Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mr. Potato Head as a Learning Tool

How to use Mr. Potato Head as a learning tool

The all time favorite Mr. Potato Head is just NOT a toy but can be used as a learning tool on many different levels!! 

SPEECH:

This is one of my favorite toys to use in producing speech and language! You can use this to teach so much: colors, simple phrases, body parts, asking questions and more! 

How can I use this in therapy? 

1. Making request 
                a. Place the body parts in a plastic bad or clean jar with the lid on and/or the bag 
                    zipped and have students request to open the bag or ask for help. 
2. Use to identify body parts:
                a. If you have a student who isn't fully verbal yet you can also place a few body parts 
                    on the table and ask the child to find the eyes, nose, etc.
                b. Ask the student what is this? and have them name the body part
3.  Requesting items:
                a. Ask students what do you want? And they can answer you verbally or by using pictures
                b. Have students use simple phrases such as "I want eyes" with or without visual cues 
                    to request items to create their potato head (I generally give each student a PECS  
                    board and we have enough Potato Heads for everyone and each student 
                    takes there turn requesting items using their PECS boards)
4. Expanding sentences 
                a. Students can expand the simple "I want" sentence to include colors of the item 
                    and/or use the phrases big/little (I suggest getting 3-4 Potato Heads and this 
                   gives you a great variety of eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hats, etc. Students can then not 
                   only request the item but can expand the sentence to say "I want blue eyes" or "I 
                  want the big hat")
5. Asking/answering questions
                a. Once all the students Potato Heads are created ask questions such as "Who has the 
                    red hat?" "Who has the purse?" and the students will answer "I do"
                b. Teach students to be the teacher and ask the students the questions! A great social
                    skills lesson as asking questions is difficult for students to learn! 
 

BEHAVIOR

 

You can use Mr. Potato Head as a class wide behavior management tool. When I thought of this idea the best part about it as it is visual and students can see the end goal in sight! 

Throughout the day or week as the class behaviors appropriately add another piece to the Potato Head.  You can even display the pieces that are not on the Potato Head yet to encourage them to keep working hard! Once they have completed the Potato Head the class earns some sort of reward (extra reading time, extra recess, free play, etc).


I hope if you don't already have a Mr. Potato Head in your classroom I hope that you go out and pick one up! I know I will be on the look out for extra parts at garage sales this summer! I checked out E-bay and you can get a TON of parts for a great price!!

1 comment:

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