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So much of communication goes beyond words and what is spoken.  It is all about how you say it, am I right? Body posture, facial expressions, reactions, all of those nonverbal components of language play a HUGE roll in the overall message. I don’t know about you, but all those unspoken underpinnings of language really trip up my kids.  It’s hard to find good ways to practice this skill, that is why I love use silent clips!

My kids think it’s cool that we ‘watch movies’ in speech.  Sure kid, think whatever you want…as long as we can practice those inferencing skills we’ve been tackling for the past few weeks ? Silent clips, aka silent shorts, engage kids because it gets away from the typical worksheet or card game and let’s face it, technology is pretty darn engaging to them.


  • These clips lend themselves to sooooo much language, there isn’t much you can’t target with these.
  • They are FREE!
  • They appeal to a variety of ages, which means I can use the same in clip with all my kids in my K-5 building.
  • They work great for mixed groups.
  • They are usually only a few minutes long, hence the name silent short. This means I can do a few videos in a session and get more practice in.
  • They can be generic or have popular characters. It is always fun when kids see characters they recognize and are familiar.  This can also help getting them engaged too.


There are lots of ways to use these clips in therapy. I will link some of my favorites at the end so you don’t have to hunt through Google.  I will typically use 3-5 videos in a session depending on their length. I have tried using one for more of a ‘whole group’ type of session, but found it was too much for my little ones.  After each video we will use it to address either all student goals or focus on one student’s goal per video. That way, everyone gets practice either way.

Language Therapy Ideas

 Clip from Simon’s Cat .

  • You can address pronouns and basic concepts by pausing the clip at different moments and asking students to state where certain characters, using the correct pronoun to identify them. ” Where is Simon? ”  “He is on the branch.”
  • Discuss the actions during and after the clips targeting different verb tenses.
  • Answer WH questions about the clip.
  • Have students talk about their favorite scene using complete sentences
  • Watch the video before hand, which I would recommend doing any, and jot down a few vocabulary words that pop out at you.  You can watch the clips and then talk about the definitions, and then synonyms and antonyms.
  • When its done, ask what they think might happen next to work on predicting.
  • Work on narrative language.  Have kids create and tell the story of the clips and while including details and correct sequence.

Social Language Ideas

Short Film from Frozen

  • These clips are an inferencing gold mine! How did they feel? How did you know?
  • Since they are silent, everything is non-verbal and implied.  These are fabulous for working on recognizing facial expressions and body posture. Since they are animated, all of these elements are typically over-exaggerated which helps when kids are just learning what to look for.
  • Perspective taking can be targeted too.  I like to pause the clips after a big reaction from a character and they guide the kids to identify why the character might react that way. What might they say? I like to use this Social Response Organizer to help my kids work this out
  • Turn taking can be worked on too.  Since the back and forth of communication is mostly physical it is easier to identify.  Then you can have kids re-create the events and practice the ‘feeling’ of back and forth that will then lead into conversation.
  • Commenting. Working on what characters could say vs what should be kept in their heads.
  • Were the behaviors in the clips expected or unexpected.


Now that you have some ideas here are some great clips you can use right away.  I recommend running the link through a site called Safetube. Safetube is a free site that allows you to watch videos without the ads or images that are not necessarily school appropriate popping up.


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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. This is such a good idea thank you so much!!! I will definitely be using this with my social communication kiddos targeting perspective taking and nonverbal language 🙂

  2. I have used these in sessions with mixed groups. It’s a nice way to change things up. These are great suggestions for parents too! Many of my students have limited access to print books, but they have wifi! Thank you for posting!

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