HomeSpecial EducationSpeech Therapy5 Simple Tips to Streamline Speech Therapy Lesson Plans

5 Simple Tips to Streamline Speech Therapy Lesson Plans


Are you still planning 50 lessons for each of your speech therapy students per week? I sure hope not! But I know when I just started out in the field, I felt overwhelmed on how to streamline my lesson plans for speech therapy for so many students and goals on my caseload. Keep reading because I’m going to share all my juicy secrets with you on how I actually kept it super simple and easy!

There Has to be a Better Way for a School-Based SLP to Create Speech Therapy Plans

The scenario: You’re in a new setting and you have 60 new kids to learn, all with different goals. 

My first school job, I was in limbo for a few days waiting on my conditional state license to come through and spent those days copying worksheets for 50 kids. It took days. I hadn’t figured out how to streamline my lesson planning. Now, I use a mix of these therapy planning approaches that I want to share with you so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did!

Here are 5 tips for lesson plans for speech therapy to try:

make lesson plans for speech therapy easy

5 Tips to Streamline Your Lesson Plans for Speech Therapy

1. Use a Theme Therapy plan

The absolute number one thing that I did when I was still working in a school-based setting to help make lesson planning easier is to use a theme therapy plan. Once you find a theme for that week or month, you can easily coordinate all materials to that theme. Try to come up with a book, toys, worksheets and crafts that compliment the theme and work for multiple students and their goals.

The major benefit to creating themed therapy lesson plans is that you can re-use year after year and slowly add to your pre-made materials. Themed lesson plans also easily align to the curriculum.

Check out these resources for themed plans:

use themed lesson plans for speech therapy

2. Use a Literacy-Based Therapy Plan

Next, consider planning for your groups based around picture books using a literacy-based therapy plan. If you’ve been around here for long you know how important I think incorporating picture books into speech and language therapy is.

Using books is really beneficial because you easily target a ton of speech therapy goals without making a lot of materials, even for mixed groups. You can actually find a lot of pre-made materials online already depending on the books you use. If you use the same books that a classroom teacher is using, it’s a great way to tie in speech goals to the curriculum and you can do this well into the secondary grades.

Literacy-based intervention typically follows this framework:

✔️ Have students think about their pre-story knowledge

✔️ Complete a shared story reading

✔️ Focused-skill activities

✔️ Post-story comprehension discussion

✔️ You can use the books and materials over multiple sessions

Check out these resources for literacy-based therapy plans:

use a literacy based speech therapy lesson plan

3. Use a Narrative Language Approach

What is a narrative language approach you might be thinking? Essentially it means teaching storytelling while you also target speech and language skills. This approach is similar in ways to literacy-based therapy but also has many distinct differences.

For narrative language intervention, you would present many different stories that are similar over time (typically one per session). Then you typically focus on story retell and generation tasks. There is also a bigger emphasis on story grammar and complex syntax and vocabulary.

The major benefit of using a narrative language approach is that it focuses on narrative language in addition to the target skills in the IEP. Narrative skills are so critical for curriculum success, so this is a chance to see the speech and language skills really get carryover.

Check out these story grammar icons from K Knight Therapy with many different ideas for implementation in your therapy room.

4. Use a Single Therapy Toy/Game to Target Every Goal

Here is another tip to stream your speech therapy lesson plans: use a single toy or games to target every goal. This is one of my favorite ways to plan therapy sessions because it requires the least amount of planning and prep. Sometimes you may need some extra materials to easily target the skills but overall this type of planning is easy peasy and low stress. Check out this post all about my favorite games to use!

Here are some different ways you can target many speech & language goals with one toy or game:

a) Play Candyland. I think most everyone has this game sitting on their shelf or could grab a cheap copy somewhere. Once you have the game board there is so much you can do with it!

I made cards for the Candyland game to target the following skills:

(You can also grab them all in this BUNDLE SET)

b) Use Play dough! Try the Dough and Data Set to gather data during play! This is a no-prep progress monitoring activity. You simply print the data mats out and give the kids play dough and watch the magic happen. The best part is that all of the shapes are made from long skinny rolls, meaning even kids with fine motor difficulties can have success tracing these dough shapes!

gather data through play in speech therapy

c) Another idea that is one of my favorites is to use mini objects during therapy. I could go on and on about why I absolutely LOVE using mini objects during therapy. A few reasons are:

  • Kids stay engaged when using them because they are able to touch and hold them.
  • There are numerous opportunities for targeting speech sounds.
  • You can easily work on categorization, sorting skills and articulation.

Check out this post about all the different ideas for using mini objects and pairing with other items available in your classroom to keep speech sessions motivating and engaging for your students.

d) Favorite toys to use during speech therapy sessions:

I loved using this chomping crocodile during February to talk about dental health as a theme. I added in Color & Play Dentist Bingo and this fun Brush Your Teeth Articulation Activity and I would be ready to go with therapy groups for dental health week depending on their IEP goals! Not to mention adding in some fun picture books about visiting the dentist!

This ice cream shop from Melissa and Doug is always a favorite with kids! Do you know many kids who don’t love ice cream? Plus, playing pretend in speech is an absolute blast! You can pair with the Ice Cream Language File Folder activities and the books “Should I Share My Ice Cream?” by Mo Willems and Curious George and the Ice Cream Surprise.

I loved using this toy especially for preschool evaluations because it gave me a good idea of their vocabulary for general topics. In addition, there are so many verbs and prepositions you can focus on with this one. Put the chocolate on top of the vanilla. Can you make me a strawberry ice cream cone? Can I have whipped cream on top please?

5. Use AAC Core Word of the Week to plan for AAC users

Finally, for any AAC users on your caseload, use the AAC Core Word of the Week (WOW) Lessons to plan easily. This gives you the framework needed to plan in less time. Plus, it uses a structure and routine so that all staff know what to expect and makes it easy to get the entire IEP team involved!

You can print and assemble or easily edit and customize it. It is meant to provide an entire month of instruction that you can share with all therapists, student, teacher and paraprofessionals. 4 Core words are targeted at a time in each lesson. It even has signs for the doors and room and a parent letter to send home.

You can grab all AAC Core Word of the Week Lessons #1-10 HERE!

Target CORE Words:

(1) Go, In, Different, Help

(2) Want, Me, More, Stop

(3) Turn , New, You, No

(4) Push, Look, On, Open

(5) Now, Listen, Again, Up

(6) Play, Like, Not, What

(7) Who, Need, That, Good

(8) Some, Big, Here, Out

(9) Where, It, Done, All

(10) Bad, Fast, Small, Down

AAC Core word lesson plans speech therapy

Bonus Tip: Keep a set of Must-Have Grab and Go Materials to fill in any needs

Having materials that are ready to go and prepped has saved me on multiple occasions. Sometimes you need a filler activity, sometimes you don’t get materials prepped during the week because something else came up or sometimes it’s just nice to have things there if you are have a substitute SLP when you are absent.

Here are my favorite Grab and Go Materials to keep around:

Speech Helpers

Behavior Supports

Articulation Cards

Speech Sound Articulation Posters

Print & Go Articulation and Phonology Home Packets

articulation cards for speech therapy lesson plans

Do you have any special tips for creating lesson plans for speech therapy any easier? Comment below & share!

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Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.
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