#070: Literacy-Based Therapy Plans for Preschool

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Today’s Topic: Literacy-Based Therapy Plans for Preschoolers!

We selected This Jazz Man as our book choice for this month.

In this Jazzy comprehensive therapy plan, we review goals, materials, and activities for our preschool kiddos.

You’ll get introduced to Cho, Fleur, and Hannah — three preschoolers who are all working on functional communication skills at different levels:

I’ll walk you through therapy ideas for each student that target the 5 steps of the literacy-based therapy framework, and set you up with the tools and resources that you need to confidently plan for your mixed groups.

Note: I didn’t review the 5-step literacy-based therapy framework in this episode, but you can get a refresher here.

Here’s what we discussed:

[2:50] Therapy Ideas for Step 1 (Pre-Story Knowledge Activation)
[6:50] Therapy Ideas for Step 2 (Reading)
[8:05] Therapy Ideas for Step 3 (Post Story Comprehension)
[10:40] Therapy Ideas for Step 4 (Skill Practice)
[14:10] Therapy Ideas for Step 5 (Parallel Story)

Want to hear more about this topic? Click here to see this month’s content!

Links Mentioned

The SLP Now One-Page Literacy-Based Therapy Unit Planner
Book: This Jazz Man
SLP Now Membership

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Thanks so much!


Marisha: So let's get started with our first group. We've got a group of three preschoolers, and we have Cho, Fleur, and Hannah in the group, you might recognize these names, and again, these are hypothetical students, they are working on functional communication skills. So Cho is working on pointing to identified objects and imitating sounds, and then Fleur is working on following simple directions and contexts using two word phrases and answering yes/no questions, and then Hannah is working on identifying objects by function, three word phrases, and she's also working on answering yes/no questions about a short story. So that's what we've got for the students in the group, and the book that we selected is This Jazz Man. It is a very, very sweet story, and it's sung as this old man, and I don't know about you guys, but I do not have a voice for singing, but there are some awesome resources to help us make this fun and engaging, even if we aren't the best singers in the world.
So I am going to go ahead and pull up my own planning sheet. If you work with students at this level, I'd highly recommend going to slpnow.com/planner, and then you can just copy a blank planner to your Google Drive, and start filling in some ideas for your students. So I'm going to go ahead and share what I have put together, and then we'll just talk through that and hopefully, you walk away with your very own therapy plan within the next 10 minutes or so.
So this is what I've got, and we're, again, the text that we're using is This Jazz Man, and I just put a shortened version of the student's goals onto the planner, just so I can keep that fresh. So if you want to enter the goals that you're trying to target, definitely enter that in the Goals section, and we're going to go ahead and start with step one, which is pre-story knowledge activation. And the planning sheet includes some ideas of things that we often use for this step, so things that we often work on used to target this step are a book walk, filling in a graphic organizer, pre-teaching vocabulary, and taking a virtual field trip. So, and I'll go ahead and make this a little bit bigger, not that big.
Okay. So we'll start at the top, and then I like to just kind of mark off which steps I'm going to be using. So I think that a book walk makes a lot of sense for this particular group. I typically don't pre-teach vocabulary for these younger students. I like to teach it in context, because they just don't have as much to hang these concepts off of, they're really learning the foundational skills. So if we are pre-teaching them, like if we're working on categories and we pre-teach the category, if they don't have any exemplars or anything like that, it just gets a little tricky and it's easier to read the book, and then they'll be exposed to a bunch of examples of animals, and then we can go from there.
So I typically like to do a book walk with the younger students, and we might do a virtual field trip. I didn't plan a virtual field trip for this group because we are doing, it's more functional communication, I thought it would be more helpful just to see kind of what they know about music, because this is a story about just famous jazz musicians from the past, and it's very simple, it's got a melody to it. So it's like this old man, and so it's fun and engaging, the pictures are beautiful. And so, I just wanted to just kind of expose them and see if they know anything about jazz music or just music in general, what their favorite songs are, and maybe do some hands-on activities with different musical instruments, if they just don't have any familiarity, but then so that's what we would do. And I organize all of this in my SLP Now library.
So, and especially since a lot of us are doing digital therapy, I've moved to using a lot of digital books, so I have a link to Edpuzzle in my library, so I can just click the link and then open up the reading of the video, and I found one on YouTube through Edpuzzle, so it doesn't have the ads, and we can edit it and all of that good stuff. But someone sings the book, and it's very fun and engaging, it would be super... Because I could just imagine the kids singing along, like one of the examples is where they sing a rhythm and it's like, "Tick-a-tock-a, tick-a-tock-a," and I feel like that's something that the kids would want to have fun with and imitate, so that's one of the reasons why I picked this because I think it'd be really great for that age group.
And then, yeah, so we would just kind of look through some of the pictures, do a few activities with music, and then we would just dive into actually reading the text. So we would go through and watch the video, and hat would bring us through step two. We'd just do a quick book walk, scroll through the video, and then actually watch the video, and then we get to dive into some story comprehension and other skill-based activities, which is where we'll spend the bulk of our time.
So I created, or we have a guide for this book, and I think this makes things a lot easier. So for the pre-story, just jumping back a little bit, for the pre-story knowledge activation, I might do just some simple activities also to work on different skills. So we have a little cheat sheet with ideas for ways to target receptive and expressive language skills. So we could pull in some of these activities for our pre-story knowledge, or they could also be inspiration for the end of the unit, or step four, at least.
And then some other activities that I would do for comprehension, we have some vocabulary cards that are really fun to use with these units. So for the students working on yes/no, we don't have any actual comprehension goals other than just the yes/no questions in this group. So I might ask them questions about the book, and just give them the picture cards to act as a support, and just ask yes/no questions related to the story. And then this is all about music, so we might do some different activities in step four, which I'll get to in just a second.
And then if you happen to be working on more basic comprehension with these students, and I think it's still okay to do some practice with this, and just to give them exposure and practice that comprehension, so you could ask simple questions and provide a lot of errorless learning, and just cut out the cards and give them a field of two choices, and help them choose the correct one. But if they are a little bit more advanced, we have some question cards, and so we have a bunch of who questions, a bunch of what questions, when, where, and we have two levels of the questions, which has been incredibly helpful. So all of the who questions in level one only have people as the answer, and then on the other level, we have like a person, a place, and an object, for example, it's all mixed. So it depends on the student, which level is actually harder for them, but if you want to have some errorless practice learning the question word, that's a good way to scaffold that.
So those are some ideas that we can pull for comprehension. And so, for this particular group, I would just focus on literal questions and I might do a little bit, because it's more of a descriptive story, it doesn't really follow the story grammar framework, so I would just use this as exposure to language and all of that. And then the next step would be to focus on some specific skills. So I would make sure that I'm providing my students with all of the supports that they need to be able to complete their skills. So we are working on pointing to objects, and so this looks a little bit different with this type of group, which is why I'm excited to be able to go through the whole spectrum, but we're working on pointing, imitating sounds, following directions, and then two and three word phrases, and identifying objects by function. So we've got a nice range just within this group.
So with the more functional skills, I really like to just support the students and work on these skills in context, so I would try and select activities where they do have to point to objects, and I selected this book because it's really great for imitating sounds, so we would do a bunch of music activities and have that be embedded throughout the entire unit. And then, but with pointing to objects, following directions, using phrases, those would all be really great for a number of activities, so we could create our own song. I have a little backpack with different musical instruments that I found on Amazon, and so the student working on pointing, I might give them two choices of instruments, and then they have to point to which one they want for another student. I might give a simple direction to have them go get an instrument and pick one out, or to follow directions with how to make the music. So maybe shake this one, and then drop this one, or whatever little directions we want to use there, and then I would also provide supports as needed.
So a lot of times, I found that when students are working on following directions, I find that it's really more of a vocabulary goal for some of my students, and then other students, it's more of a strategy goal. So we don't have the context to know what the inaudible needs per se, but I might embed some practice with basic concepts, and really drill a couple of those, and we have a whole basic concepts unit in the membership with a bunch of tools to teach that, so I would pull that out if that's what we needed.
And then I would also use, if the student's working on directions, or producing the two and three word phrases, if they needed some additional support, I created a little sentence pack with a bunch of icons and it comes with some sentence strips, so I would pull those out and use those to support the students as they are using their two and three word phrases, for a variety of functional contexts throughout the unit as well. And then for the student working on object functions, we could build out a little vocabulary journal, which will give... Because we're running short on time for this section, but I'll give some more examples of how that vocabulary journal works for the older students, so you can see that in action.
And then the last step in this unit is to create a parallel story. So this would look a little bit different for these students, but I thought it could be a really cool carryover activity because, so This Jazz Man is kind of like a parallel story to This Old Man, so it could be fun to make a song about the students in the class, and just feature some of the students, with parent permission, or we could just make up students and then have them create their own song, and then we can integrate all of the different skills that we've been working on, like those two to three word phrases, and the object functions and all of that, as we put that song together, and then it's something that we could share at the end. So that's what the plans for preschool would look like.


Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

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