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Guest Blog: Do You Like to Throw Rocks During Speech Therapy?

By: Erik X. Raj, CCC-SLP
Copyright 2011. Reprinted with the express permission of the author as it appeared on his blog Artic Brain

Psst! Hey you. Yeah, YOU! I want to let you in on a little secret. I have been playing this one speech therapy game for a while with my students and they go bananas over it. It is super easy to teach and did I mention that this game is FREE?! So now that I have your attention, do you have any clue what the game might be? No, it isn’t some wacky “must have” application for your iPad. No, it isn’t some eye-popping hot-off-the-shelves board game. The game I am whispering about is called Rock, Paper, Scissors and the only equipment you are going to need are your hands! Hooray!
[insert cheering crowd noise here]
The game of Rock, Paper, Scissors has solidified its place in traditional game history but I honestly believe that we SLPs can also bring it over to our world (the wonderful land of speech therapy). All we have to do is tweak a few things so come with me, I can teach you the “art” of what I like to call . . . Rock, Paper, Scissors: Speech Therapy Edition!
Step 1 – Get the teams ready to roll!

  • Divide your speech group into pairs so they can get ready for their one on one competition.

Step 2 – Time for the rules!

  • Explain to your students that each player must remember three symbols – a fist is Rock, a flat hand is Paper, two fingers (pointer and middle fingers open to look like blades) are Scissors. Go on to mention that Paper covers Rock, Rock breaks Scissors, and Scissors cut Paper.

Step 3 – New words for a new game!

  • This is where the Speech Therapy Edition is different from the original version. Instead of chanting, “Rock, Paper, Scissors, shoot!” shout something that better focuses on your specific student’s target sound. For example: if you have a student who is working on the /R/ sound, look at how many /R/ opportunities there are if the student says, “Red Rock, Red Paper, Red Scissors, shoot!” Pretty cool, huh? What about if your student is working on the /CH/ sound? How about this: “Cheese Rock, Cheddar Paper, Chunky Scissors, shoot!” See, the possibilities are endless! Encourage your students to create their OWN silly combinations with their sound(s).

Step 4 – We are the champions, my friend!

  • Make sure to keep track of how many points your students score (and how many times they use crisp, clear, and clean articulation). The winner with the most points shall be crowed Speech Champion (and come on, who doesn’t want to be crowned Speech Champion?!).

In this technology driven world, it has never been more important to get students excited about games that lack blinking lights and sound effects. Using our hands to represent something brand new is a great way to practice using our imagination/creative thinking. You know what they say, use it or lose it!
Please give this speech therapy idea a try and let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you. Even if it is just a simple one sentence email, it would bring a huge smile to my face to know that I was able to be a small part of your speech therapy. Keep rockin’!
Our Featured Guest Blogger: Erik X. Raj
Please support our contributors and visit Erik’s blog Artic Brain
Erik’s Book, “One Seashell, Two Seashell, Flap, Flap, Flap” is now available for order!
Erik X. Raj is an innovative speech-language pathologist who has provided direct patient care to pediatric, adolescent, and adult clients who exhibit a broad spectrum of communication difficulties. He currently works for the Hamilton Township School District in New Jersey where he administers diagnostics and provides therapy to school-aged students with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders.
In addition, Erik is the author of the award-winning children’s book, “One Seashell, Two Seashell, Flap, Flap, Flap,” and the founder of ArticBrain, LLC, a speech therapy product development company. With all of his original creations, it is Erik’s mission to provide each youngster with a positive experience that inspires a passion for learning and helps to build competence, confidence, and courage to pursue his or her dreams.

PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.


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