7 Creative Tips for Using Dice in Speech/Language Therapy
How do you make ‘work’ more fun for your older students? It can be quite the challenge! Colored dice to the speech-language therapy rescue!
My middle school students function at an elementary school level in many areas, but as they’ve gotten older, they aren’t as interested in board games as they once were. Using dice has come to my rescue on more than one occasion when dealing with disinterested middle schoolers!
Of course, elementary school students will love these games, too!
Quick and Easy All-Purpose Dice Activity
This fun activity can be used for almost any goal. It is so easy to make and keep around. Pull it out when students are refusing to work or when you have a crazy make-up session!
All you have to do is divide a sheet of paper into 6 sections and number each box. Place one picture card, target vocabulary word, or almost any flashcard in each section. Students take turns rolling the die to see which card to take. They practice their response while rolling is happening.
When every student has a card, they give their answers. If they are correct, they keep the card. When a mistake is made, the card goes back on the board. Just keep filling up the sections each round until you have enough responses from each student. Then the person with the most cards is the winner.
- The students can even do this themselves. Let them choose their color paper and decide which of their targets will go in each box.
- Letting students make their own choices can make them more willing to participate.
- This game can be played in mixed groups, too! Each student gives a different type of response when you stack the cards up and let them find which work is theirs.
- For more articulation practice, have the student say the word the number of times that is rolled!
- In the photo above, the student on the left is practicing /r/ in the final position. The student on the right is using pronouns to tell about the pictures.
Stop & Go 100 Productions Game
How about using dice to get 100 productions of a target sound? This game makes it easier! Cover a die with red and green pieces of paper for stop and go. Then use tape to hold it together. Students roll the die and keep producing their target for each space moved. When they roll a red stop, their turn ends.
For mixed groups, give the language students a stack of picture cards that can be used with their target goal. When they get to the end of the deck, they can shuffle them before reusing. Or switch to a new goal with the same pictures.
While students are waiting, they can place checks in the boxes, color them, or dot them. The first student to get 100 correct productions wins!
Get your copy of the 100 productions sheet here. Keep it around since it is a quick and easy activity!
Did you ever play Bingo with dice? If you use two different colors to number the boxes, students can roll to see which box to answer about and cover. It is also a sneaky way to get practice with grids for math!
This is a sneaky way to build math skills for co-ordinates and quadrants. Your students won’t even realize it! All you have to do is number your bingo boards with two different colors to match the colored dice. If they roll a six, you can let them roll again or pick any box they choose.
Vocabulary Dice Connect 3
Connect 3 is a fun game that can easily be played with dice and a page with boxes! Outline the boxes in colors to match your dice. Then place the dice in a bag. Let the students shake the bag and take one die out to roll.
If answers are correct, students cover or initial the box. Leave the box as is when mistakes are made. The first student to connect 3 is the winner.
This game is great for mixed groups, too! Give each student their own sheet to work on goals the are specific to them. Or use the same vocabulary words, but have each student give a response at their level, from telling the meaning. to providing synonyms and antonyms, to using in a sentence.
Narratives are such an important skill that so many of my students lack. Have you ever used soft foam math from the Dollar Store? Put stickers from a Story Grammar Marker set and cover them with tape. Then you are ready to go!
Use any picture cards that contain story elements to get your students started. They roll the dice and tell the information they want to add to the story. When all of the story parts have been told, they have to take turns telling the story and deciding if it makes sense.
For younger students or those with sequencing goals, all you need are some action cards to tell a sequential story.
To work on short term memory skills, skip the picture cards and have students say their story sections out loud. They have to remember each student’s contribution to be able to write their narrative.
Dice Vocabulary Review
For a quick vocabulary review game, have each student write 6 of their target words on an index card. Next, they roll the die to see which word to define and use in a sentence correctly to earn a point. When you need it to be really quick, give them 7-10 rolls each and see which student got the most points.
Spinners & Dice
You can even combine spinners and dice! If your students need lots of practice formulating ideas into sentences, for example, have them spin to get one idea to use and roll to get the other idea. Then they combine both in a concise, correct sentence.
The photo shows this idea using action photos along with a question spinner. Students roll to get the picture to use. Then they spin the spinner for a question word to ask or answer in their response.
Do your students need thinking time before responding? If so, try doing one round where everyone rolls. Follow with another round where they take turns giving their answers. It may take a little more time, but the added cooperation and willingness to do the activity for longer compensate for the extra time!
Now, if you have a caseload of students who come to speech-language therapy ready to work, you may not need any of these tips. Lucky you! But give them a try if you want some more engagement from your students.