How to grow perspective taking skills…

3x3 blog pic pov flower cover

Working on perspective taking skills and point of view can be tricky for my students.  It is not an easy social language concept to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think about how they might feel.  This is a skill that is embedded in both the academic curriculum as well as in real life social interactions!  With Spring in full swing here, I printed these fabulous flower templates from Tracee Orman’s template packet that I have, but you could freestyle your own flower templates too.  My social thinking groups came up with different problem scenarios and wrote one in the middle of each template.  Next, we decided who the people are that would be part of the scenario and write them on the back of the petals (see picture below).  After that, we flipped the flower back to the front and on each petal, wrote what the person might be thinking or feeling based on their point of view in the scenario.

3x3 blog pov flower pic

You can also work this social activity backwards and write the perspectives on the petals and have the students come up with a matching problem.  You could also have them  identify who might be thinking or feeling the thoughts written on each petal by making smart guesses (inferencing).  When your flowers are finished, this would make a great Spring themed social thinking bulletin board too!

How do you work on perspective taking skills?  Share here!

It’s a Spring Social!!

spring social blog

Spring has sprung in Atlanta (ah-choo!) and I have gathered some of my favorite spring themed TPT social language products into my virtual Easter basket for you.  You can just click on the pictures for the links to my TPT store, SmartmouthSLP, easy peasy lemon squeasy!  These packets are all focused on social language concepts including figurative language, hidden rules, expected/unexpected behaviors, determining the best solutions, the language of emotions and much more!   There is even an April Fool’s product to help your students figure out if they are being jokey or jerkey this week (hint: jokey is the much better choice). The packets and games range from your littles all the way through materials appropriate for young adults, so I hope that you will find something that you can add to your SLP bag of tricks (there are 2 freebies included too)!

 If you have any other social language products that you LOVE, please share and add the link in the comments section.  I am always on the lookout for new materials for my students and fellow SLPs!!  Ready to find some goodies?  Let’s go!

Spring means warm weather, and that means it’s ice cream time!  Check out 31 flavors of fun here:

ice cream social

Looking for a little April Fool’s fun social language fun this week?  Here you go!

8x8 cover aprilt fools.jpg

What’s Up Peeps? Is chock full of spring themed social language activities:

8x8 cover whats up peeps

For your middle and littles…:

wow worry wonder 8x8 cover

wow worry wonder 8x8 cover

8x8 cover how does your garden grow

And a social language game for your big kids too….

8x8 cover can of worms

Last but not least, a spring craftivity and 2 freebies for you!

8x8 cover sprout and spring

8x8 cover whats bugging you idiom freebie

8x8 cover template stop bugging me sss

It’s a Bunny-Palooza!

bunny 1

Spring has sprung in Atlanta (ah-choo!) and it is bunny time!  Our SNP (special needs preschool) class has outdone themselves.   Ms. Daisy created a gorgeous Peter Rabbit bulletin board featuring the kids’ artwork, and Ms. Shanee created a QR code to post a video of her amazing kiddos acting out scenes from the play.  She also added the common core standards embedded in the class play to the board!  I could see this idea being used on a speechie bulletin board too!  Take a peek here:

peter rabbit

We also have a great program for students with autism at our school (don’t you want to work here too??). The creative teachers wrote a PTA grant for not one but TWO bunny hutches on wheels and adopted two adorable class pets (names TBD). They use a visual of red tape on the floor to cue the kids for safe proximity to the bunnies and one of our awesome SLPs, Ms. Sahai, wrote a social story to talk about how to interact with the bunnies gently and safely (example:  touch the bunnies by petting them softly on their back with two fingers).  photo 2

I thought I would add my own twist on our bunny-palooza by creating this FREE spring social activity in my TeachersPayTeachers store HERE . It includes a cute poster of Whole Bunny Listening skills, a short story about meeting and interviewing the Easter Bunny (9 questions and a blank question template included) and an activity for matching and describing emotions with scenarios. These activities tap into the concepts of whole body listening, point of view, perspective taking, conversation, emotions, body language and interpreting social scenarios and are perfect for your elementary students working on these skills!  Hop to it before it’s gone….

What’s Up Peeps?

blog hop picHello and welcome to our blog hop!  My name is Heidi Britz and I am a school based SLP with more than 20 years of pediatric experience.  I prefer the term “seasoned SLP” to “old speech lady”, but that’s just me 🙂  My professional love (some might call it an obsession) is social language.  My goal is two-fold, to reach my students with social language impairments, and to provide support to my fellow SLPs, CFs and teachers in my community.  It’s a win-win for everyone!

My blog, Smartmouth, is focused on connecting social language with the common core and helping the kids who struggle with both.  Full disclosure, I am an unapologetic groupie of Michelle Garcia Winner’s work, so don’t be surprised if I toss about the terms expected/unexpected frequently!  My weekly posts include therapy freebies, lesson plans, TPT materials and discussions about the changing dynamic of social language.  And speaking of social, you can also find me on Instagram: @Smartmouth_SLP!

I hope you enjoy my FREE  “What’s Bugging You?” Idiom activity today HERE from my TPT store.  It has a bug themed idiom activity, extension activities suggested and a butterfly template (example included) to make visual representation of the literal and non-literal meanings of the idioms.                                                 Slide1

I also have several social language packets in my TeachersPayTeachers store that include inferences, main idea, expected/unexpected behaviors, comparing good/better/best choices, prediction, point of view, and the concepts of “think/ feel/say”. Please take a peek at these thematic packets including: “It’s Your Lucky Day”, “April Fools”,  “Party Time Pragmatics” and my newest Spring packet, “What’s Up Peeps?”.

One of the things that I think we SLPs do best is collaborate and share, so I am very excited to link up with the other bloggers in our hop (don’t forget to sign up to follow their blogs )!  Click on the Hop To The Next Blog link below to head over to Keri’s fantastic post!  If you have popped up in the middle of our bloggie bonanza, click on the Hop to the Beginning button so you don’t miss any of the great freebies!

I’m so glad you stopped by today! Please sign up to receive my blog weekly and hope to see you soon…

You don’t want to miss this!!

I am very excited to give you a heads up about a fun blog hop happening on 3/20, the first day of Spring (yipee!!) What’s a blog hop you ask?  I had the same question!  It’s a group of bloggers (in this case all SLPs) that link together for an event and share materials and blogs!   Stop back by on Friday and hop into the links that will get you 14 fantastic speech freebies and introduce you to some creative new slp blogs as well!  See you then….


blog hop pic

You Crack Me Up!


The Dollar Store is quickly becoming my go-to place for inexpensive social language materials.  I found this pack of eggs with different expressions and immediately thought of my kids who are working on Theory of Mind (ToM) and reading nonverbals.  Doesn’t everyone? NO?!  Well,that’s where my speechie brain wandered that day 🙂

We brainstorm (or review) different feeling words and what it means to think about other people’s thoughts and feelings. It’s easy to get stuck at “happy/sad” but emotions go much deeper and wider than those fortunately! Now I know at least one of the kids will protest that eggs don’t have feelings and brains, much less faces. This is a great teachable moment to talk about using our imagination to wonder about things and it can be fun to do this!  Thinking about what someone else might be feeling or thinking is a hard thing to do, especially for kids who struggle with ToM.

I have them pick an egg-spression (sorry, couldn’t help it) and then give them strips with two choices:  a thought bubble and a heart. You can find a free, printable copy of the sheet below HERE.

feel and say sheet

I have the students make a guess and write down (or dictate to me) what the expression might be telling us as a feeling (angry, silly, shy,etc…) and what the egg might be thinking. I can extend the activity by cutting the sentence strips up and putting them in the eggs for the kids to check their guesses at another speech therapy session, or put them in the wrong eggs to see if the kids can identify if the thoughts and feelings match or not!

You can also read the thought/feeling strips aloud and see if the kids can match them to the correct egg/expression. If your students have enough language and you have the luxury of video in your session (hello camera phone!), have them create little videos about thoughts and feelings using the eggs as the actors.  How much fun would it be to have them make a video about “egg-spected” vs. “un-eggspected” behavior?!

Any other ideas on how you would use these crazy eggs in speech?  Share them!