I had a 3rd grade student not too long ago who produced the /SH/ sound for the /S/ sound. Sandwich was shandwich, cement was shement, cinnamon was shinnamon, (and could you guess how he pronounced the word city?! EEK!). But rest assured, after several sessions with me, my student was an initial /S/ sound pro at the word, phrase, and sentence level.
Next, it was time to work with that child towards being able to appropriately make the initial /S/ sound at the conversation level. Let me ask you, how would you go about doing this?
You might approach the initial /S/ session like this: Break out the articulation flashcard deck (or one of your favorite iPad articulation apps), show a picture of a sandwich, and say “What do you see? Let’s talk about it. Describe it to me. Blah blah blah.” Yawn. BORING! That’s robotic and NOT FUN!
How can we spice it up?
I truly believe the most amazing gift that human beings have is imagination. That’s the reason why I always try to incorporate activities in my articulation therapy sessions that touch on exercising our imagination muscles. One of the best ways that I found to do this is through asking and answering multiple choice questions.
Multiple choice questions?
Let’s jump back to our initial /S/ session. How about you try this: Break out that same sandwich picture, but instead of throwing boring questions at your student, ask some interesting multiple choice questions (and tell them that they HAVE to pick one and explain why).
Here are some example questions for you:
- What kind of sandwich would you rather eat – a sandwich that fell on the floor or a sandwich that a fly landed on? Why?
- Where would you rather live – in a ham sandwich home or in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich home? Why?
- What kind of sandwich would you rather feed a dog – a bone sandwich or a cheese sandwich? Why?
Asking interesting multiple choice questions like those not only gives your students an opportunity to properly pronounce the target sound, but it also encourages all respondents to justifying a decision or course of action.
Pretty cool, huh?
Imagination helps children grow up to be adults who are creative thinkers. Adults who were imaginative children often become excellent problem solvers and amazing innovators. Are you doing your part as an educator to ensure that your students are properly exercising their imagination?
My Multiple Choice Articulation app is NOW available!
If you think that your speech kiddos would love to be bombarded with over 500 sound-specific multiple choice questions, then please check out Multiple Choice Articulation by clicking HERE.