Spring Word Associations Freebie!!

I absolutely love spring time! I love the weather, emergence of colors in the blooming flowers, and I love SPRING BREAK which is 3 weeks away for me here in Atlanta! Most importantly, I am grateful that Jesus Christ loved mankind so much that he made the greatest sacrifice for us. Spring is a season to reflect on his  death, resurrection, and free gifts of GRACE, MERCY, and FORGIVENESS to all those who believe in him. 

In anticipation of spring, I want to share a gift that you can use in your classroom so I specially created a Spring Word Associations Freebie for you to use with your students. 

Click on the link to download the resource: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Word-Associations

In the download, you will see photographs I took over the past few years of plants from my garden (green hosta, pink lily, yellow lily, pink knock out rose), my mother’s garden (white magnolia bloom), and my Aunt Pauline’s garden (orchids). I hope you enjoy the activity and photos! 

Fiction Book of the Week: Green Shamrocks

This week, some of my speech-language students in grades K-2 listened to a CD with a reading of the fiction book Green Shamrocks by Eve Bunting. The learning objectives for the lesson were for them to answer listening comprehension questions, sequence the story events, and verbally retell the story. I have one student in kindergarten who stutters so he also practiced his speech fluency using his slow and easy speech. 

I was lucky to have multiple copies of this book, so each student had a chance to do their own “picture walk” by looking at the illustrations in order to make predictions about what the story would be about. The students did a great job naming the characters  before they heard the story and shared their thoughts about what was going to happen in the story. 

They did a great job answering literal who, what, where, when, and why questions that were directly stated in the story. They needed some verbal prompts to sequence the events and orally retell the story.  

I see most of my students 2-3 times a week for speech-language therapy. So, on the 2nd therapy day we completed an arts & craft activity. Here are a few photos:

Thanks for visiting the blog! Happy early St. Patrick’s Day!

Why Teach Multiple Meaning Words?

A student with a language disorder walks into a regular education classroom where he or she is bombarded with multi-step teacher directions in a fast paced classroom. The student struggles to get out all the materials for the first academic subject much less comprehend what the teacher is saying. “Students, get out your math book and journal. Turn to page 25 and write your name on the right hand side of the next blank page in your practice journal. Our class is going to spend the next hour learning about measurements and we are going to measure and record the size of  our hands, feet, and height. We will use a ruler, yard stick, and tape measure to record the inches and feet.” Student A says “awesome, I’m going to have a ball because I’m the tallest kid!!” Student B says”huh?” “I thought we were going to make and record a song!!” Teacher….blank stare!!

Now imagine that some of the students in the class are also bilingual and are learning English. However, they don’t have a solid foundation in their primary language and they are language disordered. They would be confused by the teacher’s lengthy instructions and most likely not understand several of the vocabulary words. These students struggle processing and understanding  a variety of language concepts including multiple meaning vocabulary.

Students who have language disorders often need direct vocabulary instruction with multiple meanings. The speech language pathologist is key to providing this instruction. Most elementary school students are familiar with the terms: homonyms, homophones, and homographs. However, they easily confuse the meanings and need plenty of receptive and expressive language practice with examples of these words.

In my speech language therapy sessions, I instruct my students on the 2 categories of homonyms or multiple meaning words. Then, I take baseline data to see what words they understand and can effectively use in a sentence. I suggest:

Then I provide multiple opportunities to practice increasing their vocabulary skills with a variety of activities and learning games. I have my students practice verbally describing 2 meanings of the target terms and I provide verbal and visual prompts as needed. I also like using cloze sentence (fill in the blank) tasks or semantic absurdities activities in which students have to correctly identify/name the correct homonym.
Here is a list of some of the activities and resources I use to address developing
this skill:

1. Go for the Dough Board Game by Super Duper
My students love this activity and it addresses multiple meaning words , synonyms, antonyms, categories, and more.
2. Homophones Photo Fun Deck by Super Duper
3.Homographs Fun Deck by Super Duper
4. Multiple Meanings Deck and Homonyms Photo Fun Deck by Super Duper
5.Homophones I PAD application by AbiTalk
6.Bluster I PAD application by McGraw Hill Center for Digital Innovation
My students are always eager to participate in the homophones activities. There are also fun activities to target word roots, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, rhyming words, and adjectives.
7.No Glamour Vocabulary book by Linguisystems
This book has great worksheets for guided practice and homework review. I tend to use worksheets after the skill has been practiced orally in therapy a few times.
8.Numerous SLP created products available at : teacherspayteachers.com

What additional resources or methods do you find successful with teaching multiple meaning words?


Johnson, C., Ionson, M., and Torreiter, S. (1997) state that direct vocabulary instruction in the area of multiple meaning words is essential for successful comprehension of spoken and written language. In their study, the research results  indicated that children with language learning difficulties  are able to provide adequate verbal definitions when target meanings were presented in sentence context compared to tasks that did not provide a context. How should I use this knowledge in my classroom? SLPs and teachers should directly teach vocabulary and provide opportunities for students to practice their word knowledge using context clues in sentences. 


Johnson, C., Ionson, M., and Torreiter, S (1997). Assessing children’s knowledge of multiple meaning words. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology. (6) 77-86. 

Thanks for visiting the blog today! 🙂

Celebrating Dr. Seuss in Speech-Language Therapy

Last week, my school had a celebration for Read Across America Week and Friday was a celebration in honor of Dr. Seuss’ Birthday. Some of my speech-language students had the opportunity to practice language arts vocabulary, orally summarizing story events, sequencing events, and speech articulation skills during Dr. Seuss themed activities. One of my favorite activities of the week involved using the book: The Lorax. I differentiated or modified instruction as needed for my students based on their IEP goals. Here is a picture of books I used:

I previewed relevant language arts vocabulary that we typically discuss with fiction stories. For example, I asked my students to name the title, author, and illustrator prior to reading the story. I pointed out the publisher and explained that I would be their narrator. During the story, I modeled “think alouds” and had my students name the characters, describe the characters’ traits, and point of view of the story. After the story, we summarized the plot and compared/contrasted what happened at the introduction vs. conclusion of the story.

I love this book because at the end of the story it promotes preserving the environment and restoring the Bar-ba-loot Bears’ habitat by planting trees. So, my students eagerly created their own “Truffula Forest” from the seed that the Once-ler had at the end of the story after he selfishly cut down all the trees for his “Thneed” clothing manufacturing business. Here are some examples of my students’ beautiful and colorful creations:

Here was our inspiration page for the craft activity:

These bright colors have me looking forward to fun speech-language craft activities with spring and summer themes during lessons in my speech-language therapy classroom!! Oh yeah…I should mention that I am eager DESPITE the light snow flurries we had in Atlanta over the weekend.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!! Stay tuned for resources to support the English/Language Arts and Reading Common Core Curriculum Standards.

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