caterpillar Categories

Well, it's a rainy day here in Mass. and there's not much to do, so I guess I'll post another activity.  This one may not be for the younger kids as it requires some reading.  This is a simple sorting game with caterpillars and leaves.  The caterpillars have words written on them....

There are leaves with category headings...

Students sort the caterpillars on to the correct leaves.  There are blank caterpillars and leaves for you to add your own. 

Grab the download here (Caterpillar Categories), and don't forget to leave a comment!

First Freebie!

Updated 7/20/2013

While the little guy is sleeping, I figured I'd post my first freebie.  This is an association game that I created to go with a frog/pond theme.  You can play it simply as a memory game.  In my preschool classrooms, I tend to do one inclusion group per week.  I typically do a story and extension activity with all of the children in the class.  For the in-class lessons, I separate the frogs into two piles (with one member of each set in each pile).  I hold on to one of the piles, and hand out the rest of the frogs to the students in the class.  I then tell the students what object is on my card and ask who has the matching frog.  You can use the activity to target sentence structure ("My frog is holding a ___"), providing explanations ("A fork and a spoon go together because you use them to eat"), and categorization (tools, sporting equipment, utensils, etc.).  Hope you enjoy it!

You can grab a copy HERE.

Please leave me a comment if you download :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jumping on the bandwagon...

Over the past year, I've discovered so many wonderful blogs dedicated to speech and language.  So many of you are sharing your ideas and materials, thoughts and insights.  I've been wanting to join the speech therapy blogging world for a while now.  Since my summer vacation began last week, I have some spare time on my hands and figured now is as good a time as any!

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