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Blooming Speech & Language Activities
Ages: 3-8   Grades: PreK-3

Themed units with meaningful, everyday activities let you elicit speech, language, and cognitive responses in natural contexts.  Students eagerly learn and establish new skills


  • Expand skills in language, concepts, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and speech
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Thirteen units use experiential learning and table-top activities to train skills in:

  • receptive and expressive vocabulary
  • concepts
  • sequencing and narrative language
  • verb tenses
  • phonological awareness
  • articulation and phonological processing
  • thinking based on Bloom's Taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation)

Each theme-based unit begins with a play-based activity, a recipe activity, or a craft activity.  Other learning opportunities springboard from the beginning activity and include simply-phrased stimuli to elicit the target structures.  The materials in each unit include: 

  • picture scene for receptive and expressive vocabulary activities
  • statements and questions to target concepts during the play-based, recipe, or craft activity
  • four-part picture sequence of the unit's activity to elicit verb tenses and narrative language
  • phonological awareness worksheet activity
  • reproducible pictures for articulation and phonological patterns
  • questions at each level of Bloom's Taxonomy to stimulate thinking during the play-based, recipe, or craft activity

The variety of activities lets you target diverse goals within the same group activity.  Each activity has a measurable objective. 


Copyright © 2003

180 pages
  • Explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonetic decoding skills produces stronger reading growth in children with phonological weaknesses than approaches that do not explicitly teach these skills (Torgesen, 2000).
  • ASHA (2008) recommends that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide information on communication-enhancing strategies to caregivers in order for carryover of targeted skills to occur in everyday routines.
  • Generalization of correct production from one sound to another is expected when remediation targets are selected on the basis of place, manner, and voicing analysis; distinctive feature analysis; or phonological process/pattern analysis (Bernthal & Bankson, 2004).
  • Activities reflecting real-life situations that use functional words facilitate generalization to other persons and settings (Bleile, 2004).
  • Direct and indirect instruction of vocabulary words helps students boost reading comprehension and improve performance for semantic tasks (NRP, 2000).

Blooming Speech & Language Activities incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2008). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists in early intervention. Retrieved January 13, 2011, from

Bernthal, J.E., & Bankson, N.W. (2004). Articulation and phonological disorders. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Bleile, K.M. (2004). Manual of articulation and phonological disorders: Infancy through adulthood (2nd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Learning.

National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction—Reports of the subgroups. Retrieved on January 13, 2011, from

Torgesen, J.K. (2000). Individual differences in response to early interventions in reading: The lingering problem of treatment resisters. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 15, 55-64.


Janet R. Lanza, Lynn K. Flahive


Janet R. Lanza, M.S., CCC-SLP, has worked as a speech-language pathologist in public schools, private practice, and a university clinic in Texas since 1976.  She has been on the faculty of the department of communication sciences and disorders at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, since 1989.  At the TCU Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic, Janet is an instructor and clinical supervisor for classroom settings of preschool children with a variety of communication disorders.  Blooming Speech and Language Activities is her fifteenth publication with LinguiSystems.

Lynn K. Flahive, M.S., CCC-SLP, has over 25 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist.  She worked in private and public schools in Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, and Texas for 12 years before joining the department of communication sciences and disorders at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.  Lynn has special interests in working with preschool and early elementary-aged children with phonological and/or language delays.  Blooming Speech and Language Activities is Lynn's eighth publication with LinguiSystems.


Do you work with groups of young children with communication disorders?  Do some of these children have disordered phonology or articulation disorders while others need to develop vocabulary, concepts, or grammar?  Are you looking for interactive lessons that will give meaning to what you teach?  Then Blooming Speech and Language Activities may be a perfect addition to your therapy materials.

Blooming Speech and Language Activities consists of thirteen units that are centered around crafts, recipes, or play-based activities.  They are hands-on, interactive, and fun.  They are not intended for drill.  Their purpose is to help you elicit speech and language targets naturally while you and the children are participating in interesting activities.

These units can be used successfully in both group and individual therapy.  All or parts of each unit can be chosen, based upon the needs of your students.  The materials are planned so that you can easily emphasize a variety of targets for children within the same group.  You can teach each unit as written, or use it as a springboard for your own creative ideas.  Several components of the units are suitable for home practice.

The 13 units in Blooming Speech and Language Activities are:

Play-Based Activities

  • Playing with Dolls
  • Playing with Blocks
  • Planting Seeds
  • Going Grocery Shopping
  • Having a Birthday Party


  • Making Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Decorating Cookies
  • Making Chocolate Milk
  • Making a Fruit Salad


  • Making a Turkey
  • Making a Snake Chain
  • Making Thumbprint Animals
  • Making a Snowman

Major Components of Each Unit

  • Activity Page—Each unit begins with a page that names and pictures the activity that will form the basis for all of the components of the unit.  The activity page includes the materials needed to complete the task and suggested directions.
  • Vocabulary Worksheets—Each unit contains a picture scene that can be used as a worksheet to elicit both receptive and expressive theme-related vocabulary.  A variety of nouns, verbs, and adjectives are targeted.  To complete the receptive portion of the worksheet, the child will need a box of crayons.  Specific teacher directions are given for each targeted word.  Teacher directions are also given so that the child can produce the targeted vocabulary expressively.  If you are working in a group, this section is designed so that you can be working on both the receptive and expressive levels simultaneously.  Lists of additional theme-related nouns, verbs, and adjectives are also provided.
  • Concepts—Interactive, hands-on activities such as those provided in Blooming Speech and Language Activities are perfect avenues for teaching concepts.  Each unit provides a list of different concepts with examples of possible uses.  It is suggested that you take advantage of every opportunity to elicit and use the concepts while participating in the activities.  Concepts are best learned when presented in a variety of situations.
  • Sequence Pictures—The four panel sequence pictures are an important part of each unit.  Photocopy and cut apart the pictures.  Then have the child put the pictures in the correct order.  Since the sequence pictures depict the actual steps of the activity, it is suggested that the sequence pictures be used after the completion of the activity.  These pictures can be sent home as an excellent tool for home carryover.
  • Verb Tenses—Accompanying each page of sequence pictures are three narratives of the depicted story.  These sentences are intended to provide practice with verb tenses and pronouns.  They are presented in present progressive tense, past tense, and present tense.  Depending on the verb tense appropriate for each child, send home that story with the sequence pictures for practice and generalization.
  • Phonological Awareness—Phonological awareness is an important preliteracy skill.  This worksheet provides practice in different aspects of phonological awareness and includes vocabulary from each unit.  Skills targeted include rhyming, alliteration, syllable identification, sound position identification, and sound blending.
  • Articulation Cards—Eighteen activity-related picture cards are included in each unit for articulation practice.  The phonemes targeted include /l, s, r, k/ in initial, medial, or final positions and /r/ clusters.  When targeting articulation, select the cards appropriate for each child.  Have the child name the pictures and produce the target sounds correctly before you begin the activity.  Display the cards in the room and elicit them at the word, phrase, or sentence level as many times as possible during the activity.  The words may be said again and then sent home for practice.
  • Phonological Patterns—Eighteen activity-related picture cards are included in each unit targeting a phonological pattern.  The patterns include reduction of /s/ clusters, /r/ clusters, or /l/ clusters as well as stridency deletion, final consonant deletion, velar fronting, and syllable reduction.  Use these cards in the same manner as the articulation cards.
  • Bloom's Taxonomy Questions—Opportunities are given in each lesson to practice answering questions and develop higher level thinking skills through the use of questions following the hierarchy presented in Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.  This hierarchy goes from the concrete level of knowledge to the abstract levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  When using these questions, it is important that you present and discuss the vocabulary before you ask the questions.  You can either ask questions from all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy or start at the lowest level and progress to the level at which the child experiences difficulty.

    Teaching is most effective and learning most successful when activities are interactive and hands-on.  Targets are best presented and habituated when elicited in a variety of situations.  We hope that the activities and materials in this book make it easier for you to do these things and have fun while accomplishing your goals.

    Janet and Lynn