I know planning therapy around a theme can seem daunting at first, but there are SO many benefits for both students and YOU!
Let's take a look at 5 awesome benefits of using thematic units:
Save time planning
When you have a theme, it is a lot easier to plan one structured unit rather than several separate activities. You can also reuse themed units each year and add or modify as needed, which saves planning time year after year.
Thematic units provide predictability for the student as well as the clinician. Students become familiar with the routine, as well as expectations. It also uses familiar components as student progress onto more complex tasks.
Learning happens when new information is integrated into a larger, meaningful whole. For example, ten thematically linked vocabulary words will be learned with greater depth than ten random, unrelated words. It also supports generalization of skills.
A single thematic unit is used over the course of several sessions. Students build on their skills through repeated opportunities where they see and practice target skills in a familiar context. This leads to a deeper understanding of the skill.
Variety of Skills
When using a central theme, you can target a variety of language skills that all have a single focal point (e.g. the theme or story). You can also engage in activities, like story retell, where multiple skills are integrated.
I hope this has been helpful (and convincing 😉)! If you'd like to get started with themes, I have a bunch of blog posts full of themed activities and freebies! Check them out here.
Have a wonderful week! 💛