Top 5 Resources

Hello and welcome to this issue of The Language Dispatch, which features my top 5 resources.

Just about every speech-language pathologist I know has favourite therapy materials that they use every day, or every other day.

I'm no different. I tend to use a combination of traditional and shared reading approaches with students. But, because I'm a school clinician, and travel from school to school, I'm restricted in what I can cart around with me.

My favourite resources are piled into a battered suitcase with carry handle and wheels. The contraption weighs a ton but is very handy. I've gotten very picky about what gets loaded in there.

These are my top 5 resources, in no particular order.

Castle Keep: A Game of Medieval Strategy
The object of the game is to construct a castle before your opponent. The game features dozens of cardboard tiles of castles wall, towers and castle keeps. The first to complete their castle wins the game. Kids of all ages love it!

Another advantage of the game is it's size - compact, light and contained in a small box. The game is also handy as a visual matching, scanning, and motor planning activity.

The Arrival, by Shaun Tan

I use the Arrival as a shared reading text because it's use of narrative, visual metaphor and inference is unmatched in any other book that I know of.

The Arrival has no text but its visual language is incredibly sophisticated and rich. I can often spend a 30 minute session on just one panel. A great resource.

Help Books:The Help series of books (a five book set) feature hundreds of pages of language activities.

The activities cover the full spectrum of language learning, from phonemic awareness, critical thinking, social language and grammar - to name just a few of the concepts covered. Indispensable.

A Boy a Dog, and a Frog, by Mercer Mayer

Mercer Mayer created the Boy and a Frog series of books, back in the 1960's.

Like the Arrival, the Frog series are wordless picture books that tell a story using clever, beautifully drawn illustrations. Recommended for younger students.

Between the Carrier and the Deep Blue Sea:

I'll throw in a plug for one of my own creations. I drew this game several years ago. It's not a terribly great drawing, I know.

The perspective is all out of whack. But my students don't seem to mind. They're just suitably impressed that I'm able to colour between the lines. The game itself is tremendous fun; the game's unpredictability is part of its charm.

Coming next Issue

Interview 1: Andrew Taylor

The interview will be downloadable as adobe pdf file.

Coming Soon

A Sound Storm: Phonological Awareness Program

Speak to you again soon

David Newman
Speech-Language Pathologist