This is a really fun theme to do with a child for an individual appointment or with a group of children.
When I have done a pirate theme for an individual appointment, I usually:
- Start by reading the Ahoy! Pirate Pete book, but I substitute pictures of their targets for the pictures from the book. That usually results in a pretty silly story. After we have created the story, I will encourage them to read it through. Depending on what level they are at, I may encourage them to try finish the sentence by saying the target word, or say part or all of the sentence.
- Play Cariboo Island. I find reading Pirate Pete first is helpful because then I can show them how Cariboo Island looks like the dessert island from the Pirate Pete book. To make Cariboo Island even more exciting, I like to hide a little surprise inside the treasure chest, so that they have some treasure to take home. Usually this ends up being a sticker, but sometimes if I happen to have a little prize that will fit inside the box (and not much does), then I will put that in instead. Depending on their age I may play by the rules (i.e., after they have said their target they must pick a card and find the matching door) or, to simplify it, I may let them choose a door to open after they have said their target.
- If there is time left, then I will play Crocodile Dentist. I have found that some children are really put off by having the Crocodile bite their finger, so I have a little plastic dentist mirror that they can use to "check" his teeth after they have said their target.
For a speech sound group:
- Set the room up with a pirate feel by setting up the Viking Toys Pirate ship and some pirate figurines. I hid pictures of their targets around the room (corresponding to pictures on a treasure map - more later). I also hid a wooden pirate's chest (jewelry box) under an "X", for them to find later. The materials to make a pirate hat can be set up at a craft table.
- Start by sitting together in a circle and reading a book. Encourage the children to listen for their target sound in the story. When I ran this group, I read I Love My Papa Pirate.
- I then had the children and parents split off to practice, so that I could check in on each individually. I found having multiple copies of a toy like the Magnetic Pirate Adventure works well for this. (If I had multiple copies of Pop Up Pirate, I would have used this instead).
- Then the group came together to make pirate hats at the craft table. Parents are encouraged to emphasize target sounds as they come up in the activity. For example, if they are working on /f/, they could emphasize that sound in "fold". Another way to get more target practice into this activity is to give them their targets as stickers to use to decorate their hats.
- Once the children have their pirate hats complete, then it is time to go on a treasure hunt. Prior to their arrival I had hidden some pictures of their targets around the room. For the treasure hunt activity, I used the treasure maps from LessonPix. Each child had two maps with their targets on it (corresponding to the target pictures that I had hidden earlier). Once they found all of their target pictures, they turned it in to me (I was sitting beside the X that marked the spot) for a prize from the wooden treasure chest.
- At the end we came back together as a group at the circle. I divided up the swords from Pop Up Pirate and the children took turns practicing their target sounds as they played this game.
Check out my Pirate Theme board on Pinterest for more ideas and links to materials: