Therapist Resource of the Week: Speech Drive

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Editor’s Note:  Special Thanks to 2 Gals Talk About Speech Therapy for this excellent blog post about, a great resource for those of you teaching middle and high schoolers.

by:  Leah Musgrave and Dean Trout

We all have our favorite population with which to work. My personal favorite group is preschool and elementary aged kids.  I love their enthusiasm, the way they think and their honesty… brutal as it may be sometimes.   For me middle school is the most difficult simply because I have a hard time dealing with the maturation process that is going on.  Raging hormones, rolling eyes, and an “attitude” pushes all the wrong buttons for me!

You can imagine my excitement when I found this website  which is dedicated to the middle & high school population. Speechdrive is a site created by Karen Clark an SLP from AZ.  She not only has many years of work experience but has also been recognized in recent years for her dedication and talent by receiving the “Teacher of the Year” award.

A great thing about Karen’s website site is that she totally uses a jump-drive for all her materials.  Leah has done this for years and had converted me to this way of carrying your therapy materials before I retired.  Now that is a convenience that saves you from back strain and sprains from toting a huge therapy bag.  I bet this younger generation has no idea or appreciation of just what a blessing that alone is for us 🙂

When I ask Karen for permission to blog about her website she replied, “I want the website to be a help to others and the more it is shared, the less pondering by fellow SLPs on a Monday morning.”   Thank you Karen for sharing all your wonderful activities with the rest of us!!

When you click on the link to her site you’ll find 37 great ideas for therapy!  Not only suggested ideas but a clear and concise therapy methods guide.  She lists for you the Materials/Resources, Skills Targeted, and Instruction.  Here is an example:

 Funny Headlines & Newspaper Clippings  (Activity)
Amusing and poorly written headlines and newspaper clippings are a
source of comedy on the Tonight Show and on the Internet.  Within a
classroom  or therapy setting, headlines/clippings can be used to
help students identify ambiguous language, syntax, and mechanical
errors.  Students also utilize inferential and reasoning abilities to
discover the original semantic intent of the headline or clipping.

For school appropriate headlines, please refer to the corresponding
page for a list that can be used as part of this activity.

Skills Targeted: 

  • Ambiguity
  • Syntax
  • Writing Mechanics/Error Identification
  • Semantics
  • Vocabulary
  • Reasoning
  • Inference


  1. Introduce the headline or clipping to the student(s) by stating that the headline has errors.
  2. Provide clues for the students as to whether the errors are related to semantics, syntax or mechanics and adapt to the academic level of the student(s).
  3. Have the student(s) read the headline or clipping aloud to assist in identifying the error.
  4. If the error is semantic, have the student(s) state the double meaning of the headline.
  5. This activity can be done as a group or individually.

Here is a sample of some of the humorous headlines from her list:

  • Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
  • If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
  • Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
  • Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
  • Hospitals are sued by 7 Ft. Doctors
  • The Times: A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coastguard spokesman commented, ‘This sort of thing is all too common.’

She has several other funny headlines and newspaper clippings listed, but I only included these to give you a chuckle for today.

This has been just one example of what you will find there. Remarkably there are 36 more!!

Now if you were not already super excited about Speech Drive let me share that she has a list of iPad Apps for adult therapy, too!  In addition to the apps listing she explains how you can use You Tube effectively in therapy. She uses You Tube to create play lists and collections for therapy use with her adult population. For example, if you are working on sentence recall with your adult patient you can use funny commercials and Retro TV Theme Show Songs.  I love these ideas because it is meaningful and relevant to the patient.

I could just gush on and on about this fantastic site but I think you get the picture and hopefully will start following Karen’s blog too!


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