Cabin Fever Conversation Connection

connect four

Connect Four, Milton Bradley TM

Cabin fever has set in at my house after we survived ice and snow for a few days in the deep South, so I am getting a little crazy and posting a mini-blog between Saturdays!  Here’s an idea that came from a conversation with a smart and enthusiastic CF I am supervising at one of my schools.  We were brainstorming on visual support for conversational turn taking and topic maintenance (I know you fellow SLPs are giddy at the thought LOL!).  I love using Connect Four as a visual representation.  And yes, there is even an app for that for you high tech folks. I prefer the click of the chips and the crash of them spilling out with the real game, but to each his own!

I give each child their own color chip and I either put a sticker on my chips or spray paint them if I have forethought energy to prepare ahead of time.  We have a pile of topic cards and take turns drawing one to start the conversation.  If your students are at a higher level and can generate a topic on their own, fantastic!  As someone comments, they put in their chip, then the next makes a connecting comment.  I switch things up by changing the topic and if the kids can maintain the conversation until the board is filled, they win a prize (chocolate or Marvel superhero tattoos are a big deal in my room).  I like the buy in that the kids have to work together to get the prize 🙂

BUT, if they don’t maintain the new topic, the bottom slides out (via me) and we have to start all over again…  NOOOOOOOOOO!   Caveat:  if your kids are not able to handle the frustration level of this activity, don’t do it.  The point isn’t to frustrate them needlessly,it’s just to give them a visual representation/fun way to see what conversation looks like in a structured situation.  Have fun and let me know if you try this out.  Oh, and think spring!

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