4 Reasons Why You Will Love to Use Comics in Speech
Have you ever used comic strips in speech therapy sessions? There are 4 super reasons why you will love to use comics in speech therapy. So give it a try! These links to free resources will make it easy.
Why Use Comics in Speech Therapy?
1 – It is so much fun!
Face it, we all have our own styles and it is easy to get stuck in a rut based on what is comfortable for us. Maybe you are naturally funny and won’t need this particular reason. (But keep reading- one of the other reasons will work!) I am not naturally funny if you are over the age of 5, so I need some extra help sometimes. Comics in speech therapy can be a change of pace that lightens the mood. And we want our students to enjoy speech therapy sessions!
2 – The language of humor is complex!
Often humor is based upon plays on words, changed stress patterns, and nonliteral meanings versus the literal picture. Some of our speech therapy students, especially ones with learning disabilities or on the autism spectrum, need some extra help to understand humor.
3 – You can work on so many goals!
Let’s see…. Speech therapy articulation students can read the text or explain the joke using their target sounds, or carryover the use of their speech sound in conversation during the activity.
Phonological awareness is easily addressed as so many comic strips are funny because of changes in sound, spelling, and stress that lead to ambiguity. Check out the comic below from one of my favorites- The Argyle Sweater by Scott Hilburn.
For language goals in speech therapy, you can work on:
- following directions to use the site
- sequencing, narrative structures
- sentence formation
- answering questions
- making inferences
- understanding figurative language
- comprehending multiple meanings and non-literal language
- problem-solving a social scenario,
- facial expressions
- understanding ambiguous language
- showing different points of view in the characters’ statements
4- Comics are great for students who don’t like to read!
If you have older students who don’t like to read, comics in speech therapy are a great way to introduce short chunks of reading and writing into your sessions.
Then, try these ideas for how to involve students who don’t like to read with books.
Links to sites that will make it easy to use comics in speech therapy
This is my favorite site for finding comics to use in speech therapy. You can print them, or of course, you could keep a list of links to pull up on your computer and go the paperless route, too!
My favorite site for making comics in speech therapy! It is free, easy to use, and lets you save and print. It also adds additional choices all the time so students won’t get bored.
The free version of this site has more sophisticated characters and themes, letting you make more choices in the graphics being used. It also helps you teach narrative structures using comics in speech therapy sessions.
This comic creator is more basic and in black and white. But it can be a great place to start for younger kids, or if your school won’t let you access the other sites.
So, have I convinced you that it is worth giving comics a try in your speech therapy sessions? If my 4 super reasons didn’t do the trick, here is a link to a more scholarly argument: Reading with Pictures.
Like the idea but need some more in-depth help to use comics in speech therapy?
Take a look at Cartoon Cut-Ups: Teaching Figurative Language and Humor by Jean Hamersky. Also, try Cecile Cyrul Spector’s books: Sounds Like Fun: Activities for Developing Phonological Awareness and As Far as Words Go: Activities for Understanding Ambiguous Language and Humor.