Using the changing seasons are a nice way to put a twist on sessions that you have with your students. Halloween, fall trees and leaves, pumpkins, and Thanksgiving are excellent topics to get kids motivated to chat in sessions. These days books on these subjects are a fun way to get everyone ready for the season and work on skills.
Start with Fall Stories
Sometimes looking through a book with a group is a wonderful way to chat and start discussions. Take a book walk together and discuss what they think may be happening. Are they able to predict what the story is about from the images on the pages? Books about fall that would work well with a variety of age groups include:
- Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall! by Anne Sibley O’Brien
- The Autumn Visitors by Karel Hayes
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
- Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
- The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
- Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
- Fall Mixed Up by Robert Raczka
- The Night Before Halloween by Natasha Wing
When reading the books, connect them with social stories from their lives. How do they feel when hearing the story? Encourage them to talk and relate it to their real-life experiences.
Sing a Silly Song
Sometimes you just need to be silly and sing a song. There are books which allow kids to sing along and use rhymes and familiar music to participate. Since kids typically love music, it’s a wonderful way to have them get involved in a non-threatening way. More books are being published that encourage kids to sing along. Some of these books include:
- 12 Haunted Rooms of Halloween by Macky Pamintua
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro
- Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves! by Lucille Colandro
- Shake Dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa
- The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills
Tunes used in these books will be familiar or easy to learn for small groups to sing together. A fun twist would be to make puppets or have props for kids to get up, move and act out the songs together. There are lots of parts for kids to be able to work together as a team.
Including families at home is important. Share a book bag and encourage everyone to read them together. Therapists should encourage multilingual families to share tales and songs they use in their languages to encourage diversity.
Have any other ideas to celebrate the fall with your students? Share with us in the comments section below.
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