You know what they say, technology advances quickly. At one time, the rotary telephone was all the rage. Now? Not so much. In fact, there are many things that elementary school-aged students growing up today will never get a chance to experience because of technology advancing. For example, VHS tapes (remember rewinding a video?!), phone booths (remember not having enough change to make a call?!), or how about cassette tapes?!
What a blast from the past!
Just as technology can become out-of-date, the same can be said for speech therapy materials, too. And I’m willing to bet that if you look deep in your speech therapy room’s closet, way in the back, under all that dust, you probably have some ancient speech therapy materials hiding. I know I did. Well, if you do have some oldies chillin’ in that closet, whatever you do . . .
Don’t throw them out.
Before you chuck that stuff in the garbage because of the apparent worthlessness, try them out with the students on your caseload, first. Seriously. Because I bet you that whatever you show them will surely get them talking. Why?
Because confusion usually triggers questions.
As you can see from my main picture in this blog post, I came across some classifying and vocabulary building language cards from the 1970s. Most of the pictures were actually still quite relevant. There was a dog/bone, baseball/bat, soup/spoon, but the one that threw me for a loop was the record/record player combo. I saw those and instantly felt the need to show that pair to my students.
Let’s guess what these things are!
I showed the record and record player cards to a bunch of 3rd-5th graders. The responses ranged from, “I don’t know what those are!” to “I think it’s a donut maker and those are donuts in donut boxes.” From there, I was able to enlighten them with the fact that, at one time, there was no such thing as Mp3 players or iPods and whatever. Music existed on those “donuts” and that “donut maker” was actually a speaker of sorts that played music out of the “donuts.” My students were genuinely interested in what I was saying, so I went on YouTube and I found a video from the 1980s Nickelodeon show called Mr. Wizard’s World. In that 2-minute video, there’s a nice description of what a record player is and how someone could make a homemade record player.
Lots of opportunity to target goals and objective from that video!
After watching the YouTube video, can the student tell you the main idea? Can the student remember how the record player worked and actually explain it back to you? Can the student recall what items were used to create the homemade record player? All of that and so much more could be asked during a typical speech therapy session.
In closing . . .
I’m all about kickin’ it old school. So let’s make it a point to show our youngsters how us old folks used to live back in the day (ya know, when dinosaurs walked around and stuff, lol!). Give this speech therapy idea a try and let me know how it goes.