By Small Talk Speech Pathology

Thursday, 18 April 2013

FREE Language Games/Activities/Ideas for Teenagers

We have been fortunate enough to find more wonderful language therapy ideas specifically for teenagers - thanks to Robyn Wellman who is a speech pathologist based in New Mexico.

Please visit Robyn's site at for more therapy ideas with topics including articulation, language, fluency and central auditory processing disorder.  

Here is an excerpt from Robyn's website:  

Activities for Inclusion
Syntax & Morphology

  • Sentence Scramble: Make a list of about 30 sentences containing clauses, phrases, after, before, passive voice, emphatic verbs, etc. Some examples:
  • He fixed the roof after it leaked.
  • We ate dinner after we went to the movie.
  • I fed the dog before I took him for a walk.
  • The boy was followed by the girl.
  • The boy gave the girl an ice cream.
  • Didn't you put the book up?
  • Use index cards to make scrambled sentences. Using the first sentence example, you would write "he fixed" on one card, "the roof" on another, "after" on another, "it" on a card, "leaked" on the last. This particular sentence makes about 4 possible sentences, (the roof leaked after he fixed it, he fixed the roof after it leaked, after the roof leaked he fixed it, after he fixed the roof, it leaked,)so on the bottom corner of one of the cards, write a small '4.' I paper clip each 'set' of cards that belong together. Once you have a bunch of these sets, 30 or so, you can place them in a manila envelope. On your day of inclusion, split your kids into groups of 3. Give each group about 5 sets of sentence scrambles. Each group must get the same number of possible sentences. I do it this way: First, I pass out a set of cards that makes 2 possible sentences to each group of kids. Second, I pass out sets of cards that make 4 possible sentences, etc. Then I instruct each group they will need one piece of paper and one pen per group. Each group unscrambles the sentences and writes down all possible sentences. If you want to add an element of competitiveness, you can give points to the group that gets the highest percentage correct.
Figurative language
  • Idioms Bingo: I use this in inclusion high school classrooms. I group the students in groups of 2 or 3 and pass out idioms or figures of speech on index cards, 1 idiom/card, to each group. I give each group about 5 cards. Then I give the definition for one of them and each group goes through their cards to see if they have the right idiom. The group that has the correct idiom gives me their card. The first to rid themselves of all their idiom cards, gets the "Bingo."
Use the following ideas to publish a teen magazine. Teen magazine sites can be found online and some I use can be accessed by clicking on this link.... Teen Mag Links
  • Write a Why-Me Story: Have your students write a story about their most mortifying moment.
  • Write a So-bad story: Have your students write a story about something "so bad" that they have done.
  • Teen Quiz: Your students can answer a teen quiz from a magazine or an online magazine. This is a motivating activity for students that need experience answering questions.
  • Movie Star Interview: Have a student or group of students write questions they'd like to ask their favorite movie star. Have them then assume that stars character and answer the questions.
  • Preparing for the Real World: Have students write an article detailing the steps in sequence for such events as preparing for the prom, job searching, studying for finals, etc.
  • Teen Fiction: Also available in teen magazines are works of fiction written by teenagers. Have students read these stories to meet goals such as paraphrasing, re-telling events, detailing characters, etc. The material should be more motivating and usually easier to read. Also, after reading a short story by a teen, have them write their own short stories.
  • 10 Tips Article: Have your teens read an article typically found in teen magazines, such as "Ten Types of Guys to Avoid" and then have them write their own. Some ideas may include: dealing with his phone dysfunction, handling a flirtatous boyfriend or girlfriend, dating disasters, get him/her to notice you, finding the right guy/girl for you, ways to blow a date, things guys/girls don't want to hear.
  • Mom Disasters: Help your students write a story about how Mom totally embarrassed them, spoiled thier fun, etc.
  • Pro-Con Column: Select a topic for a pair of students to write opposing columns for. Keep topics concrete for students with learning and language disorders. Topics, such as the death penalty, may be too abstract and too far removed from their lives. Use topics such as the dress code, lunch menu, jocks-- good or evil?, best superhero, prom royalty, summer vs winter break, etc.
  • After your articles are written and typed up, have students then make up a table of contents and lay-out the magazine. Artistic students can illustrate for stories and articles and design the cover.
Thank you to Robyn for sharing her clinical knowledge and expertise!

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