Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Letterboxing, Part 2 (Incorporating into Speech/Language Therapy)

Warning:  This post will make a lot more sense if you have already read my post Letterboxing, Part 1. :)

Yesterday I shared a little bit about Letterboxing with you.  As soon as I heard of this activity, I knew it could have amazing applications in speech and language therapy sessions.  However, most of us can't just take our kids on scavenger hunts all over town...I mean, that would likely take WAY more than the standard 30 minute speech session would allow!  So, how can you incorporate Letterboxing into your therapy sessions?  Easily!  Instead of having your students Find Letterboxes, have them Plant one!

Think about it...every Letterbox out there was put in its location by someone.  Each of the clues on the site were written by someone!  Why not you and your students?  Public schools are, by definition, on public property.  You could plant a Letterbox without even leaving school grounds!  Also, have you checked out some of the clues?  They range from really simple (Go to X location. Look for Y landmark. Find Letterbox) to complex.  Some include a history of the location, some are elaborate fictional stories about the location, and some take you to on (what feels like) an expedition!

Planting a Letterbox in Speech:

  • First of all, I recommend this activity for grades 3 and up.  However, once you have planted the letterbox, you can go "find it" with some of your younger groups.  
  • You may also wish to get permission from your principal. Once you get the OK...
  • Explain Letterboxing to your kids.  You could even stage a mock indoor letterbox for your students to find so they get the idea. 
  • Take your sessions outside and decide on a location.  You can even do this with multiple different groups and then have the students vote on their favorite location.
  • Create your box.  You can view the Letterboxing website for some information on planting clues. I recommend a box that you know will be air/water tight and putting the items in a Ziploc bag within the box.  
  • Decide how much information you want your students to include in the clues.  (This may vary between groups.)  Some ideas:  a brief history of the school, students's favorite things about the school, a short bio on the person for whom the school is named, etc.  Help the students research and start writing the information you decided to include, as well as the clues to get to the box location.
  • Do a walk-through of the clues with the students.  Follow the directions as literally as possible.  This will help the students see which directions may need to be clarified.
  • Once your clues are completed, plant the box and upload your information to the Letterboxing website.  You may want to check your box once in a while to see whether or not you've had visitors.
  • Use the clues with your other groups, especially those that are working on auditory comprehension and following directions!  

You can target so many goals by planting a Letterbox (expressive language, receptive language, giving directions, following directions, written language, carryover of any skill, etc., etc., etc.)!  Do you think you could plant a Letterbox with your students?

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