Regardless of what grade my students are in, I always make it a point to educate them about the importance of having a job that helps those around them. In my opinion, it’s crucial that children learn about the neighborhood they live in and about who helps to make their community a better place through their job. Teaching our speech students about various occupations that men and women have can open their minds to jobs they never knew existed and also help to improve speech and language at the same time. It’s a win/win situation!
Let’s talk about jobs!
A few days back when I was talking about occupations/community helpers to my students, I started to notice two interesting things. The first was that a humongous amount of jobs seemed to have the /R/ sound somewhere in the title. Second, the jobs often were pretty dangerous. I was excited to realize this trend because while my students were coming up with and pronouncing amazing /R/ sound occupations, I took the opportunity to ask them the question, “Do you think that job is dangerous? If so, tell me why and how.” They LOVED to think about this and it was a joy to see their brains exercising their articulation AND language muscles. In my speech therapy room, it’s all about combining articulation and language therapy. That’s how we create the most effective communicators.
Here are some of my favorites
Check out these fantastic occupations that my speech therapy kiddos came up with all on their own. I also included their responses to my dangerous question:
- Logger (final R) – “Dang, that job is dangerous because a tree could fall on you or maybe the chainsaw could cut your arm off by mistake.”
- Fishing Worker (medial R and final R) – “That could be real dangerous, yo. What if a shark or whale eats you? Or your ship sinks in the middle of the ocean like the Titanic did?”
- Farmer (final R and medial R) – “Working in the sun all day, you might faint. Fainting is dangerous because your heart might stop beating. My mom says to always drink water if you are working outside to help you.”
- Roofer (initial R and final R) – “My dad is a roofer. He is really important to our community because if a building’s roof has a hole in it, the water could ruin all the computers and stuff. But his job is so dangerous. He has to be careful because what if he falls off the roof? That could be bad.”
In closing . . .
Do you think your students with articulation difficulties can come up with different occupations that have the /R/ sound in it? Do you think they can appropriately organize their thoughts to inform you as to how those jobs might be dangerous? I bet they can! Encourage them to find some pictures online of some of the occupations they think of. Putting a visual to the responses can really help generate some great conversation. Give this speech therapy idea a try and let me know how it goes.
Oh, and one last question . . .
Do you think it’s dangerous being a speech-language pathologist? I do! I got bitten a few days ago after doing an oral mech exam. OUCH! LOL!