Updated: May 31
There are so many types of cues you can give your preschoolers and kindergarteners during speech therapy. Verbal cues, visual cues, pictorial cues, gestural cues, and tactile cues are all helpful during articulation, phonology, and phonological awareness therapy!
I love using a combination of ALL of these cues for my students; however, one of my favorite cues are pictorial cues because they can be used so many ways! Pictoral cues give sounds a ‘name’ and a pictorial depiction of the sound. For example, /s/ can be called the ‘snake sound’ and depicted by a picture of a snake.
Here are my seven favourite ways to use pictorial cue cards during your speech and language therapy sessions:
AUDITORY BOMBARDMENT: You can hold up the target sound card while reading a book or singing a song to help the child learn to associate the picture with the sound.
DISCRIMINATION: Put the target sound and incorrect sound cards on the table. Read a list of words and have the child touch the picture card that has the sound in it. TO make this activity more motivating, you can place the cards on different sides of the room and have the child run to the right sound or use your favourite manipulatives to have the child cover the picture of the sound each time they hear a word with the sound in it.
FEEDBACK: Add visual feedback to your sessions! Show the child whatever sound they said - whether it was correct or not! This really helps your student gain awareness of what sound they are using.
BLENDING SOUNDS: Take the cards out that make up the word. Slide the cards together to depict ‘blending’ the sounds. This is a really helpful way to help kids learn how to blend sounds.
FIRST/LAST SOUND IDENTIFICATION: Put all the sound cards in a bag and have your student draw one card at a time. Brainstorm 5 words that begin/end with that specific sound. You can also use mini objects and sort them by placing them with the correct sound cue card.
TALK ABOUT MY SOUND: Use the picture cue to have your student talk about their sound to their peer, parent, or teacher. They can talk about the sound, the nickname, and share the picture cue.
MAKE A WORD: Make simple words, such as boy, key, and up, using the cards. This is a fun and novel way you can practice speech sounds!