If you are anything like me, some days you just need quick, easy, but meaningful therapy materials. Books are what fits that criteria for me! Books can be used to target a multitude of therapy goals including comprehension, sequencing, answering and asking -wh questions, vocabulary, and story retell. According to Hadley, 2018, ‘new words are better retained when exposed to semantically related words.’ This can be associated with the idea that multiple exposures to themed books (specific holidays, animals, food, etc) can assist in building new semantic networks as well as adding to existing ones. Today, I will be sharing a book to add to your St. Patrick’s Day collection, as well as, activities that can be used to encourage and expand upon the theme of the story.
OVERVIEW OF FIONA’S LUCK
Fiona’s Luck is an original Irish folktale that would be a great addition to your St. Patrick’s Day activities. A greedy Leprechaun King has taken all the luck throughout Ireland and locked it away in a chest. Without luck, the people of Ireland have fallen into misfortune as chickens are unable to lay eggs, potatoes cannot grow, and cows cannot produce milk. Clever Fiona has devised a plan to outsmart the Leprechaun King and get the luck back for the people of Ireland.
If you choose to utilize this book for St. Patrick’s Day, I recommend using my story sidekick for Fiona’s Luck as a companion. Story Sidekicks are my very own creation that will allow you to be confident and effective in your practice. It contains information on how a session can be broken down, activity pages, how to implement activities effectively, as well as the research and references to back it up!
Directed drawing is a very low prep therapy activity and can engage all kids from you Kinders to your 6th graders. It does not require artistic ability, just some paper and something to draw with! I recommend using Art Hub Kids for all your drawing needs. The channel contains a multitude of things to draw and even has options sorted by age. My personal favorite is the pot of gold but your students can also learn how to draw a leprechaun, a four-leaf clover, a shamrock, horseshoe, and other themed pictures. If you want more information on directed drawing and how you can target speech and language therapy goals, click here!
In order to do this super quick and low-prep craft, go to your nearest Walmart or Dollar Tree and you will be able to find a pack of multi-colored tissue paper. You will also need glue, scissors, and construction paper. Before your session, take the tissue paper and cut it into small squares. In a pinch, I’ve even quickly ripped them into pieces. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Black construction will be needed and used to cut out a pot. For younger students, I will make a quick outline of the pot and have them cut it out. For older students, they often want to do it themselves. An even quicker and faster craft, you can also print out templates and have the student color, cut, and paste it onto another piece of construction paper. Next, have your students glue down the tissue paper in an arch formation. I prefer crafts that are low effort and quick to clean up. This completely fits the bill and the perfect opportunity to improve on the students’ speech and language goals.
Sensory bins are an extremely easy and inexpensive therapy activity. In order to make a St. Patrick’s Day themed sensory bin, I would suggest using green split peas or green crinkle paper as the base and add your themed trinkets such as gold coins, black pots, scoops, treasure chests, beaded necklaces, and rainbow trinkets (pom poms, popsicle sticks, etc.). I find the majority of my themed sensory bin materials at Target or the Dollar Tree. I also love to implement scavenger hunts alongside the sensory bins to target a variety of goals and targets as they are fun, engaging, adaptable, and provide multiple opportunities to work on a variety of communication skills. If you have your own set of mini objects to target speech sounds, throw those in as well!
I would love to hear your favorite St. Patrick’s Day themed books so I can add to my own collection. Comment below to share with our community!