Why Do Leaves Change Color? A Nonfiction Speech Therapy Packet
In addition to apple cider donuts and everything pumpkin, I love fall foliage.
Last week, I had the opportunity to read the book, Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro, with several of my school age clients. During and after the book reading, I targeted their specific speech and language goals. Since I carefully individualize my treatment sessions and often make materials to best meet the needs of my clients, I embarked on making some complimentary worksheets to reinforce my clients’ goals.
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If you are wondering why I use nonfiction books in my therapy sessions, allow me to briefly explain. Reading non-fiction or informational texts greatly enhances children’s background knowledge and this background knowledge significantly improves their comprehension and world knowledge. Furthermore, “Background knowledge becomes more crucial in the later elementary grades, as students begin to read more content-specific textbooks (Young, Moss, & Cornwell, 2007) that often include headings, graphs, charts, and other text elements not often found in the narrative fiction they encounter in lower grades (Sanacore & Palumbo, 2009) (Goodwin. B., & Miller, K., 2012).” Additionally, some children who are reluctant readers may in fact, find nonfiction more interesting than fiction. It may entice their curiosity and drive them to ask questions and search for the answers. And, since we learn lots of information from nonfiction texts, why not give our children every advantage? These are just a few reasons why I like to incorporate some thematic nonfiction into my therapy sessions – because I want to give my clients every advantage to succeed and feel confident. This learning is all done in a fun and engaging manner. Remember, if it’s not fun and engaging, children will have a harder time retaining the information.
So, one of the first things I have my clients do either before or after reading Why Do Leaves Change Color? is this awesome but simple activity that helps them understand what happens to leaves when the chlorophyll fades. I discovered this fun activity while on Pinterest. Thanks to The Preschool Toolbox for sharing this delightful idea!
To read more about how to do this, please download my All About Leaves: Nonfiction Speech Therapy Activity Packet
Another activity to do either before or after reading Why Do Leaves Change Color? is to use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast two different leaves.
In the photo above, I wrote in the names of two different leaves (e.g. Oak vs Maple) but for younger children or more visual learners, consider showing two different leaves side-by-side so they can see and feel the leaves.
After reading Why Do Leaves Change Color? I have my clients answer various wh-questions with one or two of these Wh-questions worksheets. If your client, student, or child is not yet reading, you can use the worksheet with the visuals and read the questions and then have him or her circle the correct answers.
Lastly, I created, printed, and laminated a Life Cycle of a Leaf story map to help my clients efficiently organize and sequence their thoughts. My goal is to have my clients eventually internalize such a template so they can use it to tell and re-tell stories or sequence thoughts in an organized fashion.
I hope these worksheets help your children, students, and clients.
Please feel free to download my packet by clicking here.
Thanks to my college friend, Alli Schweizer, for capturing nature’s splendor with her keen eye and beautiful photography.
References: Goodwin, B., & Miller, K. (2012, December). Research Says Nonfiction Reading Promotes Student Success. Educational Leadership, 70(4), 80-82. doi:http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec12/vol70/num04/Nonfiction-Reading-Promotes-Student-Success.aspx