Shapes are one of many basic concepts children needs to learn in preschool. While they may seem basic, shapes are really very important. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in Kindergarten include standards for identifying and describing shapes as well as analyzing and comparing them.
ID? Describe? Compare? That sounds like speech therapy!
Well, my friends, it certainly can be. And if we are going to be doing math in speech, why not make it a “snacktivity.”
As I’m sure you are aware, using food in therapy may require special permission from the parents of students or your building administration. Please be sure to double check the dietary restrictions of the students in your classrooms before introducing food items. Even if you are accommodating for dietary needs, there are loads of options for this lesson plan in the cracker/cookie/chip aisle of your local grocery store.
I went with crackers because we are doing this activity right after Halloween and my kids are still on a sugar high. My choices included an oval shaped cracker, a saltine for the square, a triangular pita chip, and graham crackers for the rectangle. Of course, I couldn’t forget the round Ritz cracker…they are my favorite.
Since it has been shape week in preschool, the kids are pretty familiar with most of these. At snack time, I told my students we had crackers for their choices, but they would have to request using the shape of the cracker they wanted since all the options are crackers. Then I gave each student a placement with the shapes outlined and labeled so they could match the cracker to the correct outline. I had prepared sentence strips for the ones using alternative communication and for those that might need a little help. You can download those by clicking the pictures.
As the children munched on crunchy crackers, we talked about how the rectangle is different from the square and how the oval is similar to the circle. We discussed how they tasted and how the textures compared. We heard a lot of language from all the students which is always a win!
There are some other ways you could extend this idea in your speech therapy lesson.
- Use the mini crackers to introduce sizes.
- Try different flavors of crackers to introduce more comparative vocabulary.
- Give the students opportunities to ask for “more,” “many,” “a few,” “a couple,” or “a lot” of crackers.
We really enjoyed this activity in preschool this week and I hope you will, too!