Embracing St. Patrick’s Day in Speech Therapy
Top O’ The Morning to everyone looking for ideas to use with students in March. No matter what background you and the children have, everyone is just a little bit Irish around St. Patrick’s Day. This festive celebration allows a lot of opportunities to share from another culture, use crafts to practice speech and language skills, and read books while singing silly songs.
Introducing Themes with Stories
A great way to capture the interest in a new holiday is to share a story. St. Patrick’s Day tales are on such diverse topics as luck, history, bridging friendships, and expanding on silly songs that we know and love. Head to a library or ask classroom teachers what they will be covering to assist activities. A few popular books include:
- The Luck of the Irish – by Margaret McNamara
- St. Patrick’s Day – by Gail Gibbons
- The Luckiest Leprechaun: A Tail-Wagging Tale of Friendship – by Justine Korman
- The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever! – by Teddy Slater
- The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day – by Natasha Wing
- There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover! – by Lucille Colandro
Shamrocks, Rainbows, and Leprechaun Traps
Kids adore incorporating art into learning. Simple items like making word practice cards out of shamrock shapes or rainbows can be utilized. For older children, working on replies to questions, you can put different questions on the same cut outs. In addition to this, you can work on making Leprechaun traps with kids. Begin with a small paper tube. Cover it over with construction paper to make it blend in. Allow students to talk through making a rainbow (practice talking and sequencing). This can be attached to the top of the tube. If you have students for multiple days, leave their trap out and when they return have it filled with gold coins that have practice items on them. Once finished, this may go home and the playful nature will inspire children to share with their families.
Online Book Activity Ideas
A fantastic resource for parents and therapists alike is the blog Playing with Words 365. Katie shares activities that often connect with books. She incorporates ideas to use with kids of all abilities that can be tweaked for your own goals. For St. Patrick’s Day, she shares at least two activities that go along with There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover! Her Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover Story Telling Necklace is fantastic for many age levels. In addition to this, she also has a Barrier Game that can work along with this book. If you are not familiar with the possibilities of a Barrier Game in sessions, Katie also links to her explanation on skills that you can work on with these activities.
As always, think outside of the box and connect with families at home. Remember to send a sheet home explaining how they can use the Leprechaun trap and/or story telling necklace at home. It may also be helpful to write words or questions from cards in both languages to support multilingual homes.