I love group speech therapy! Helping students strengthen their communication skills in a small group and along with peers can be a challenge, but also very rewarding. Below I will share a basic framework I use when working with students in a small group. I will also share lesson plans for winter themed group therapy for preschool, elementary and middle/high school students! Scroll down to the bottom to download my free group therapy lesson planning sheet. Let’s get started.
Group Therapy Framework
When working in a group, we want to make sure that we are working on our student’s social communication goals. Each group you plan may be different, but below is a general framework to use when planning your group sessions.
Greetings: If students are working on greetings, it can be a great way to start group! Even though the students may have been in class together that day already, they may have not practiced this skill.
Social Questions: These can be a functional way to start group for students who are at this language level. You can use thematic social questions. You can also use this as a time to generalize social questions. The student may be working on answering social questions in an individual session and this small group may act as a perfect way to work on generalizing that skill to peers and to a small group setting.
Literacy Based Activity: I love to use books in group therapy. Using books allows us to work on functional vocabulary with our students and engage in reading in a small group!
Extension Activity: I will discuss specific examples of this below for each age group. An extension activity allows students to work on the skill or vocabulary addressed in the literacy based activity.
Play/Leisure: Play and leisure skills are important for our students. Direct instruction on these skills within a small group setting allow our students to practice these skills and increase their play and leisure repertoires.
Preschool Group Speech Therapy Lesson
- Start with greetings!
- Literacy Based Activity: That’s Not My Snowman This is such a fun book. It has simple text and fun sensory pages that each student can take turns feeling.
- Extension Activity: Snowman Sensory Bin. Allison Fors has a great one on her TPT store!
4. Play/Leisure: Paper Plate Ice Skating. This is the coolest play activity!! Students can work on following directions to get their paper plates. You can also work on following the leader if you have enough room to skate around your classroom or therapy office.
Elementary Group Speech Therapy Lesson
- Start with greetings and/or these winter themed social questions.
2. Literacy Based Activity: Sneezy The Snowman This is a fun and engaging book about a snowman’s adventures. My own kids and clients love this one!
3. Extension Activity: Dress The Snowman: I love to draw a snowman on a dry erase board, print and laminate pictures of a hat, boots, scarf, etc… Have students dress the snowman. I put the pictures in a bin or flip them over on the table, have the students pick a card, label it and then put it on the snowman.
4. Play/ Leisure Activity: Paper Plate Ice Skating. This is the coolest play activity!! Students can work on following directions to get their paper plates. You can also work on following the leader if you have enough room to skate around your classroom or therapy office.
Middle School/ High School Group Therapy Lesson
- Start with greetings and/or winter social questions.
2. Literacy Based Activity:Winter/ Summer Adapted Book. This is a fun and functional book for older learners. The adapted book includes real pictures, which allows for real life examples for older learners.
3. Extension Activity: Seasonal Clothing Sort. I bring in summer and winter clothing. We work on sorting the clothes into 2 different piles ( winter, summer). I have the students pick a clothing item, label it and sort it into the correct pile.
4. Play/Leisure Activity: Modified Uno. You might be thinking well this is not winter themed but that is okay!! Uno is a very common game that most of us have around our homes. Students may have even been given this game for a holiday gift. Practice on this game can be fun and generalize to the home environment as well. Click here to use my video model to show students how to play, share with teachers and parents too!!