Using Menus for Mixed Groups in Speech-Language Therapy


How do you feel about projects in speech-language therapy?

I don't know about you, but I love when I find a fun activity that can last across multiple sessions. And if my students end up with a finished product to take home at the end? Even better.

While trying to think of something quick and easy that I could use across multiple sessions for mixed groups, I glanced over and caught sight of a take-away menu that was stowed away on my desk. 💡 Bingo!

I quickly started creating a menu template using Canva. I also printed a few of their pre-created menus and online local restaurant menus to use as a teaching tool and for student inspiration!

My strongest suggestions to completing this project are to:
  1. Take your time. Let this process take place over multiple days! We completed this over 4-5 sessions with lots of group brainstorming and practice before completing our project.
  2. Pre-write before the finished project. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. We talked in-depth about each section of the menu and pre-wrote/brainstormed on a separate paper before my students ever saw the final menu template. This way, I had plenty of time to teach the skills before they created their final menu. Show plenty of examples along the way-  I printed examples of restaurant logos, slogans, etc. to give inspiration!
  3. Let your students be a little silly! Encourage them to create a themed restaurant, unique menu items, or even make up their own foods!
  4. Let them practice with each other. They can practice their speech sounds by telling peers their menu items or practice perspective-taking by asking for suggestions about what other people might like to see on their menu.
  5. Laminate the final product and let them take their menus home! I encouraged them to show their classmates, teachers, and family, use their best speech sounds when discussing it with others, and/or talk about how we worked together to create the menu.

GET THE FREE MENU TEMPLATE HERE




Over the past few weeks, I've used this project to target:
  • Articulation
    Create menu items that contain specific speech sounds.
  • Categories
    Group the menu items by type - appetizers, main courses, sides, desserts, drinks, extras.
  • Critical Thinking
    How can you make your restaurant appealing and competitive? What makes people want to eat at your restaurant over someone else's?
  • Describing
    Use describing words to sell your meals and make your restaurant sound enticing.
  • Grammar/Writing
    Write a complete sentence for your tagline. Target capitalization and punctuation as well.
  • Life Skills
    How to write a full address correctly.
  • Math
    We added up the cost of a typical meal and did some small budgeting activities.
  • Perspective Taking
    What would kids want on the menu? What would adults want on the menu? What kind of extras can you offer to bring in your target audience (i.e. Kids eat free on Tuesdays)?
  • Problem Solving
    Think about problems that you can solve on the "extras" section of the menu. What if someone wants to have a birthday party at your restaurant? Could you add a play-place or an arcade?
  • Vocabulary
    When creating the name of the restaurant, brainstorm different vocabulary used in restaurant names, i.e. Bistro, Steakhouse, Bakery, Pizzeria, etc.
…and more!
 

Sample Menu

GET THE FREE MENU TEMPLATE HERE


If you use this activity with your students, I'd love to hear about it! Be sure to tag me on social media (@kayla_slp) if you share photos!

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