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Speech Therapy: Under the Sea Theme

August 30, 2017

Speech Therapy: Under the Sea Theme

Our boxes are great for many uses, and while we design them to be user-friendly to busy parents and little ones at home, they are also a great way to engage students during speech therapy! I have been using the Under the Sea theme (August box) as a base for speech and language therapy for students preschool aged through 6th grade.

First, let me give you a quick photo tour of my space. I am at an elementary school site with limited resources, so I needed to bring in my own items to make this happen. The decorations were from Party City and certainly added to the "feel" of the theme in the therapy room.

under the sea themeunder the sea theme

On the small table, I had the hand-sized sea animals available for students to look at, touch and talk about. There was an octopus, sea star, and turtle. The students loved to look at these and used them to relate to images and discussions we were having about oceans and sea life. In the buckets, I had the small sea animals and shells that came in the theme box. I placed pieces of streamers in the buckets to act as kelp and seaweed and to provide some more sensory input for the students. Their task was to reach their hands into the buckets without looking (!!) and describe which animals they felt, then take them out and talk about their color, habitat, texture, facts, and so forth. All of the students enjoyed this activity and requested to do it more than once. It was a great way to help them recall their experiences at the beach and aquarium, as well.

We read the book, Under the Sea by Kate Riggs to further deepen their understanding of the theme, to address listening comprehension, and spatial concepts. The book has wonderful illustrations and the students were excited to see ocean animals in the book that they had seen in the buckets. 

Next, we played the fishing game using the fishing puzzle from the box. This was a great way for students to practice turn taking, colors, hand-eye coordination, vocabulary, and their speech sounds (/f/ and /sh/).

For the older students, I put together language activities based on a theme unit from Teachers Pay Teachers (Beach Grammar by Jenn Alcorn of  We completed about one language activity per session.

To further address vocabulary and comprehension, I borrowed books from the library about oceans and sea life. The students loved looking at the books and seeing animals we had been discussing throughout the past couple of weeks. We learned facts about animals, asked questions, and the students shared about what was most interesting to them.

For art, we completed sand art activities (purchased from Oriental Trading Company) and colored the under the sea picture roll that came with the theme box. Additionally, for the young students, I had the costume props available for pretend play and to spark imaginations.

Finally, at the end of each therapy session, we talked about what we learned that day and each student summarized by either drawing a picture or writing a sentence in their journal.

The students responded wonderfully to this theme. They were excited to learn the information and did not want to stop the activities. It was rewarding to see them recognize the animals and sea life in each activity we did, from the objects they could pick up, to the pictures in the books.  It was an excellent way for them to deepen their understanding of the theme and concepts and to better relate to their world.

Until next time,

Katie Whitman, M.A., CCC-SLP

Founder, Lola & Lark

Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist




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