Therapy Idea of the Week: Picture Chat – Promoting Receptive and Expressive Language Using a Fun and Interactive Ice-Breaker Activity

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Materials Needed: 

  • Camera (or Ipad/Iphone)
  • A screen or TV that will allow the projection of the pictures you take
  • PowerPoint


1)     Take individual pictures of the students (as allowed by a photo release if required) in your group prior to your session and place them in a PowerPoint presentation (One picture per page)

2)     On the day of your session, tell the students you are going to show them a picture of one of their classmates for 3 seconds (these pictures should be projected on a screen where the whole group can see them).

3)     The students will try to identify the specific classmate pictured and give three things they know about their classmate and three things they want to know.

4)     As recommended by a fellow SLP, this activity can also be used with pictures of popular celebrities, music artists, historical figures, etc.

5)     Depended on the length of your sessions, the students can further be grouped with other students who have similar interests/things in common.  Using what they learned about each other, conversations regarding specific topics can be initiated.

Goals addressed (Here are a just a few, but not limited to):

  • Asking and answering questions
  • Vocabulary/sentence expansion
  • Pragmatics (Conversational exchanges, active listening, eye contact)

This is a great and fun speech-language activity using a multi-modality approach for engaging students with varying academic, social and cognitive levels while promoting expressive and receptive language skills.


About our Contributor: Laura Balsama, M.A., CCC-SLP

Laura’s been working in the field of Speech-Language Pathology for a little over 5 years after graduating from The College of New Jersey in 2008 with her Master’s Degree.  Prior to this, she attended The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey where she achieved her Bachelors of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 2006.  Following graduate school, Laura worked three years in a Sub Acute Rehab setting as well as seizing per diem opportunities in an acute rehab setting.  Last year, Laura made the decision to work in a school setting with high school aged students in New Jersey and has never looked back!  This is the start of her second year and she couldn’t be more excited to share her new ideas and lessons for her students continued speech and language development!

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