Updated: Apr 19
What SLP doesn't have a student with wh question goals for speech therapy?
It can be easy to slip into 'drill and kill' therapy when targeting wh questions; however, you can target wh questions through play!
Your preschoolers and early elementary students will love using hands-on and meaningful activities to learn all about wh questions.
I have listed seven of my favorite ways to target Who Questions in Speech Therapy.
1) Ask questions about a book: Books are perfect for teaching just about any language concept, and who questions is no different! Pictures that have a lot of action are the best for this.
2) Play Dress Up: You will need costumes, props, or paper hats (community helpers are perfect for this!) for this activity. Ask the child a question, such as, "who wears a fire hat?" or "who needs a needle?". When the child answers the question, you can give them the costume piece/prop to put on!
3) Use dress up dolls: There are a lot of options with dress up dolls. You could use Melissa and Doug dolls, paper dolls, or toy dolls. To work on 'who' questions, you could mix up all the clothing options. Ask the child "who" wants that item. This activity is great for solidifying the child's understanding that 'who' means a person.
4) Who is wearing _____?: You will need a group of students, or be willing to walk the hallways for this activity. (Moving out of the therapy room is great way to encourage generalization!) How this activity works is that you look at people around you and ask your student "who is wearing ____?". You could ask who is wearing a particular color, who is wearing a type of clothing item. Kids love finding the person who fits the description.
5) Matching: Use toy (or paper) people and objects that belong them. Match the object to the person who it belongs to. To mix it up, you can place the object in a bag and pull one out at a time. You could also place the all items and people into a sensory bin. If you use square pieces with photos on them, you could play memory as well!
6) Hide and Seek: I LOVE this activity because it is so simple, most kids know how to play, AND it has a practical application in the child's daily life! If you have therapy groups, you can play hide and seek with them! Remember to ask, 'who is hiding?', 'who is it?', and 'who did you find?'. Have a small space? Hide toy people around the room and ask 'who is hiding?' and 'who did you find?'. Alternatively, you can use toy people and a Fisher Price Playset (house, park, farm), to use the play script of hide and seek with toys.
7) Sorting into Piles: This is a great activity to teach that 'who' means a person. You will need a variety of toys or pictures (including toy people or pictures of people). Place them all in a pile in the middle of the room. Take two baskets and place them on opposite sides of the room. One basket is for people, the other basket is for everything else! Take turns running and grabbing an item to sort into the baskets.
Two Quick Tips for Working on WHO Questions:
Make it interactive! Giving the child maniuplatives to touch and feel will help with engagement, as will acting like different people!
Don't forget to teach: Teaching that 'who' means a person as well as teaching the accompanying vocabulary that is needed to answer who questions is important!
I hope you found these activities helpful! Make sure to Pin this Blog Post for future reference!
Looking for more ideas for targeting WH-Questions in play? Check out Speech Therapy Handouts: Wh- Questions. Each handout includes cues, examples, and play activities.
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