We all know at least one speech therapy student who needs to work on sequencing activities. As an SLP, I love doing thematic units with my speech therapy groups. When you can create activities to last several sessions, it makes planning sooooo much easier.
Traditionally, SLPs like to do thematic units based around things like holidays, seasons, snowmen, or some other cute something-or-another. But lately, I have been doing a different kind of theme. Instead of basing themes on an object (i.e. snowmen), I have been basing my thematic units on sequences (i.e making pizza)!
Before we go any further, I suggest that you bookmark this page now and save it for future use. I’ve linked a ton of valuable content and you are going to want to remember it!
Here is the method to my madness.
First, you have to think “why do we target sequences?” Honestly, there are many reasons. But here are some of my faves:
- Sequences are the foundational skill for telling stories, giving directions, and giving information.
- They are a prerequisite to being able to retell (aka sequence) a story.
- Targeting sequences improves vocabulary, specifically verb-related vocabulary.
- Sequencing helps our students organize language in their brain.
- They are a great way to start eliciting longer word utterances.
- A good sequence can easily be modified into a hands-on activity!
That is why we work on sequencing skills. Now, each sequence comes with its own set of vocabulary that also needs to be taught. So, by working on a sequence you are inherently teaching new vocabulary. Most of our students need to improve their vocabulary so this is a natural way to work on it. Win-win.
The beauty of teaching thematic and sequencing activities together is that you get the benefits of BOTH sequences and themes.
When we work on a theme, we like to read books, play games, and do fun activities all surrounding the theme. We use these things to reinforce many different kinds of skills such as answering questions, location words, or articulation. If you pick the right sequence-theme, you can continue to do all these things.
Here is how I have been creating my sequencing thematic activities.
- I pick a sequence. Choose sequences that are 3-4 steps in length and can be easily turned into a play-based activity.
- I think of all the different ways I want to teach the theme. For me, I like to use toys, sequencing pictures, books, YouTube videos, and songs.
- We practice the sequence-theme and do thematic based activities for several sessions. Usually until the student is able to master sequence.
Here are some of my favorite themes to use while teaching sequencing in my speech therapy room!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. All thoughts and recommendations are my own.
- Toys: Melissa and Doug Pizza Party Set (or you can make a pizza with brown, red, and yellow construction paper!)
- Book: Pizza Day! by Melissa Iwai
- YouTube Video: Making Pizza Sequencing Video, by The Gift of Gab
- Toys: Melissa and Doug Birthday Cake (or you can make a cake with candles and play dough!)
- Books: Little Sister’s Birthday, Clifford’s Birthday Party, Spot’s Birthday Party
- YouTube Video: “Pat A Cake” by Caitie’s Classoom, “Blowing Out Candles”
Going to the Grocery Store
- Toys: Grocery cart and food, Cash register
- Books: Just Shopping With Mom, Maisy Goes Shopping, At the Super Market, What Happens at A Supermarket?
- YouTube Video: Super Market Shopping (Little Baby Bum)
Washing the Dog
- Toys: Dirty Dogs Bath Toy, Melissa and Doug Dog Groomer Set
- Books: Splish, Splash Spot!, Bath Time for Biscuit, Oh No! Pee Pee!
- YouTube Video: How to Wash The Dog Sequencing Video for Kids
Washing a Baby
- Toys: Bathtub Baby Doll
- Books: Maisy Takes a Bath, The Pigeon Needs a Bath!
- YouTube Video: “The Bath Song”, by Super Simple Songs, “Bath Song” by Cocomelon
- Toys: Dentist Play Kit, Toy Dentist kit
- Books: Daniel Goes to the Dentist, Brush, Brush, Brush, Just Going to the Dentist, Brush Your Teeth Please
- YouTube Video: Brushing Teeth Sequencing Video (The Gift of Gab) Brush Teeth Song (Blippi) Brush Your Teeth (Super Simple Songs), Brush Your Teeth (Sesame Street)
- Toys: Melissa and Doug Felt Sandwich
- Books: Peanut Butter and Jelly: A Play Rhyme, Peanut Butter and Cupcake
- YouTube Video: How to Make a Sandwich Sequencing Video
- Toys: Melissa and Doug Dry Dish Set
- Books: Maisy Makes Gingerbread
- YouTube Video: Washing the Dishes Sequencing Video
- Toys: Empty soap bottle and rag
- Books: Germs Are Not For Sharing, A Germ’s Journey
- YouTube Video: Wash Your Hands song (Hooray Kids Songs), Wash Your Hands (Jack Hartman)
- Toys: Melissa and Doug Pancakes
- Books: Pancakes for Breakfast by Tommie dePaola, If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
- Toys: Melissa and Doug Cookie Toys (with cookie sheet)
- Books: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff, The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! by Mo Willems
If I have totally sold you on sequencing themes, I also have two more amazing resources to share with you.
Number 1: I have made a series of YouTube speech therapy sequencing videos that go along with many of the sequences I’ve listed above.
Number 2: But do you know what is EVEN BETTER than that? I have a set of speech therapy sequencing worksheets that go right along with each video. My speech therapy students love to follow along with my video and sequence the pictures as we go! This provides great structure and multiple visuals for strategically teaching a complex skill!
If you enjoyed this post, I also think you will love reading about my favorite (free) preschool speech therapy activities to use with books.