Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hide And Seek: Field Trip!

Thirteen bloggers are hiding--hiding on different blogs and hiding in the school. They're here to give you tips on how to do therapy all around the school!  Read and hop from blog to blog. While you're there, jot down the author's blog and school location listed at the bottom of each post to enter our big giveaway! 

I had the honor of meeting Anne, from Beautiful Speech Life, this summer at the TpT Conference in Vegas. She's hiding out and guest blogging on my blog today! Enjoy!


Looking for a natural functional environment to provide speech language therapy?
Go on a field trip!

 I work with three special needs classrooms at my school.  Community trips are an important part of their curriculum.

Every year, I try to go with at least one of the classrooms for a fun community experience.

It takes a little planning and schedule juggling but it's worth it for so many reasons.
 There are so many language opportunities.

1. Buddy Up

I usually "buddy up" with one student for the bus ride. This a great time to practice social skills and make predictions. For example, on a trip to the zoo, one little girl had so much to tell me.  She pointed out where she lived, McDonald's, Burger King and Food City. As we got closer to the zoo, I asked her to tell me some of the animals she thought we would see.

On the bus ride there, many students point at the things they see out the window and ask questions.

2. Take Photos

Take lots of photos during the field trip to use in future sessions.  You are gathering contextual, functional therapy material.  Plus students usually want to see the photos, so they have to request and comment.

You can extend the learning in future sessions by using the photos. Create a simple story with the pictures; something like "My Trip to the Zoo". Or create an adaptive book matching symbol to picture.

3. Talk during snack-time

If there is food involved, that can be another time full of language opportunities with labeling, requesting and commenting. Many times adults try to anticipate the desires of a child with special needs, giving him what they think he wants without giving him the opportunity to express it himself. Here's a chance for you to model language and wait time.

4. Practice Social Skills

Social skills opportunities are everywhere on a field trip. Saying hello to others, standing in line, saying thank you and please can be practiced in a different setting.

5. Observe

You have the opportunity to see how students communicate outside of the classroom or speech room setting. Take this time to observe a student with his peers> Iis he fitting in socially with his classmates? Does he have friends that want to sit with him on the bus or walk next to him in line?

Going somewhere new on a field trip usually generates lots of curiosity. Is your student paying attention, is he following along, and does he ask questions. If not, here is an area where you can provide some prompts and models. Remind him "eyes of speaker". Encourage him to raise his hand and ask a question.

6. Think outside the box

It would be tough to justify going on a field trip with just one student; but if you have a group of 3-4 kids in a classroom you might be able to do it. Just for a once a year, fun, bonding, real life experience.

Can you think of a group at your school that this might work with?

Anne’s home base is Beautiful Speech Life but today she’s on the: Bus on a Field Trip!

Collect the names of the participating blogs and where they are hiding and enter them here
You could win these awesome therapy materials:


Keep hopping! 


  1. Thanks for letting me hide in your awesome blog Mia.

    1. Anytime, Anne!! Great job on this post. I go on at least 1 field trip per year with my students, and you've given me some food for thought for the next one!

  2. Great blog, Mia! I love your new(ish) look! Field trips leave me tired, but you can really get a great picture of your students' communicative skills, so it is worth it!

  3. Anne, some of my best language opportunities (and the most fun!) came from field trips. One of my favorites was joining Pre-K at the pumpkin patch. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, small, medium, large, on/off, hayride, ride, pick, carry .....the targets are endless! (Hope I get invited this year) Lisette (Speech Sprouts)

  4. I love having the kids take pictures with their iPads (they're all AAC users), then we make personal narrative books from them for language. Great way to build language skills.

  5. Love the idea for taking pictures! All my students have school iPads, so we can do this for sure! Great post.

  6. Who doesn't love field trips? I love the idea of taking pictures!

  7. What great tips, I see more field trips in my future!

  8. I love field trips! Such a great opportunity to see students in a different environment. I love all of your suggestions!


Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget