Here's a great speech therapy idea: Make "ice cream in a bag" while working on phonological awareness and CVC words
I have a first grader on my caseload who needs help with phonological awareness and decoding/encoding CVC words in speech therapy. (See this blog post, with a free infographic, to learn more about phonological awareness)
We recently had a fun session making “ice cream in a bag.” It requires surprisingly little in the way of materials and time, and it makes ice cream that actually tastes good. Even better - we were still able to work on his early literacy goals!
HOW TO MAKE ICE CREAM IN A BAG IN SPEECH THERAPY
Here is how we made the ice cream AND worked on phonological awareness, decoding, and encoding all at the same time:
Materials you’ll need to make the “ice cream in a bag”:
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp sugar
3 cups ice
1/3 cup kosher or rock salt
1 gallon-sized, sealable plastic bag
1 quart-sized, sealable plastic bag
Mittens (we used clean socks on our hands!)
Your kiddo’s favorite toppings (sprinkles, chocolate sauce, strawberries, etc.)
Steps to make it:
Pour the ice and salt into your gallon-sized bag and set aside.
In your quart-sized bag, mix half and half, vanilla, and sugar together. Make sure to seal the bag tightly!
Place the quart-sized bag inside the gallon-sized bag and seal it tightly.
Put your mittens (or socks!) on your hands and shake the bag vigorously for about 5 minutes until your milk is almost solid. Turn-taking is recommended - your hands will get cold!
Place your freshly-made ice cream in a bowl, add your toppings, and enjoy!
To target my student’s decoding and encoding of CVC words, we wrote out lists for “Things We Need” and “How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag”, which provided many opportunities to write and then read high-frequency words and CVC words. I wrote in the other words, which made it feel collaborative and allowed me to provide the structure for the lists.
For example, on a sheet of paper, I wrote “Things We Need” as the title, and my student wrote the numbers 1-9 down the side. Since the first item we needed was a half cup of half and half, I assisted my student in writing, “A HAF CUP (I wrote “of”) HAF AND (he knew this high-frequency word) HAF”. I wrote the second item we needed (1/4 teaspoon of vanilla) since I didn’t expect him to be able to write these words, although I did encourage him to write the “T” before spoon for “teaspoon”. I modified the language for the materials and steps to be as simple as possible. For example, the “1 gallon-sized, sealable bag” was modified to “1 big bag”.
After we had created both lists, I then encouraged my student to read back the words he had written as we followed the steps to make the ice cream.
Here are the CVC words we focused on:
haf (for half and half)
For phonological awareness, we counted the number of words in the phrase “ice cream in a bag” and listened for initial/final consonants and medial vowels as we wrote. We also noticed that "ice cream" and "I scream" sound the same, but mean two totally different things!
And what could be a better payoff for hard work than a cup of delicious, freshly made ice cream? Don’t forget the sprinkles!
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