Basketball Themed Speech for March Madness

I cannot express the passion for basketball that a lot of my students, make that North Carolinians, have. March with its nearly constant game action thanks to March Madness often has me adopting an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude. Here are a few of the activities that will be going on in my room.

  • Trashcan basketball is a no brainer and can be used as open-ended reinforcement for any skill. Whether you simply toss crumpled paper into the trash, buy a hoop to mount on the trashcan or go all out on mini basketballs and a hoop trashcan look alike, your students will be thrilled.
  • Hone your broadcasting skills. For my older students, I print out team rosters and schedules and we pretend to be broadcasters (I even let them use my first name!). Not only do my students LOVE this activity, but it also gives me a chance to listen to speech read aloud and then hear it in more spontaneous speech as I encourage them to add some on-air banter!
  • Fill out a “bracket” with targeted speech words. This activity mimics a basketball bracket and is an easy, print and go activity for articulation. Fill in the “Sweet 16” with the target words and then have your students say them in pairs. Compare which was the more accurate production and that word goes on to the next round. Keep going until you have a winner! (I have my students say each target 5x, once for each “player” on the basketball team to up the number of trials.) Grab a free bracket here.
  • Compare/contrast activities are easier when your students are experts about the items. Try using two different players and comparing team, height/weight, scoring stats, position, and other talents. Kiddos who don’t really “get” the idea of comparison when it’s objects or categories tend to have a much better handle on it when it comes to sports heroes!
  • Categorize the teams. Some of my students have a handle on general categorization (foods, drinks, animals, vehicles), but struggle with idea that items can fit in more than one category or when the category becomes more specific. Print a list of teams (click here for a list of NBA teams and sorting activity) and then separate teams into a variety of categories: east/west, ranking in the top/bottom half, animal/person mascot, etc. Feeling daring? Chose some subjective categories like best overall teams, worst teams of all time, etc. Laminate the list and use dry erase markers in two colors to circle which teams belong to which category.

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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.