Highlighting Highlights®

– a post by Elissa

So my daughter is in kindergarten. For the last 2 years she has been receiving Highlights® High Five™Magazine each month. I remember how much I LOVED looking at these magazines in waiting rooms when I was a kid. And wow, what a goldmine. School-based SLPs look at how ANYTHING we see, touch, experience can be used in therapy, right?? And lucky for me, my slightly type-A daughter doesn’t like to do anything but read her copies – she doesn’t pull any pages apart, color or draw in it – she keeps them looking pristine. Score for mom. Because I can create a multitude of lesson plans out of these babies!!!

A little background in case you’re not familiar with these gems:

Highlights® has magazines for 2 different age groups. There is the High Five™ Magazine for ages 2-6 and the Highlights™ Magazine for ages 6-12.

Both have a variety of activities including recipes, crafts, Hidden Pictures® scenes, puzzles, games and short stories. Many of the stories incorporate the same characters from month to month and include themes related to the season or upcoming holidays/events. The older version even includes science experiments and nature topics. There are silly pictures to find ͚what͛s wrong͛, 2 picture scenes to discuss similarities and differences, riddles and jokes and matching games. Is your head spinning yet with all of the skills you can target and goals you can address?

Look at some of this fun stuff…

There is always something to discuss using the front cover-describing, predicting, something silly…


Spot makes an appearance each month. Sequencing pictures? Done! A little inferencing. Describe characteristics of fall. Talk about feelings. Always an adventure with Spot!
The title alone, right???  These twins always have a social obstacle to overcome. And cute, short stories allow for wh-questions and so much more!


Articulation anyone? I think I see a few verbs in there too…
So much comparing and contrasting!
Wrap it all up with a recipe or a craft…step by step instructions for sequencing and following directions. Throw in some fine motor activities at the same time!

Are you drooling yet? There is so much more I could share!!!

Don’t have access to a subscription? Have you checked your school or county library?

No worries…check out Highlights Kids for even more – did I mention it is FREE.

Find Hidden Pictures® Puzzles, art activities, games and jokes in the Play It section. Looking for some short stories to work on comprehension? They have that covered in the Read It section. Stories can be read aloud – and some are even animated. How about poetry and articles as well as The Timbertoes: Comic Creator. Why not have the students create their own dialogue describing the pictures, talking about sequencing, constructing sentences…


The Make It section has crafts and recipes plus science experiments!

There is even a Share It section where kids can read what other kids have asked and even ask their own questions!

So basically I have a stockpile of 2 years’ worth of High Five™ Magazine and pretty soon I͛ll be adding Highlights™ Magazine to it…so many preschool and elementary school lessons DONE!

Have you ever used Highlights® in therapy? Comment below and tell us about it!

TV for the win…

tv for the win photoSummer vacation…aaaahhhh! What every school-based SLP waits for ALL year, right? Spending time traveling? Just sitting in front of the TV? Well-deserved time off no matter how you spend it!

But think of all the inspiration you can gain just from watching TV…

I mean does EVERY Looney Tunes character have a speech disorder? And I have yet to watch a newscast without finding something off – a voice, a weird sentence structure, or that tongue sneaking out!

So many TV shows with kids with special needs, someone definitely on the spectrum, and this new show ‘Speechless’ coming soon. Can’t wait for that one!

My favorite part of watching TV these days, though? The commercials! We don’t watch them as much these days with DVR and fast forward, but what a hidden gem!

Google ‘using commercials in speech therapy’ and there are so many great ideas! Especially when it comes to targeting social language skills. Love it!

My favorite right now…a State Farm commercial called ‘Jacked Up’

A girl expresses her excitement over a new car; a man expresses his anger and frustration over his car damage…and they both use the EXACT same words, phrases and sentences to do so.

What can be learned from this short and sweet ad, besides what an insurance company can do for you?

Nonverbal cues

                     Tone of voice and prosody


                                                                                       Making an inference

                                                                                                                        Understanding emotions

The opportunities are ENDLESS!

Video modeling is highly discussed as a tool for teaching social language. Social Skill Builder is one of the many websites and companies that highlights this and provides an overview of the research behind it.

But it is also so much fun*!

(*just be sure you preview the material to make sure it is appropriate for the grade/age level!)

How does watching TV inspire you as a SLP? Share below!