It's officially Fall in preschool! In our transdisciplinary model, we work as a seamless team and all specialists support goals and objectives across many areas. I embed therapy and do most of my data collection in the classroom, often during play. For this reason, I feel very strongly about presenting engaging materials and language-rich activities in my classrooms during each thematic unit.
For our Fall Unit, we've set up a little autumn backyard scene at Blocks Center. Students can dump out baskets of leaves, rake leaves and bag them up, assemble scarecrows, and go apple-picking!
The "grass" is synthetic turf (sold by the yard at Home Depot). Most of the leaves are fake, purchased in packages at the dollar store, but we supplement them with real ones that the children bring in throughout the unit. Preschoolers are encouraged to collect leaves and drop them in a bin near the door at arrival. The real leaves are laminated to prevent crumbling. I use the leaves to work on sentence-formation, answering questions, following directions, and adjectives/describing.
We use crates to store materials and visually labeled each with Boardmaker pictures of the items that belong inside. This aids during clean-up and also helps me to target vocabulary objectives.
I painted the "apple tree" onto a big sheet of cardboard and set it with clear spray paint. We used a staple gun to fix the cardboard onto a stand and velcro to attach play apples. The apple tree works as a fun sequencing activity, and I incorporate multi-step directions with embedded prepositions.
For those little ones working on dramatic play skills and sequencing, I made visual play sequences to give them some basic three-step play ideas.
How do you implement speech and language therapy into thematic play? Stay tuned and drop by this week for more preschool fall fun!