Go Fish the Ultimate Speech Therapy Game

There are jokes and great t-shirts about Speech Language Pathologists and our game playing skills.  My favorite is “I play games for a living, what do you do?”

Because lets be real, games are an amazing tool for teaching speech and language.

So, evidently, I am a master at Go Fish.  During a recent therapy session one of my students said, “Ms. Shannon I hope you are playing Go Fish with us today, because I need a challenge.”  Another student asked how I got so good at Go Fish.  Here are a few of my secrets!

  • I listen to the kids.  My ADD may inhibit my listening skills during meetings, but I can pay attention during Go Fish... Hehe haha
  • Ok, so I really just put the card the child says in the order in which they are sitting.
  • I will not admit to every seeing kids cards by accident…  I really try not too look, so I use this as a teaching tool.

Go Fish and Articulation Practice

  • Word level practice
  • Phrase and sentence practice – “Do you have a…”  “Go Fish” “I am fishing for a …”
  • Reduces the “card factor”.  This is what I call a students ability to perfectly say a word while at the speech table, but can’t generalize to different settings.

Go Fish and Language/Pragmatics

  • The nature of Go Fish makes this a great game for pragmatics.  Students have to ask their peers for cards.  This creates a natural reciprocal conversation pattern.
    • Turn taking
    • Asking and answering questions
  • Sometimes I really switch things up and have my children only use eye contact and body language to show who they are asking.
  • I will use my articulation cards and then have students ask by the feature, function, or class instead of the name.
  • There are card sets that have multiple meanings, synonyms, antonyms, and more.

These are just a few examples of the value in a good old game of Go Fish!