Archive for the ‘main course’ Category

“Stay Healthy” Chicken Soup {with SpeechSnacks for Wintertime Wellness Language & Problem Solving}

winter wellness collage

Cold and flu season are hitting many of us hard this year!   And whether  you have already been a victim of a virus or an innocent bystander of a bacteria, chances are, you can use a bowl of chicken soup to help what is ailing you!  Nothing is more comforting when you are feeling under the weather than a bowl of homemade chicken soup.  I can remember this remedy being a magical elixir for me many times throughout my life.  While chicken soup isn’t the cure for a cold, it does help  alleviate some of the annoying symptoms that come with it.  And, if nothing else, it definitely is a delicious, comforting  meal that helps keep your body hydrated.   The next time the cold bug has you down, stay warm, get a lot of rest, and get your mom (or some other kind soul) to make you a big pot of homemade chicken soup!!

This week’s recipe post inspired me to create “Wintertime Wellness Language and Problem Solving Packet”  You can find it in my TeachersPayTeachers store.  


It includes game cards to address three areas of language development.  You can target one area at a time or spread out all the cards and work on all three areas at once–just be sure to keep each category grouped together for better organization:

As a practical application and a great way to practice written language, I have included a letter writing template with three vocabulary words  and one idiom from this unit to write a letter to a friend who has been home with a cold.

The first player to earn/collect all 6 “kick your cold” cards is the winner.  But beware of the “germs on the loose” cards!
(each card teaches a helpful tip for staying healthy and avoiding germs)

w wellness pc 3







We played “Wintertime Wellness” in our therapy session this past week.  Take note of the tissues, hand sanitizer and wipes!!! ( Perhaps I need to stop being such a germaphobe, but I am determined NOT to get sick this year!)

A collectible “speechsnacks” recipe card is also included in this download.  Use a three hole punch  and  add it to a three ring binder.  Collect all my “speechsnacks!”  I offer a new recipe each time you download one of my activities!

You can  find this activity at my TpT store here!!


 Recipe for Homemade Chicken Soup:

(this recipe is primarily meant to be carried out by an adult (unlike many of my child-centered recipes),  but it is still a great opportunity to incorporate language skills while your kiddos look on and watch you prepare it!


2 large raw chicken breasts (bone included)

1 onion roughly chopped

1/2 stalk celery, chopped

1 bag baby carrots

2-3 cloves garlic

1 small head of escarole

1 cup barley

salt and pepper to taste

Fill a pot 3/4 full with cold water. Add two large, raw chicken breasts—(bone and skin on) to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste, 3-4 cloves garlic–smashed, but not necessary to mince, one onion, chopped, half of one stalk of celery–including the leaves. Bring ingredients to a boil. Lower to a simmer and continue to simmer on low heat for three hours.   Be sure to use free-range or organic chicken if possible.  It is a higher quality product and will yield a higher quality soup! After cooking for three hours, separate the liquid broth from the remaining ingredients by pouring soup into a colander or metal strainer.  You will be left with a clear, yellowish broth.  Discard the remaining cooked down celery, onions,. etc.  Keep the cooked chicken breast to add to the soup later.

Can your kiddos remember everything you added to pot?  Ask them to recall the sequence. have them compare what the soup looked when it started out in the pot and how it changed after simmering for several hours.

Clean and chop the remaining head of celery and one bag of baby carrots or peel and chop 4-5 whole carrots. Add them to the pot of clear broth. Additionally, mince 2-3 cloves of garlic and one onion and add to the pot. Use organic vegetables when possible!!

Ask your kids to help you identify all the verbs used to create this recipe. Reinforce the meanings of the words with them: CHOP, STRAIN, CLEAN, MINCE, ADD, SIMMER, MEASURE, RINSE, COOK, ENJOY


Work on categorization skills by naming as many vegetables as possible with your kids. How about classifying them into  sub-categories like: root vegetables, green vegetables, round vegetables, long vegetables….the possibilities are endless!!!

Measure out one cup of organic barley. Rinse barley thoroughly and add to the pot of soup. Barley does not need to be cook separately. It will cook along with the vegetables in the broth.

As an alternative, use rice instead of barley. Or, cook wide egg-noodles and add them to your broth at the end.


Cook soup on low, covered,  for approximately one hour. Check carrots for doneness. Additionally, you can add one small head of escarole greens (cleaned and torn into  pieces) to add even greater nutritional value (as an Italian American, escarole is a must-have in our homemade chicken soup!!)


Add pieces of chicken breast to your bowl of soup. Enjoy with some warm crusty bread!   Stay healthy this winter……and as always, “Speak Well and Eat Well!”


A Cornucopia of Turkey Day leftovers {and SpeechSnacks for “BUTTERBALL BINGO!” }




If you have picky pilgrims in your house, then this may be the solution to getting them to try some of those delicious trimming they have been avoiding during the holidays!   I’ve simply rolled a flour (or wheat) tortilla into a cone shape and inserted a toothpick to hold it together…with a little imagination, you can see how quickly it resembles a cornucopia or horn of plenty!!  Fill your cornucopia with all the wonderful edibles from your Turkey Day feast—I have included cubed turkey pieces, dried cranberries, shredded carrots, chopped celery, red onion and sliced almonds.  You can add whatever delectables you would like, but I thought this combination was a good representation of foods that we might eat for Thanksgiving.  Let your kids take an active role in deciding what new foods they will add and try. Give them the spoon and let them fill their horn of plenty on their own. EXPLAIN the MEANING of the word CORNUCOPIA to your kiddo.  TELL them how a horn of plenty is a symbol of all the good and wonderful foods that the farmer has harvested and all that we are thankful for!  After filling it, let your kiddo have fun exploring their creation and hopefully taking a taste of all the foods that are in it.  ****Remember to use caution with toothpicks and be present while little ones are eating their cornucopias!!








Looking for a fun way to teach new Thanksgiving Vocabulary?  I created a game called “BUTTERBALL BINGO”  .  Download this printable freebie of three bingo sheets.  Each sheet contains nine different vocabulary words for a total of 27 terms to learn.  Then download and print out the bingo answer key.  Cut cards apart, shuffle and place in a pile or put all cards in a basket.  Have students take turns picking a card.  After reading the definition to them, they must determine if they have the correct picture/word on their card that fits the definition.  The first to fill all nine of the spaces on their card is the winner!! (Use colored chips, pennies or other tokens to cover spaces).

**special thanks to Smarty Ears for their great app CUSTOM BOARDS.  ”BUTTERALL BINGO” was created using the turkey template from this program.  Have you purchased Custom Boards yet??  If you are an SLP, teacher or parent who likes creating your own educational materials, this app is a “must have!”  Many new updates just released—voice over capabilities and new templates just added.  Check it out at the itunes store!



 ”Turkey Leftovers” Cornucopia








Combine left over turkey with shredded carrots, chopped celery, red onion, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds. 









Let your kids have fun stirring and combining the ingredients in a bowl.  Add a tablespoon of mayo, a squeeze of fresh lemon and salt/ pepper.










Roll a medium sized tortilla into a cone shape and insert (weave ) a toothpick into the pointed end of the tortilla.  Ask your kids to name other objects that are shaped like a cone to build vocabulary! 









Let your kiddo spoon ingredients into cone as you hold it upright for them.  Then lay it down and finish spooning in the rest of the filling.  

Using a fork, your kids can enjoy exploring the delicious variety of healthy foods in their very own horn of plenty—-and don’t forget to tell them to be thankful for the bountiful abundance they are fortunate enough to receive!  Happy  Thanksgiving (Leftovers) Day to All!








Super Summer Soup Series Part III: {Squash Soup and S.Q.U.A.S.H. Listening Game}


Late summer and early fall are squash season.  You’ll find them thriving in gardens and plentiful in supermarkets.  Varieties including butternut, acorn, spaghetti and yellow squash are curious looking and often appear intimidating to prepare, however they are all actually quite simple to cook and well worth the effort!  This week, I took the beautiful orange-yellow butternut squash that was growing in my mother’s garden and turned it into a thick, rich soup.  Although I am sad that summer will soon be a memory,  the squash soup was a pleasant reminder of late summer days and crisp fall evenings that are just around the corner.

As the school year begins, many of us who work with children know the importance of teaching good listening skills.  Without utilizing strategies for being a better listener in the classroom, vital information will be forgotten.  I have created a game for teaching listening strategies—inspired by squash soup!!  I call them SQUASH Listening Strategies and have provided acronyms that will assist  your students in remembering important key phrases that will help them be better listeners.  Acronyms are very successful ways of helping us remember key phrases and important facts.  Check out my SQUASH strategies and cut out the game cards included here.    While working on these strategies you can also educate your kiddos about several varieties of squash.  Bring in a few real squash to compare and contrast the differences while letting the kids see and feel them.  Can you think of your own acronym for SQUASH that will help improve good listening skills??

Game Rules:   Each student gets a SQUASH strategies sheet.  Cut apart all game cards and place in a pile or in a basket.  Take turns drawing cards.  If the card matches the letter and type of squash on your game sheet, cover the space.  If it doesn’t match, put it back in the pile.  Go again or lose a turn if you draw that card.  The first person to cover their game sheet first is the winner.  Practice repeating the listening strategies with your students.  Here are the SQUASH acronyms and what they stand for. Explain the meanings of the strategies as part of your lesson on good listening and review them often in your session!

SAVE YOUR QUESTIONS UNTIL ALL SPEAKERS HAVE FINISHED:  Explain the importance of listening to the entire message before interjecting comments or questions.  It is important to take in all the details of a speakers message to gain full understanding before asking questions or responding.


SPEND TIME QUIETLY LISTENING UNTIL THE DIRECTIONS ARE FINISHED, START TO REPEAT HOW MUCH YOU HEARD :  Reauditorize in your head or repeating directions quietly to yourself or aloud is an effective way to process and remember information.  It is  important to patiently listening before verbalizing the message.


SMART STUDENTS QUICKLY LEARN THAT USING YOUR 5 SENSES AND CONCENTRATING ON A SITUATION  WILL HELP YOU LISTEN FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION :  When you listen with your five senses you take in information in many ways—you listen with your eyes (look at the speaker and observe his/her cues and body language) with your ears (to take in auditory input) with your whole body (by writing notes, touching any tools or instruments that a speaker may be explaining how to use) If you use your senses of touch and sight along with your sense of hearing, you will remember information longer!   


 Butternut Squash Soup 


1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 onion

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste


brown sugar

1/2 cup milk










Peel the tough outer skin of the squash–I use a carrot/potato peeler, scoop out the inner seeds and cube the squash














Place the cubed squash on a large cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for approx 20 min.










In a large pot, melt the butter.  Add the onion and  saute until translucent, about 8 minutes.










Add 5 cups of chicken or vegetable broth to the pot with onions and bring to a simmer.










Place roasted squash into a blender in small batches.  Add some of the broth from the soup pot.  Blend until smooth.









Add 1/2 cup milk and and 4 tablespoons of brown sugar to the mixture you are blending










Pour all blended ingredients back into pot.  Add a sprinkle of nutmeg salt and pepper to taste.  Let simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.









Enjoy a warm bowl of squash soup with some crusty bread.











Summer Soup Series Part II: Gazpacho Soup {with SpeechSnacks for “Idi-Yummy Idioms” card game}

idiom pixs

If you have more tomatoes growing in your garden than you know what to do with, then check out this week’s post—Part II of our Super Summer Soup Series!!  Nothing shouts of late summer more than the taste of fresh garden tomatoes.  This soup is meant to be consumed when cold—something that many of us may not be accustomed to, however once you have a taste of cold gazpacho soup, you’ll be sold on the fresh and refreshing change of pace and delicious summer flavors!  And what a great way to get the kids to experience so many different veggies all in one dish!  **If your kids have issues with textures, you can puree the ingredients instead of chopping to create a smoother soup. This week, I’ve added a card game for learning idioms—you know, those silly expressions,( also known as figurative language) that make our language colorful and fun.  They don’t actually translate literally, but stand for something else.  Hope you enjoy “Idi-Yummy Idioms,” inspired by various veggies.  I chose idioms that contained the names of vegetables.  Each idiom card has a matching definition card to go with it.  Play as a “GO FISH” card game or MATCHING game…get creative,  let the kiddos help decide how to use them!


Summer Gazpacho Soup









I’ve create sequencing cards using my Custom Boards app for the kiddos to practice verbal expression and organizing thoughts with FIRST, NEXT, LAST .  You can print out a copy (with larger print) here. 

This sequence is a “how-to” process for blanching and peeling tomatoes before using them in the soup.  I prefer to remove the skin from tomatoes for soups and sometimes salads to improve the texture.

















5 large ripe tomatoes (blanched and peeled)

1 large cucumber, diced—I prefer English cucumbers which contain no seeds

1 large green bell pepper, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1/4 teaspoon chopped basil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cups LOW SODIUM tomato juice (I prefer to add salt to taste—-regular tomato juice is VERY high in sodium so watch out if you are looking to avoid the extra salt!)

dash hot pepper

salt and pepper to taste

chopped parsley









In a large bowl, combine all vegetables. Stir in vinegar and olive oil. Add tomato juice and hot pepper. Blend well. Add salt and pepper to taste.









Chill for several hours before serving!




Sequencing Pizza—-{with SpeechSnacks for “first, next, last” and good listening skills}


Is it a pizza?  Is it a burger?? It’s both—and your kids will love it!!!  And to close out the month of March with another “green” recipe—I’ve topped this pizza-burger with some healthy salad greens.  I used arugula but any leafy greens will work—romaine, spinach, kale—take your pick.  Top it with a light dressing like balsamic vinagrette or squeezed lemon with olive oil, light salt and pepper. 

Let the kiddos help press and roll out the dough, add the toppings in proper sequence as you have them repeat them back to you and you’ve turned your healthy dinner into a language lesson.    This week I’ve included a sequencing/listening game, a fun pizza itunes app, a recipe for edible play-doh so they can have fun playing with their foods and a pizza themed toy to play at home or in your speech lessons.   There’s enough pizza burger fun to keep ‘em happy, healthy and busy for quite a while! Continue reading “Sequencing Pizza—-{with SpeechSnacks for “first, next, last” and good listening skills}” »

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