SLP Corner: Googly Eyes and Speech Therapy are a Match Made in Heaven
by Erk X. Raj MS CCC-SLP
In an attempt to get a bit more organized, I decided it was time for me to rearrange, reorganize, and essentially clean out my speech therapy filing cabinet. As I was going through the gigantic, paper filled metal container, I came across a medium-size, sealed envelope. One that I had never seen before. There was something about that mysterious envelope; I could almost hear it call out to me in a magical voice, “Open me, Mr. Raj. Do it!”
Well, I did as I was told (because who wouldn’t listen to a coaxing envelope?! Haha!) and to my surprise, it was filled to the brim with little googly eyes! Hundreds and hundreds of googly eyes! I hit the googly eyes jackpot and now, all I needed was an idea – what should I do with all these googly eyes? Then, I came up with a plan:
I can use them to make my boring flashcards more exciting!
Over the past few years, I have accumulated dozens and dozens of miscellaneous flashcard decks. From sight words to geography facts, and everything in between. Upon the initial purchase, these flashcards got used once or twice, but then they’d usually be forgotten and thrown into one of my desk drawers. I’m not sure what triggered me to grab my random animals flashcard deck, but I’m happy that I did because what I did next was pretty awesome.
I glued googly eyes to one of the flashcards!
The flashcard was a cow and as I was glueing the new peepers onto it, I chuckled so hard. “Boy, that cow looks hilarious!” I whispered to myself.
Something old was now something new!
What was once just a tired, old cow flashcard, now was something new; a flashcard that had pop and pizzaz, thanks to the addition of the new googly eyes!
I knew my students would dig this!
Over the next few sessions, I enlisted a few 2nd and 3rd grades to help me glue googly eyes on all 56 of those particular animal flashcards. Here are some of my favorites. While we were glueing, loads of spontaneous conversation occurred that revolved around the animals and their newly created silly faces. Together, we categorized the animals (farm animals, ocean animals, flying animals, etc.), we described the animals (big animals, small animals, animals with wings, etc.), and we even spoke like the animals (the cow went moo, the rooster went cock-a-doodle-doo, the monkey went ooo ooo ahh ahh, etc.).
It didn’t stop there! We kept going!
My 6th graders came up with the fantastic idea to actually stick the googly eyes on other things, besides the flashcards. Together, we walked around the speech therapy room and found items that we thought would look so much better sporting googly eyes. For example, a water bottle, a random ball, and even a staple remover. In addition, since these specific students were working on verbally telling and retelling stories with rich details, they used their newly created googly eyed items as the main characters of their stories. You should have heard the one about the googly eyed box that threw up paperclips and how it needed to take medicine to feel better. It was a marvelous tale and I believe that having the physical character right in front of that student helped him to better think up and describe the details of his original story. SCORE!
In closing . . .
Googly eyes are so simple, yet so powerful. These little plastic pieces do wonders for the imagination and they are ideal for all ages ranges. I was pumped to randomly find that envelope filled with ’em. The possibilities are truly endless if you have a pile of googly eyes and virtually all goals and objectives can be targeted. Do you think your students would have a blast sticking googly eyes on stuff? I bet cha they would because we sure did! If you end up giving this speech therapy idea a try, please let me know how it goes because I always enjoy hearing from you.
Featured Contributor: Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP
Erik X. Raj, M.S., CCC-SLP is a practicing speech-language pathologist and app developer living in Detroit, Michigan. Originally from Jackson, New Jersey, he received his B.S. from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and was awarded a M.S. from Misericrodia University.
You can learn about Erik’s apps for speech-language therapy and read his blog on erikxraj.com
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