As speech therapists, we aren’t a classroom teacher, and our lesson plans for speech therapy will look much different than those of a teacher.
We don’t need a different lesson plan for each hour of the day and for each subject.
Why Lesson Plans Are Important?
However, it is still considered best practice to have a plan, plus it will make your life much easier versus feeling like you are always running to the next thing on your to-do list.
Now when it comes to planning out your speech therapy sessions I’m not talking about the hours you spent in grad school making one lesson plan for one client for 50 minutes down to the minute about what you would do with that client.
I mean who has time for that?!
Looking back I feel like it doesn’t set a grad student up for great success to have to perform one way in grad school and then get into the real world school setting and hope you can just get all your IEPs done in time let alone make a plan!
In this blog post, I’m going to review the lesson plan template that I use all school year to make a rough outline of my lesson plan versus, such a formal lesson plan like back in those grad school days.
Instead, when it comes to my speech therapy lesson plans I typically focus on a theme, topic, or book for the week and then figure out which therapy goals I want to focus on for that week.
The best part about picking a topic and then centering everything around that topic is that it then allows you to reduce the time spent planning and all the different resources needed.
Therapy Planning – Steps
- Step 1: Pick a theme, topic, book, video, etc. for the week. Sometimes I do have a monthly theme and then simply change out the topic, book, or video on a weekly basis.
- Step 2: Review your students’ goals and from there pick out the goal area to focus on for your specific students. For example, for my articulation kiddos, I’d pick out a handful of target words with their sounds in them from the activity we are going to do. Or for my language skills students maybe I’d have them use context clues from the story we read to define new vocabulary words. Or maybe I have some younger students working on following directions so I could have them play Simon Says based on the theme or topic we just covered, etc. The ideas are endless but having one overall theme is a great way to help you stay focused and to simplify your lesson plans.
- Step 3: Write out your overall theme and ideas for each of the communication skills you want to cover that week. This doesn’t need to be big or fancy just a quick overall plan. So for example, if you have 5 students with language delays who are working on their expressive language skills of answering wh-questions you might write down 5 wh-questions to ask your students after watching a video together.
- Step 4: Gather and prep my resources. For this step, you can use your preferred therapy organization system. Back when I was more paper-based I had a folder for the weekly themed papers, or books, etc. However, now as I’m becoming more digital I have created folders in my google drive. I have monthly folders and then inside of my monthly folders I have 4 weekly folders. I then give each of those 4 weekly folders a theme (see ideas below). Once I have my theme picked and my student’s goals in mind I go and find my speech therapy materials for that week.
Here is my lesson plan template for speech therapy. I’ve created my speech therapy lesson plans pdf in both print-friendly format or a digitally interactive format allowing you to type directly onto the pdf itself.
1. Free Lesson Plan
As speech-language pathologists, we are crazy busy with paperwork, IEP meetings, scheduling, planning, and implementing therapy just to name a few.
The one important skill I’ve learned over the years is to include as many speech therapy activities all into one overall theme to make my therapy planning just a little bit simpler.
Here is one of my free lesson plans for speech therapy with one overall theme/topic that covers multiple of my student’s goals.
2. Themed Activities – Ideas
Do you need some ideas for themes or topics to get you going? Here is a list of a couple of ideas to get your wheels spinning.
– Book Companions
Book companions are a great way to get started in creating your theme weekly therapy planning because the possibilities are endless when it comes to what skills you could work on.
You could do everything from articulation words in the story to answering wh-questions, to story retelling, sequencing, comparing and contrasting, or vocabulary words.
- Here is one I created all around the book Sneezy the Snowman to help you get started planning your winter theme today!
- I Wanna Iguana Book Companion | Games, Activities and Lesson Plans by Speech Dreams is a fun compilation of 2 speech games and lesson plans to go along with the book “I Wanna Iguana”.
- Where the Wild Things Are Book Companion for Speech Language Therapy by TeleSpeech Cafe is a packet that focuses on early education aged students.
– Holiday Themed
Holiday resources are another great option when it comes to creating a themed therapy lesson plan. Here are a few holiday lists that include articulation resources, language resources, and some social language resources.
- Halloween – Speech Therapy Activities List
- Thanksgiving Day – Speech Therapy Activities List
- Valentine’s Day – Speech Therapy Activities List
- New Year’s – Speech Therapy Activities List
- St. Patrick’s Day – Speech Therapy Activities List
– Seasonal Resources
Seasonal resources are a perfect option when it comes to creating a themed therapy lesson plan.
- For example, I have a complete theme all around Nature that could be used during the spring season. It covers articulation, language skills, and some social language skills all in one bundle.
- Back to School – Speech Therapy Activities List
- Fall – Speech Therapy Activities List
- Winter – Speech Therapy Activities List
- Spring – Speech Therapy Activities List
- End of the Year – Speech Therapy Activities List
SEE ALSO: 432+ Free Measurable IEP Goal Bank
– Animal Themed
Let’s be honest kids love animals! What better way to capture their attention in therapy than to use some of their favorite animals?
Farm Animals: FREE Farm Preschool Speech Teletherapy Lesson Plan Distance Learning by Communication Window includes a free song choice board and animal action cards! It is great for distance learning.
Zoo Animals: Describing Animals! FREEBIE NO PREP Printables by Spectacular Speech Therapy scaffolds a child’s ability to describe animals clearly by providing visually supportive activities! This is a great no-prep activity!
Wild Animals: “Wild about Reading” Storytime Lesson Plan by Vanessa Grogholski uses rhymes, songs, and poems with a jungle theme to engage early-ed learners!
– Subject Themed
Another great idea is to include school subjects in your weekly therapy plans.
Science themed: For example, do you have students learning about the ocean this school year? Grab these 51+ Ocean-Themed Activities for your science unit speech therapy lesson planning.
3. Digital Resources
Do you work in teletherapy or simply have students that are more engaged with technology and video-based lessons?
I know a lot of slps are using more digital resources now. Some of the engaging activities that are digitally based that I’ve found are listed below.
- Virtual Field Trip: This could be something like going on a virtual field trip with your students. Virtual Field Trip to the Australia Zoo End of Year Engagement! No prep!! Was created by Teach or Travel and is a great no-prep activity to take a virtual field trip. Engage the students in the slides and travel through Australia. This was designed for ages K through 5th.
- Using Wordless Videos: I feel like the possibilities are endless when it comes to using wordless videos in therapy. For example, I have a 31+ Wordless Videos Worksheets that comes with wh-questions, story retell/sequencing, solving a hypothetical problem, and predictions/inferences.
4. Speech Sounds
Another idea is to base your theme for the week on an iep goal that many of your students are working on.
For example, I always had multiple students working on articulation therapy so I could base my weekly theme around activities for speech therapy articulation.
- Are you in need of articulation word lists or interactive articulation flashcards? Be sure to check out my Articulation Words page where new sounds are being added all the time.
5. Barrier Game
Barrier games are a super fun way to work on multiple different therapy skills all centered around one theme.
If you don’t already know a barrier game is when you give your students each the same picture along with the same manipulates and have one student instruct the other student what to create with a barrier such as a file folder in between so the student being told what to do can only listen and follow directions but not see the other students board.
Your students could work on the skills, such as following multi-step directions “put the pencil on the desk”, vocabulary words “grab the textbook”, spatial concepts “put the shoe on the rug”, adjectives “grab the small clock and put it on the wall”, etc.
- FREE Cavemen and Dinos Themed Barrier Game Speech Therapy by Allison Fors is engaging and interactive! This game targets expressive and receptive skills for prek – 6th graders!
- Freebie! Halloween Barrier Game for speech and language therapy by Katrina Bevan is a fun activity to celebrate Halloween that has a focus on auditory memory and following directions!
6. Game Companions
Using game companions is also another fun idea to use as a weekly theme. Pick a game that is easy to adapt and then use that same game all week focusing on different skills.
- Popping Pirate Game Companion – No Prep Speech Therapy Activity Mixed Groups by Green Tea Speech Therapy is a grab and go game companion that targets articulation, language, and social skills. Play Pop Up Pirate with your students! During the game, have them complete items on their task card based on the color sword they pick.
- What’s In There?? Define and Describe FREEBIE Speech Therapy Game Companion by Panda Speech Therapy was designed to be used with Ned’s Head, a game where students pull objects out of a big head. It’s great for describing and identifying and is a low prep game!
7. Common Interests
Do you have multiple students who have similar interests in common? This can be a fun way to use what your students already love and use it as the theme for the week or the month.
For example, do you have students who enjoy crafting?
Then you’ll want to check out my following resources that work on requesting supplies, describing their craft to others, articulation words with their sound, following directions as they build their crafts, categorizing, story retelling, comparing and contrasting their craft to others, craft theme vocabulary, and color identification.
8. Last Minute
If you’re therapy planning and don’t have much time I’ve got you covered. If you need something for next week or your next session you’re in the right place.
Be sure to check out my seasonal resources if you work in the elementary school setting I have created lists of resources based on your student’s iep goals.
These seasonal lists cover a little bit of everything when it comes to your student’s goals, such as articulation worksheets for your articulation students, communication boards for your AAC students, social stories for your social skills students, or minimal pairs for your phonology students, or defining vocabulary words for your common core speech-language goals.
9. Lesson Plan Format – SLP Lesson Plan Examples
Let’s take a closer look at a speech therapy lesson plan example and what one might include.
- Step 1: Pick a theme, topic, book, video, etc. for the week.
- Step 2: Review your students’ goals. I typically fill out this form at the beginning and then update it mid-year. Making this step much easier if I only have to do it twice a year and just keep referring back to it each week for my lesson planning.
- Step 3: Write out your overall theme and ideas. I use my theme planning sheet for this activity.
- Step 4: Gather and prep my resources. Now I either put the resources that I’m going to use in a digital file folder or an in-person folder. Or do both!
10. Speech Therapy Lesson Plan Template Free
Do you want these pages for yourself?
These pages come from my free slp planner that I’ve made for my awesome community of slps. The above lesson plan for speech therapy pages are all included.
So if you already have my yearly planner just look for these specific pages in your download and if not you can get your very own free copy of my SLP planner here.
11. Month of Therapy – Planning Done for You!
Do you ever wish you could have a whole month of therapy done for you? Or do you ever wish for a whole year’s worth of therapy planning done for you for the majority of your caseload?
If you answered yes, be sure to check out my Year Long Lesson Plans Curriculum to save yourself massive amounts of time!
In Conclusion: Lesson Plans for Speech Therapy
Your weekly lesson plans for speech therapy don’t need to be as in-depth and crazy as they once were during those grad school days.
Simply pick a theme, topic, book, or video to center your week around. Keep your student’s iep goals in mind when you pick your weekly therapy activities and then put your resources all in one place so you’re ready to go.
That’s it. You got this!
Side note: Even though these lesson plans above are for elementary grades these ideas and planning worksheets will also work when doing your high school speech therapy lesson plans.
Want Even More Lesson Plans for Speech Therapy?
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