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17 Best Vocabulary Goals for Speech Therapy + Activities

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If you’re a speech therapist looking for a great list of vocabulary goals for speech therapy this blog post is for you! 

I know what it’s like when you’re constantly trying to come up with iep goals and your brain is simply fried from the stressful workday and goal writing is the last thing you want to do. Okay or maybe ever?

I wanted to take writing goals off your to-do list! I wanted to turn this annoying and sometimes difficult task into a simple copy and paste.  I mean who doesn’t love a good copy and paste option? Am I right?

Below is a list of smart goals that you can use for your vocabulary intervention and hopefully make your workday a little less stressful today.

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Speech Therapy Goals: Vocabulary

Pick your favorite measurable goal below to have your student start working on their specific communication disorders goal areas today. 

Feel free to use any of the following as a long-term goal or break them up to use them as a short-term goal.

Expressive Language: Vocabulary Goals Speech Therapy

Visual Cues

Given 5 words with visual cues, STUDENT will define the word correctly with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Common Objects or Visual Prompts

Given a common object or visual prompts, STUDENT will use 2-3 critical features to describe the object or picture with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Use New Words

Given an emotional expression picture or story, STUDENT will use vocabulary to clearly describe the feelings, ideas, or experiences with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Identify Similar Words – Synonyms and Antonyms

Given an object, picture, or word, STUDENT will identify synonyms with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Given an object, picture, or word, STUDENT will identify antonyms with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Given 5 identified words in sentences, STUDENT will provide a synonym/antonym with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Given a story with highlighted words, STUDENT will provide a synonym/antonym for each highlighted word with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Opposites

Given 10 pictures, STUDENT will match opposite pictures in pairs (i.e., happy/sad, up/down) with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Given an object, picture, or word, STUDENT will identify the opposite with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Describe Target Words

Given an object or picture, STUDENT will describe the object or picture by naming the item, identify attributes (color, size, etc.), function, or number with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Reading Passage and Context Clues

Given a reading task, STUDENT will define unfamiliar words using context clues with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Academic: Target Vocabulary Words with Root Words

Given common academic vocabulary, STUDENT will define prefix and/or suffix with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Correct Grammar and Complete Sentence

Given common academic vocabulary, STUDENT will define the vocabulary word using a complete sentence with correct grammar with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

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Receptive Language: Vocabulary Goals Speech Therapy

Given 10 common nouns, STUDENT will identify the correct noun by pointing to the appropriate picture with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Given 10 common verbs, STUDENT will identify the correct verb by pointing to the appropriate picture with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Given 10 common adjectives, STUDENT will identify the correct adjective by pointing to the appropriate picture (size, shape, color, texture) with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Given 3 to 5 pictures, STUDENT will identify the category items by pointing/grouping pictures into categories with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 opportunities.

SEE ALSO: IEP Goal Bank Posts

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Teaching Vocabulary: Speech Therapy Sessions

When it comes to teaching vocabulary in the school setting the best practices are to teach the students the vocabulary strategies and vocabulary knowledge allowing them to learn how to define vocabulary words themselves instead of simply teaching them each new word that they then memorize. 

If you’re a speech pathologist, or special education teacher, or parent and you’ve been following me for a while now you know that I love spoiling my community! 

And that’s why I’m sharing with you 14 free pages from my newest resource perfect for the elementary age group! 

Using Targeted Words

This resource focuses on tier two vocabulary words. Tier two words are common academic words frequently used across multiple subject areas. 

Teaching tier two words is an effective method and great way to work on vocabulary that students will come across in multiple textbooks.

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Sentence Level

Have your students practice their word at the sentence level by reading the word in a sentence, adding their word to a fill in the blank sentence, creating a sentence using their word given a visual cue, or practice by answering a question using their new vocabulary word. 

Picture Icons

Including picture icons of the words is another fun way to give your students a chance to use their new vocabulary word in a sentence that they get to create. 

Structured Activity

Using a structured activity with multiple exposures allows the student extra practice with one word at a time. 

Consecutive Sessions

Practice over consecutive sessions for additional exposure. 

Informal Assessments

The first step when starting a new goal is to collect baseline data. Simply use a couple of these worksheets as a great way to collect an informal assessment of your students’ vocabulary skills. 

informal-assessments

Language Skills

Other language tasks a student could work on are the following: 

Do you have a student working on synonyms or antonyms, have a student working on using vocabulary words in a sentence, have a student working on describing a picture, have a student working on context clues, have a student working on defining new vocabulary words, have students answering questions

No problem all these students can be working from the same worksheet!

Core Vocabulary Words: Free Activities List

Are you in need of additional free vocabulary activities? I’ve done the searching for you! 

After downloading my free 14 vocabulary worksheets above be sure to check out the following resources for even more vocabulary activities to help get you started on your child’s iep vocabulary goals.

tier-2-vocabulary

SEE ALSO: 432+ Free Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives Bank

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Picture Books

Using picture books can be a fun way to discuss vocabulary words with younger students as you discuss the pictures in the book together.

  1. Interactive Vocab Book: Mother’s Day Freebie by Jenna Rayburn Kirk – This interactive book uses velcro words so students can match the words to the correct page. There are extra sentence strips to support practicing sentences, describing functions, and describing locations. 
  2. Questions and Vocab, When I was Little: A 4 Year Old’s Memoir of her Youth by Jennifer Trested – This is a great book to use at the end of the year. This freebie includes depth of knowledge questions, vocab, vocabulary pictures, and definitions for each vocabulary word.
  3. Measurement and Data Vocabulary Book – FREE – Kindergarten Math Center by Keeping my Kinders Busy – This vocab book helps teach vocabulary surrounding the Common Core Kindergarten Measurement and Data Math Unit. It’s easy to prep – just print and the students can trace and color the pictures! 
  4. Interactive Vocabulary Books: Helping at Home by Jenna Rayburn Kirk – This book targets vocabulary, grammar, and language by using velcro pieces to match pictures to words. It keeps little hands busy and is great for preK – first grade! 

Correct a Simple Sentence

Practice vocabulary words by correcting a simple sentence to use their vocabulary word correctly.

  1. Editing Simple Sentences – Winter Sentences by Breaking Barriers – These are winter-themed sentences to help your students learn the editing process. 3 levels help with differentiation and skill-building!
  2. Concept of Words Simple Sentence Writing by Teachers R US – This activity includes 5 worksheets to help students practice the concept of words, and sight words. It is great for group work or individual work!

Create Complex Sentence

Another fun activity for practicing new vocabulary words is to create a complex sentence with your new words.

  1. Complex Sentence Vocab! By J-Mar – This is an editable google doc to be used with your vocabulary units. Students can roll a dice that prompts them to use specific conjunction around their vocabulary word.
  2. Word Work: Practice using Vocab to make Compound and Complex Sentences by Academic Language Central – In these freebies, students are prompted to write compound and complex sentences using their vocab words

Single Word

Practice one word at a time with multiple exposures to using the word in a sentence or to describe a picture. 

  1. Prefix Google Slides Word Search by Literacy Tales – Practice reading, vocabulary and sight words virtually! 
  2. Read and Draw Single Word Vocabulary Printable: PIG by Read & Draw – This is a fun, no-prep activity to help your students remember everyday vocabulary words! (This creator has multiple words!)
  3. Arctic Animals Word Wall and Vocabulary Matching by ReadingisLove – There are 2 ways to practice vocabulary words in this winter-themed set: a word wall and vocab matching. This is fun and interactive!  

Multiple Meaning Words

Using multiple meaning words is another great way to work on your student’s vocabulary skills.

  1. 193+ Multiple Meaning Words Grouped by Grade + Free Worksheets by Speech Therapy Store – Enjoy this awesome freebie I’ve created with almost 200 multiple meaning words to practice your student’s vocabulary skills. 
  2. Multiple Meaning Word Task Cards – Intermediate Grades! Test Prep by the Owl Spot – This will give your students the chance to practice with word meaning in context. There are 32 task cards and an answer sheet. 
  3. Which Definition Is It? (Multiple Meaning Words w/ Context Clues) by Ciera Harris Teaching – This activity helps students use context clues to figure out the definition of a multiple-meaning word! 

Structured Language Activities

You can also work on a language task and simply focus on the vocabulary words as you work through a language activity for more vocabulary practice.

  1. Follow the Clues: St Patrick’s Day Edition (A Descriptive Language Game) FREEBIE by The Speech Path for Kids – This freebie promotes descriptive language skills while following a St Patricks Day theme! 
  2. What’s Different? Language Activity for Fall by Keeping Speech Simple – This fall-themed, engaging activity promotes descriptive, specific language skills!

Younger Students

Here are a few vocabulary activities that would be perfect for working on with your younger students. 

  1. Back to School Smashmat – Preschool Speech and Language Therapy Activity by Homemade Speech and Language – This freebie targets so many learning areas for PreK and first such as early intervention, speech and language targets, and play skills!
  2. Caps for Sale Vocabulary by dayle timmons – Read this popular children’s book and identify 6 Tier Two vocabulary words as you read aloud!
  3. Crossword Puzzle: Animals, Objects, Fruits Vocabulary (Colorful picture clues) by The Mochi Lab – Use these fun, interactive crosswords as an easy way to learn vocabulary! 

CVC Words

These would also be perfect for your younger students working on cvc vocabulary tier one words, such as the words cat, bat, or dog. 

  1. Free Phonics Worksheets – Letter Sounds – CVC Words – Beginning Initial Sounds by These are fun, free and interactive worksheets for students to practice CVC words!
  2. FREE CVC Words Worksheets: No Prep Write Cut and Paste Activity for Word Work by Adapting for Autism – Use these 4 Worksheets to practice reading, writing, vocab and fine motor skills!
  3. CVC Word Family ‘AT’ No Prep Phonics Printables FREEBIE by Tweet Resources – This freebie focuses on ‘at’ words! 

SEE ALSO: 193+ Multiple Meaning Words Grouped by Grade + Free Worksheets

Communication Device

Do you have students using communication devices or boards? Here are a few premade boards to work on different vocabulary words such as expressing likes and dislikes, classroom vocabulary, as well as outside bug vocabulary.

  1. AAC Core Vocabulary Activities | No Print Speech Therapy | Distance Learning by Speech and Language at Home – Use this core board to have your students discuss their opinions “like” and “don’t like”.
  2. Core Vocabulary Classroom Labels for Autism and Special Education by The Structured Autism Classroom – Add these core vocabulary words throughout your classroom to help encourage their use throughout the school day.
  3. AAC Core Vocabulary Freebie | Interactive Books Speech Therapy | Look Outside by Speech and Language at Home – Get outside with your child or student and enjoy working on your student’s bug vocabulary words

Comprehension Questions and WH Questions

Answering comprehension questions and wh questions is another great way to work on vocabulary skills. 

  1. Free Kindergarten Reading Comprehension and Questions by Teaching Biilfizzcend – This is 20 free, fun and interactive reading passages to practice comprehension. 
  2. Free Reading Comprehension Passages & Questions by Mrs. Thompson’s Treasures – This free resource is for grades K- 4, and focuses on engaging students with the text and proving their answers!
  3. FREEBIE!! WH-Questions Pizza Party! Game for Speech therapy – 90 questions by Miss V’s Speech World – This is a fun and interactive game to get students practicing WH- and HOW- Questions. There are 90 question cards. 

Data Collection

If you’re in need of data tracking forms while working on your student’s vocabulary goals for speech therapy then be sure to check out my IEP goal data tracking for progress monitoring forms.

Or if you simply want a list of data sheets to choose from then be sure to check out my list of 35 free speech therapy data sheets roundup.

IEP Goal Bank

Want an even bigger speech therapy goal bank? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered! 

Be sure to check out my IEP goal bank made specifically for a speech-language pathologist covering even more language disorder areas such as final consonants or the phonological process of final consonant deletion.  Fluency goals using easy onset and slow rate or pragmatic language goals covering communication skills, social interaction, and topic of conversation and so many more educational goals.

In Conclusion: Vocabulary Goals for Speech Therapy

I hope you’ve found this list of vocabulary goals for speech therapy to be helpful in your IEP goal writing!

Be sure to grab your free vocabulary practice pages below by filling out the form below.

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    Tuesday 9th of August 2022

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