With daylight savings just around the corner, we are starting to think about spring, and are getting veryyy excited. There is just something about the longer days, a bit more sun, and a few less layers that puts a little more pep in our steps. Living in Denver and New York does not mean we are out of the woods just yet, because we are more likely than not to get another snow storm in the next month. However, we can create at-home or therapy activities for speech, language, and communication that showcase a beautiful spring day to help remind us that those days are coming...someday.

In February’s Best of… post, we talked about how much we use Google Images in our therapy activities. This week, we are taking it a step further - using Google Images and a markup/editing tool to create quickly a language activity that can be used at home or during therapy.

As an example, I searched for a “spring visual scene” and found this picture. I took a screenshot on my phone, then used the Markup tool to circle different parts of the picture. I circled these parts to draw attention to them. I can use this picture and circled parts to work with different individuals on a variety of different goals. Check out a few examples below.

In these tasks, the individuals may answer the questions verbally, they may write down their answers, or they may use their AAC device to answer the questions. It depends on the individuals, their goals, and what resources are available at the time. For example, a piece of paper may not be available to write down answers, so one could answer questions verbally. Some individuals are not writers, but they have the vocabulary on their AAC devices to answer. Check out our post on including the whole family in activities for more information as well. Visual scenes are also beneficial because they can easily be created and modified!

These links below have instructions for using the markup/editing tool on your phone, tablet, or computer.  

Use Markup on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Use Markup to write or draw on a photo in Photos on Mac

Google Photos help (for Androids)

How to take and annotate screenshots on Windows 10

Language activities (with increasing complexity):

1-What is that? Point to one of the marked up spots, then instruct the individual to label or identify what they see. If they are unsure, you may give them options, e.g. is it a basketball or soccer ball?

  • Possible answers - girl, boy, fish, soccer ball, boat

2-Find the ___. In this task, instruct the individual to point to the things you state, e.g. "Find the boat." If they are unsure, you may give them options, e.g. is the boat here or here?

  • Kids
  • Soccer ball
  • Campfire
  • People fishing
  • Girl on a log
  • People running

3-How do you think they feel, and why? In this task, point to one of the marked up spots, and ask them to identify the character’s emotion. Next, ask them to explain why they are feeling that way. There are many possible answers for a question like this. For example, the boy being chased in the top left corner may be feeling tired, scared, or excited. He may be tired from running so much, scared that he is about to get tagged, or excited to be playing a game with a friend.

4-What will they do next? In this task, point to one of the marked up spots and ask the individual to make predictions about what could happen next. There are also many possible answers for a question like this. Using the same marked up spot as in the third activity, the boy may run away faster and not get tagged, the girl may tag the boy and turn around and run away, or maybe one of them will trip and fall.

You can use this picture, or any other that you find, but still use the same language activities (What is that?, Find the ___, How do you think they feel, and why?, and What will they do next?). Using different scenes but the same activities may also be an opportunity to look at an individual’s progress over time as well.

Questions or comments? Remember, you may comment below or send us an email at communicationcommunityslp@gmail.com. We always love to hear from you!