Creative Ideas for Winter Speech Sessions

Creative Ideas for Winter Speech Sessions

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Winter is almost here! As the temperatures freeze, our creativity sometimes freezes too—after all, we’re writing progress reports and squeezing in holiday prep, while battling the tiredness that comes from short, gloomy days. It’s a lot, and it doesn’t leave much energy for planning fun sessions with our students and clients.

That’s where this blog post comes in! I’m excited to share a blizzard of fun, easy, creative ideas for winter speech sessions to carry you through to January and beyond. 

All the Arctic (and Antarctic) Animals

There’s just something about the unique animals that spend most of their lives in the snow! These creatures are simultaneously tough and adorable, and they’re beloved by kids of all ages. Students could compare and contrast different species, describe various habitats, and discuss the problem-solving skills animals use to survive harsh winters. Here are some ideas to try:

Resources from Researchers

Plenty of Polar Bears

  • We recently shared an Instagram infographic highlighting multiple ways to bring polar bears into your speech sessions! It included articulation targets, books to read, conversation starters, and resources from Polar Bears International.

Books 

Art Options 

  • Drawing is a low-prep speech therapy activity that’s ideal for practicing sequencing, describing, and following directions. If you (or your students) are like me and not confident about your drawing skills, the Art for Kids Hub YouTube channel is a lifesaver. It has tutorials for drawing an arctic fox, a polar bear, a penguin, and a snow owl

Toys and Games

Let it Snow

Snow isn’t fun to drive in or shovel, but it’s undeniably special. Show snow some love with these speech session ideas! (Snow-themed activities can be especially meaningful for students who live in warmer climates and don’t usually get to experience its magic firsthand.) 

Snow Articulation

  • “Snow” is a great target word for all your students working /s/-blends! To practice at the sentence level, try cooperative stories. Provide a simple prompt (e.g.,“Sam woke up and saw that it had snowed overnight . . .”), and have students take turns adding sentences to the story. For plenty of productions, require each sentence to include the word “snow.” (Bonus idea: students with language and literacy goals could write about snow using this excellent resource from the Iowa Reading Research Center.)

The Science of Snow

  • Snow science is fascinating, and it provides opportunities for predicting, cause and effect, sequencing, describing, wh-questions, and vocabulary. If you enjoy sharing videos with your students, The Science of Snowflakes from TedEd is perfect for high schoolers, and Where Do Snowflakes Come From? from SciShow Kids is great for elementary or middle school. If you prefer to work with articles instead, Readworks has you covered with Snow Science! and Let it Snow! 

Snowflake Crafts

  • Once students dive into the science of snowflakes and see their intricate beauty up close, they may want to make their own. Fortunately, craft projects are perfect for targeting sequencing, describing, and following directions! They could try cut paper snowflakes and crayon resist snowflakes, or use this fantastic visual of all the different types of snowflakes to inspire simple drawings.

Fake Flakes 

  • If your students have serious snow fever, but no access to the real thing, epsom salt is the faux snow that does it all! (Bonus: it’s cheap, safe, and relatively easy to clean up.) As a starting place, they could use it to create frosted jars and “snow”-covered pine cones, but essentially anything that can tolerate glue is a candidate for epsom salt snow (although you may want to set ground rules for your more adventurous students!). These projects invite opportunities to compare and contrast—how is epsom salt like real snow? How is it different? 

Newspaper-based Learning

  • The Learning Network (free for educators!) from The New York Times is a winter wonderland of lesson plans, writing prompts, photos, and videos. Their Winterscapes Picture Prompts offer stunning photography and plenty of inspiration for inferencing, and their lesson plan for How Nature Comes Alive in the Winter is full of engaging ideas to target nearly any language skill. Their Snowball Fight! video has restored vintage footage, and is a great social discussion starter. (If you’re feeling very brave and your students really need a movement break, you could even let them act out the video with cotton balls instead of snowballs.) 

Winter Word Fun

Winter Around the World

Being cold can feel miserable, but the shared shivering encourages a feeling of common humanity, making winter an ideal time to broaden our horizons and explore the globe with our students! Here are some creative ideas for winter speech sessions that take you across the globe.

Virtual Field Trips

Global Traditions

  • Most students are probably familiar with winter holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Lunar New Year. Why not introduce them to additional wonderful (and sometimes wacky) celebrations from around the world? Options include Kukeri in Bulgaria, beard-growing competitions in Canada, parrandas in Puerto Rico, Zampognari in Italy, Night of the Radishes in Mexico, and pole-sitting in Sweden. Students could research and share about these festivities, and practice personal narrative skills by talking about their own favorite winter traditions. 

Winter Olympics

  • The next Winter Olympics are in 2026, but it’s not too early to start getting ready! Students could practice comprehension skills as they learn about the host cities Milan and Cortina. They could also watch videos of ski mountaineering (“skimo”). This extreme sport inspires plenty of options for sequencing and describing, and could even spark broader discussions about what makes a sport a good candidate for the Olympics. For some truly unforgettable speech sessions (and excellent executive function practice), students could plan and complete their own “speech Olympics.”

Winter Resource Roundup from the Digital SLP

Our collection of winter-themed activities has options to address any target, from articulation to vocabulary. If you aren’t a member yet, sign up for a 30-day trial and join the fun! 

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