It is great when you can use things that you have around the house in your therapy room. Instead of recycling old newspapers, magazines, and menus I REUSE IT!! This post is about how you can use these papers found around your house in an unique way during therapy.
NEWSPAPERS: At our school every week we get a large bundle of newspapers delivered. They would sit in the office and the only people I saw using them were teachers to catch up on the regions news. I thought of a way to use these newspapers in a 5th grade inclusion classroom that would address many of my students skills. I created a newspaper scavenger hunt. I passed out the newspapers and a worksheet. The students were paired up and told it was a race to see who could complete the scavenger hunt. The questions were all found by using the index, headlines, and understanding the topics that the newspaper is divided into. There were questions about the weather in another part of the country, what happened on this date, reading TV listings to find when a show would air, sports scores, reading advertisements for information, and many much more. The skills that were addressed were categorizing, identify main ideas, summarizing, reading graphs, finding details, associations, reading maps, and expressive language skills as they worked together. I was surprised with the students lack of newspaper understanding. In the following weeks we built upon the weakness and had the students reading more newspapers and summarizing articles.
In our local newspaper each weekend there is a Kid’s Newspaper. It contains short articles on a variety of topics which usually pertains to a current headline. Each one contains a biography of a famous kid related star, recipes, crosswords, jokes, illustrations, and games. I have used these to talk about the Olympics, elections, holidays, and more. Look for things like this in your local paper.
I wanted to also direct you to another great post and resource for using newspapers in therapy. Jenna from Speech Room News recently posted about using newspapers in her therapy room. Click here for the link to her post. She also created a product for her TPT site that goes with the post. Click here for a link to that resource.
MAGAZINES: The illustrations in magazines are priceless in therapy. As I am reading a magazine I am always considering each picture and how I can reuse it. Here are the ways I use magazines during therapy.
- Articulation: At the start of the year I like to make the students aware of how frequently their sound is spoken and read. We search through magazines for pictures and words containing their sounds. We then paste them on a large letter of that sound.
- Social Language: I find different pictures that feature a variety of facial expressions. During therapy I use these to help students explain what the person is feeling, why they are feeling that way, and what facial features give clues to how they are feeling. We compare features of different people feeling the same emotion to help with generalization.
- Inferences: There are always advertisements that need you to “read between the lines” to fully understand them. I laminate these pages and have them explain what is happening and what will happen next as well as how they know that.
- Categories: I cut out pages that are full of items and have the students categorize the different items on the page. There was one sequence of advertisements for a laundry detergent that showed a messy room and everything the mother had to do. It was great for this concept.
MENUS: Since we have a four year old and we go out to dinner a lot, we have collected a large amount of children’s restaurant menus. If you laminate these you can use the different activities during therapy as brain breaks or if they go with a theme as part of the lesson. Be creative next time you are at a restaurant. They will sometimes give you extra if you ask nicely and leave a big tip.
I encourage you to think creatively the next time you are reading a newspaper, magazine, or menu. With the great graphics and illustrations, they are very appealing to students. Please post about creative ways you have used these materials.