Christmas Activities for Older Students in Speech Therapy and Teletherapy
Using holiday themes with students doesn't stop with elementary students. With a little outside-the-box thinking, there are many ways you can celebrate Christmas with your older students in speech therapy.
While it might look a little different, Christmastime with middle (and even high school) students can be just as magical! Check out all these ways to bring Christmas cheer into your speech therapy room (virtual or otherwise) this year!
Christmas Tree Boom Cards Deck
One of the best ways (that I've found) to use themes with older students is to isolate one part of the theme and take a deep dive into it. This always leads to higher student engagement as they love to learn interesting facts about something ordinary. This Boom Cards deck provides a passage about how Christmas trees came to be a holiday tradition, plus several language activities to go along with it.
Articles and Stories About Christmas
Readworks.org offers several Christmas-themed passages for older students. Wrapping Up a Little Bit of Trouble is a fictional story that includes comprehension and vocabulary questions, too. You can also target those language goals with this excerpt from A Christmas Carol which might be familiar to your students.
An article from The Smithsonian shares facts behind the centuries-old song, "The 12 Days of Christmas." It gives insight into its origin and would be best for your oldest (high school) students!
Newsela hosts this passage about where Christmas trees come from. It discusses the variety of ways that Americans procure their evergreens each year.
Videos About Christmas
Speaking of Christmas trees, this video (from National Geographic Kids) is like a virtual field trip to a Christmas tree farm! It has tons of facts about how tree farms operate, including how they oftentimes use helicopters to harvest the trees! They also have this playlist with several other holiday videos.
You could also show this video from the History Channel that tells the history of Christmas. It tells how December 25th became Christmas and how the holiday spread throughout the world.
Simon's Cat videos always go over well with older students, so don't miss this collection of Christmas clips to target goals such as re-tell, making inferences and predictions, and more!
Funny Christmas videos can never be wrong! This playlist from America's Funniest Home Videos has several to choose from, and students are sure to relate to some of the hilarious mishaps.
Showing Christmas commercials is another fun way to celebrate in sessions. Students can share ones they've seen, or you can just search YouTube to find commercials from today... and yesteryear.
Speaking of old Christmas commercials, my favorite (that I make my family watch every year) was a T-Mobile commercial from over a decade ago. It shows a flash mob (remember those?) singing "Home for the Holidays" in a bustling mall. (I can't find a legit video source, but if you search "T Mobile Home for the Holidays" on YouTube you'll probably find it.) It's a fun way to talk about inferences and perspective-taking.... or to just finish the session with a warm and fuzzy feeling! This behind-the-scenes video is pretty cool too, if you have the time!
A Christmas Fill-in-the-Blanks Story
A fill-in-the-blanks story about Christmas makes for the perfect holiday celebration! This FREE holiday gifts-themed passage can actually be used for any gift-giving holiday and leads to more laughs than an actual Christmas party!
There are tons of Christmas-themed trivia games and websites available online that make great group activities! ultimatequizquestions.com and christmastrivia.net are a couple with multiple games (some easier than others) related to specific topics like Christmas movies and music:
A personality quiz is a great way to, well, personalize your Christmas activities and spark conversation. The website howstuffworks.com has several Christmas personality quizzes to choose from. This "Which Christmas Character Are You?" quiz from Buzzfeed is another one to check out!
Christmas Scavenger Hunts
A scavenger hunt is a great speech therapy activity for any age group since it can easily be adapted. Older students appreciate the real photos in this Christmas-themed one, and there are so many ways you can target speech, language, and social language goals using it.
Another option is this free Christmas light scavenger hunt. And check out the "Virtual Light Displays" section of this blog post for links to some pretty awesome shows. You could also send the page with your students as a fun "homework" assignment over winter break.
Other Christmas Games and Activities for Older Students
Looking for some holiday games or activities to fill a few minutes at the end of a session? These Christmas games avoid babyish graphics and appeal to older kids!
Christmas Click It is a fast-paced Boom Card game that you can use with any amount of players
This Christmas word-guessing game on baamboozle.com is similar to Taboo. It includes real photos and would be great for working on description and expanding language! And this Christmas movie gif game looks like it would be a hit!
Jeopardy Labs is another great site with tons of pre-made Christmas games that you could you in speech therapy. With so many options to choose from, I suggest searching for a specific Christmas topic (such as "Christmas movies") to find a game with one or more categories that your students are interested in.
This site has a digital Christmas tree decorating activity that would be a fun collaborative group activity.... especially on a smartboard!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.... even in your speech therapy room! Our students (that celebrate) are never too old to share in some festive fun, so I hope these activities bring some holiday spirit to speech!
NOTE: Several of the links in this post go to websites for which I have no affiliation. The links are provided for your convenience only. This post does not signify endorsement of any of the above websites or resources (other than those I have created on TpT and/or Boom Learning), and I have no responsibility or liability for any of the other content or information shared in this post.