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Ideas for Targeting Describing & Categories in Literacy-Based Therapy

Updated: May 26

Semantic activities focus on learning new vocabulary and/or thinking about words and their relationships.

Semantic skills include:

  • Learning vocabulary in or related to the story

  • Synonyms & antonyms

  • Associations

  • Categories

  • Describing

  • Words with multiple meanings

  • Basic concepts (e.g. qualitative, spatial, temporal)

  • Comparatives & superlatives (e.g. big, bigger, biggest)

  • Prefixes & suffixes

💡 Here are eight fun ideas for targeting describing and categories! 💡

describing and categories semantic activity ideas

1️⃣ Use graphic organizers & visuals to describe nouns in the story

2️⃣ Write 2-3 categories on a whiteboard or sticky note and have students look through the pictures to find items that belong to the categories (e.g. if you're reading Sneezy the Snowman your categories could be clothing, things that are hot, things that are cold)

3️⃣ Game Version 1: Write nouns from the story on pieces of paper or sticky notes. Each student draws one from a bag and describes it to the group while the group tries to guess it. Or each student could just choose an object from the pictures in the story.

4️⃣ Game Version 2: Put a sticky note on Student A's forehead (or in a headband from the HedBanz game) and have each student in the group describe the item for Student A to guess.

5️⃣ Go on a scavenger hunt! Choose items from the story text or pictures to describe. Have students jot down 2-3 things that describe the item onto a sticky note, piece or paper, repurposed paper/cardboard.

Hide real objects or pictures of the objects around the speech room or outside.

Then mix the pieces of paper into a bag and have students take turns drawing one.

Each student can then go on a scavenger hunt to look for the item that their paper describes.

6️⃣ Use your EET tools/visuals to describe nouns from the story

7️⃣ Provide students with descriptors and have them determine if its the group, place, parts, etc.

8️⃣ Describe character traits that belong to the main character and then make a sentence about the main character using a chosen character trait

Before you go...if you're looking for a no-prep or print and go resource that has a variety of activities already done for you, then take a peek at my:

I hope this has been helpful 💛

about the author Sarah


Ukrainetz, T. A. (2006). Contextualized Language Intervention: Scaffolding Prek-12 Literacy Achievement (1st ed.). Pro Ed.


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