Speech Snacks Super Summer Soup Series! Part I : Garden Veggie Soup–{with “Soup’s On!” /s/ matching game}

soups on pix

This is PART I of a three part series in which I will be featuring soups that are great to make during the warm weather months.  Each post also contains speech and language games created by me!

Summer Garden Vegetable Soup

Just because the weather outside is hot and steamy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bowl of warm soup!  In the summertime many of us grow a bumper crop of  fresh veggies in our gardens yet find ourselves searching for ways to use them once they are ready to pick.  Supermarkets and farmers markets are brimming with many delicious, seasonal veggies as well.  One of the easiest ways to prepare all those  great garden goodies is by making a pot of homemade summer soup.   As  a share-holder at a local farm,  I am fortunate enough to receive an abundance of fresh, quality veggies on a regular basis.   This summer soup is one of the most satisfying and nutritious go-to recipes in my repertoire all season long!!    

I have included a fun game to address the /s/ sound in words, phrases and sentences (page down to bottom of post to see complete game info).  Get the kiddos helping in the kitchen as you identify and describe the veggies and sequence the steps in making the soup.  Print out the photos and have them recall the directions.  Enjoy the many great benefits of this healthy recipe while addressing speech and language skills with your kids.


Serves 6:


2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves chopped garlic

1 teaspoon chopped oregano

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

1 red or green bell pepper–seeded and chopped

3-4 medium carrots, sliced thinly 

1 quart low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 can chopped tomatoes or 4 blanched and peeled fresh, chopped tomatoes

1 cup fresh okra

1 zucchini or yellow squash

3 scallions (green onions)

salt and pepper to taste    












These are the veggies picked fresh from our farm in beautiful Chesterfield NJ.  Buy local!!! Visit your local farm or farmer’s market during the summer months.











When buying fresh okra, look for young pods free of bruises, tender but not soft, and no more than 4 inches long. Okra may be stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag or wrapped in a paper towel in a perforated plastic bag for 2 to 3 days, or it may be frozen for up to 12 months after blanching whole for 2 minutes. Cooked okra can be stored (tightly covered) in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.   Along with containing high amounts of fiber, okra also contains high amounts of vitamins A, C, and B6. Large amounts of calcium, zinc, riboflavin, folic acid, and iron are also present in this vegetable.











Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and oregano and cook just until garlic begins to sizzle.











Sitr in corn, peppers and carrots and cook until softened.  Add vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper.











Add okra and zucchini/squash.  Reduce heat and simmer until okra is tender.    Stir in green onions.  Serve soup with a side such as warm, crusty bread or how about some cheese quesadillas like the ones pictured in photo??!!











Download   “Soup’s On!” Memory Cards for /s/  here.  Glue them onto card stock and laminate for durability.  I tied in the actual ingredients used in the recipe when making the memory card pictures.

To Play:

Each player is given a soup pot.  Get your copy here.  Cut a slit in the inside of the pot and staple another sheet of paper behind it so that the matching pairs will fit in.  Leave the top  unstapled for easy retrieval of the pieces afterwards.


Have players take turns turning over cards as they try to find the matching pairs.

Every time a pair is found, cue the student to say:  “SOUP’S ON!”  This phrase addresses both initial and final /s/.  If the two cards do not match, have the student say: “STILL SIMMERING” (s-blends and initial /s/)

The matching pair is then placed in the soup pot and the student can now address the sound at the sentence level, saying, “Stir some (name the matching vegetable pair)  into the soup.” 

Continue playing until all the matching pairs have been found. 


An Olympic Bagel Breakfast—{with SpeechSnacks for “I SPY Ring Things!”}


I love the Olympics and all the excitement surrounding it—from the impressive and entertaining opening ceremonies to the edge of your seat performances and split second finishes that separate gold from bronze by a fraction of a point or hundredth of a second.  The spirit of competition and incredible background stories about athletes from around the world is truly inspiring!   The symbol of the games, the Olympic Rings, is an image we are all familiar with, no matter what country you hail from, however do you know what the rings stand for??  After doing a little research I found out the true meaning of the rings.  Read these facts to your students and asking them to recall the details.  So many great opportunities to practice asking and answering “WH” questions:

  • The  symbol of the Olympic Games is composed of five interlocking rings, colored  blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field.
  • The colors of the rings  represent the flags of the countries that participate in the Olympics.
  • Every  flag of a country participating in the Olympics includes one of those colors.
  • The five interlocking rings represent the five continents brought together by  the Olympic Movement, or the five main regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
  • As it says in the Olympic  Charter, the five-ringed symbol “represents the union of the five continents and  the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.”

How many rings make up the Olympic symbol?

What are the colors of the rings?

How do the rings relate to the flags of different nations?

What do the 5 rings represent?

Name some Winter Olympic events.

Where are the Olympics being held?

Now that you know what the rings symbolize…let’s get down to the business of turning this icon into a breakfast or snack fit to feed an Olympic athlete!!    Use this opportunity to discuss SEQUENCING (print out the pictures below and order them by FIRST, NEXT, THEN, LAST), VOCABULARY BUILDING and CATEGORIZATION for SHAPES (other things shaped like a ring), FRUITS (can you think of other fruits or toppings that can be substituted for the ones used?? ) COLORS (can you think of other red, green, yellow things??)


First, toast the bagels.











Then, spread on cream cheese











Next, cut up the fruits.   red=strawberries, blue=blueberries, green=green apples, yellow-bananas, black=black mission figs




olympic rings


Last, add sliced up fruit toppings to each bagel in the correct color pattern as the Olympic Rings.


Here are a few other foods I found in the aisles of the grocery store that are ring shaped (dried pineapple rings, cheerios,  onion ring snacks)—-what other ring-shaped foods can you think of??  Go on a food scavenger hunt with your kiddos the next time you are grocery shopping and see what you come up with!!










I SPY RING THINGS!–Print it out here!

One person can be the designated clue giver or take turns describing the ring-shaped items.  Use the carrier phrase “I spy something ring shaped that….”  and give a clue describing the item you want the other players to guess.













Can you guess the answer with just one clue??  Get awarded with a Gold Medal!  Need two clues?  You win Silver!  Three or more clues?  Take home the Bronze!



Print out multiple copies to play the game.  You will need more than three of each medal depending on how many clues it takes to guess the answer.












Beach Snacks {with SpeechSnacks for Ocean Vocabulary}


After a glorious week at the beach and vacation memories still fresh in my mind, I decided to dedicate this week’s post to an essential item needed on your next visit to the ocean— beach snacks!!  And if you have kids, you know how important it is to pack those snacks in your beach bag before heading out for a day of fun in the sun.  After all, riding waves and making sand castles can work up quite an appetite.  This snack will quell the hunger pangs and provide lots of energy. The best part is that each ingredient represents things you find on the beach or in the ocean, which turns your snack into a language lesson in beach/ocean vocabulary!  Mix up a batch of this yummy treat with your kiddos at home as you identify and discuss the vocabulary together.   Take a dive into the  beach-themed game I have created to work on sentence building and descriptive words.  Enjoy, and remember—-”life’s a beach when you have good language and speech!!”










The following foods represent beach items:

pretzel sticks=driftwood

goldfish crackers=fish/ocean life

dark and white chocolate chips=beach pebbles

Cheerios cereal=life preservers

dried fruit=coral/seashells

dried seaweed=seaweed!









Have  you tried dried, roasted seaweed????  It’s paper thin, has a salty, nutty flavor and is so good for you!!  I found mine in Trader Joe’s.


Mix up all ingredients in a bowl.  Store in zip lock baggies—enjoy on the beach or anytime you want a healthy, energy-packed snack!

 Beach vocabulary—-Define it—-Describe it—-Use it in a sentence

I created three different vocabulary game boards–each contains different beach/ocean words





You or your student picks a word on their game sheet and earns points by following the directions in each air bubble.(1 point=define it, 2 pts=describe it, 3 pts=use it in a sentence)

Give out the corresponding number of suns or clouds for correct responses.  Make multiple copies of the the sun/clouds sheet.  Count up all the suns and clouds at the end.  The student with the most suns is the winner!

 Suns and clouds to use as reinforcement for correct/incorrect responses










Tropical Pineapple-Cilantro Salsa {with SpeechSnacks for vocabulary building and sequencing skills}

tropical sorting

If the summer’s heat has you feeling as wilted as your flower beds, then you are surely in no mood to cook!  This week’s recipe is quick, light and refreshing.  It requires no oven, yet you can add a little “heat”  (jalepenos) if you wish.    Get your kiddos involved as you use this opportunity to help them build language and sequencing skills.  Check out this week’s video and get inspired!!  Take them on a journey around the world as you talk about tropical fruits and islands.  Explore your backyard herb garden together as another means of building their vocabulary knowledge.  I’ve also included a sorting task from my TpT store (download and print) for tropical vs. not-tropical items.  Help your kids identify which category the objects belong in.   Wow—all of this is possible simply by creating a recipe together!!  And hang on ‘til the end of the video segment and watch how we make a pineapple-coconut drink that the whole family can enjoy.   Your taste of the islands awaits.   Continue reading “Tropical Pineapple-Cilantro Salsa {with SpeechSnacks for vocabulary building and sequencing skills}” »

Whipped Banana “Ice Cream” {with speechsnacks for a language sundae}


July is here and that means it’s National Ice Cream Month!!  Did you know that Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month back in 1984???  (the Gipper sure loved his sweets….he was also a big fan of jelly beans!!)    To kick off this hot month with something cool and delicious, SpeechSnacks has a video you and your kiddos are going to love.  Check out how we took ice cream sundaes and turned them into language lessons!  It’s a win/win for everyone….the kids get an ice cream party and the parents get to spend a “teachable moment” addressing important language concepts— without the kids even realizing that they are learning while having a yummy treat!    And watch closely for the healthy alternative I share—it’s not ice cream, but it sure looks and tastes like the real deal!!   Enjoy this fun lesson and recipe all rolled (or scooped) up into one!!!  Continue reading “Whipped Banana “Ice Cream” {with speechsnacks for a language sundae}” »

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