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I love to use books in speech, there’s nothing they can’t do!  A lot people use books to target vocabulary but most kids just scan the page and find the word.  How can we keep them alert and engaged?  I have been using this activity for a while and it has definitely helped my kids stay on their toes.


Write the vocab words you want the kids to listen for on a paper or whiteboard ( or have the kids do it ).  Each kid should have their own paper or whiteboard.  As you read, have the kids listen for the target words.  When they  hear the target word, they raise their hand.  Then, you can have them tell you what the word means in the sentence, a synonym or antonym to replace it, it’s meaning, etc.

My kids liked to keep tallies to see who ‘found’ the most words.   This helped to keep them alert and engaged rather than just sitting and listening.



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Meet Maureen

Hey there! I’m Maureen Wilson, a school-base SLP who is data driven and caffeine powered. My passion is supporting other pediatric SLPs by teaching them how to harness the power of literacy and data to help their students achieve their goals…without sacrificing time they don’t have.

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4 Responses

  1. Great idea! Do you have any suggestions of what books and vocab list you use? Do you use seasonal books or curriculum based books?

    1. I use a combination of books seasonal and ones that share topics that are covered in the classrooms. I would recommend asking the classroom teacher about vocal or any books that they may have seen.

  2. Thanks for the great post. Books are such as valuable therapy tool and can be used in so many ways to target language goals in therapy. Do you have a specific method of choosing books that are aligned with the school curriculum?

    1. Hi Karen. I look at what topics are being covered by my student’s classroom teachers but I also look for books that are seasonal.

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