Using the holidays as a context for language interventions can be tough, as it’s important to be inclusive of all cultures and celebrations. From a technology perspective, there just aren’t many great interactive resources about the Festival of Lights (anyone want to make some)? Gingerbread, however, while associated loosely with Christmas, is probably fair game in the public school setting!
Now, while websites with excessive, distracting ads are often something I rule out as a potential therapy resource, sometimes sites that are actually a giant, yet somehow unobtrusive ad can be great. This can be said for The Gingerbread Man with Everything site, a simple interactive you can use to decorate a fabulous cookie. Its relation to story grammar will become apparent when you click to browse the gallery of characters from fireman to cheerleader to vampire (it may be hard to explain to your students what the emo gingerbread man is all about, but we have faith in you).
Give it a try- Google Sketchup is pretty easy once you get your feet wet. However, if, understandably, you find it a bit daunting, check out Karen Ogen’s list of interactive web-based gingerbread house creators, another nice context to work on description. Have fun and Happy Holidays!
Sean J. Sweeney, M.S., M.Ed., CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and instructional technology specialist working in the public schools and in private practice at The Ely Center in Newton, Massachusetts. He has presented on the topic of technology integration in speech and language at the ASHA convention and is the author of the blog SpeechTechie: Looking at Technology Through a Language Lens.