A Little More Action, Please!


I’ve taken two courses recently that changed my approach to speech sound disorders. Not a complete about face, more of a slight shift–and it’s making a difference!

Both presenters discussed that working on more marked aspects have more effectiveness in therapy. What does this mean?  Simply that focus on sounds with more features (“markedness”) is more likely to result in generalization across untargeted phonemes.  Translation:  work on the voiced phoneme within a cognate pair, such as /g/, and /k/ may take care of itself!  Interesting, since I’ve certainly had kiddos who have worked long and hard to achieve a voiceless target, only to still be faced with the voiced partner still in error.

Another discussion arose that movement in conjunction with speech sound practice will increase carryover. To me, this is simply a silver lining. I’ve had lots of kiddos that need movement to stay engaged and motivated.

What to do?  What to do?



How about Action Articulation Cards!  I created these little gems as an opportunity to get moving and still get work done.

Each card has an action incorporating the target phoneme that you either read aloud or repeat while you demonstrate the action.  Good news– each card has a picture prompt for the new reader as well.


Once the kiddos are familiar with the actions, you can also use them in a charade format. You or another student performs the action and the others in the group guess what it is. Spontaneous target productions!  The cards can also be used for language goals:  following directions (do 2-3 at once for multi-step practice), auditory memory, and vocabulary.

I’ve been using these with great success myself.  You don’t need a tremendous amount of space or any equipment, but you need to be prepared to giggle.  And they will insist you participate too!


Here’s where my organizational fussiness comes in to play. Print, laminate (optional) and cut out the cards. They will fit perfectly in an empty mint tin.  And may I suggest a different color card stock for each phoneme?  Color printing is equally effective on pastels as white paper.


Each phoneme set includes two label cards.  The title goes on top of the tin (or zip bag if you prefer), the directions can be attached to the inside lid or bottom of the tin. There are also 1-2 cards with the target word list.


And, in keeping with current best practices, I’ve focused on voiced targets.

Set 1:  Z (10 initial, 10 medial, 14 final); L (18 initial, 16 medial, 16 final); G (16 initial, 16 final)

Set 2:  J (20 initial, 17 final); ZH (14 assorted); TH (16 assorted)

Set 3:  R (24 for each initial, medial, final positions, 24 blends, 8 assorted/carryover)

Ready, and….action!

Action Articulation Cards are available in my TeachersPayTeachers store.  Be sure to follow me so you’ll know when the R set arrives!

Thoughts on voiced targets?  Integrating movement?  Please share stories!



The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.