Wordy Wednesday: Reach for the RRRRRRRRs!

Welcome back to Wordy Wednesday, a new feature on the Growing Kids Therapy blog! Each week, we’ll choose a theme and scour the web to come up with a collection of images related to that theme. This week’s theme: Reach for the RRRRRRRRs! We’ve come up with a set of pictures showing words that start with the /r/ sound. We will certainly be putting these pictures to use with some of our clients who are working on that pesky /r/! How can you use these pictures?

  • Pump up receptive and expressive vocabulary!
    • For receptive (comprehension) practice, show the page with four pictures on it and have your child point to the picture you have named.
    • For expressive (production) practice, present the pictures one at a time and ask him/her to name the picture.
    • For more verbal kids, have them use at least one adjective to describe the picture
  • /r/ is one of the peskiest and most persistent articulation errors around!  Help your child assume the correct articulatory posture by saying, “bite your back teeth, SMILE, and curl your tongue back.”  (The focus on closing the back teeth and smiling helps eliminate lip rounding.  Lip rounding leads to the /w/ sound!  If you are seeing a good lip spread but the /r/ sounds more like /l/, the tongue is probably not lifting up and back.  Production of /r/ is quite tricky, but I find these placement cues really help my kids to “get it”!)
    • Just starting?  Only practice /r/ in single words (just say the name of the picture).
    • /r/ sounds pretty good in single words?  Bump up to the “carrier phrase” level (a repeated phrase you use over and over.  This adds length without adding grammatical complexity).  “I see a ________________” or “It’s a ____________”
    • Mastered the carrier phrases?  Practice saying these words in a sentence!
  • Amp up the fun by printing these pictures and “hiding” them.  Send your child on an /r/ hunt to find the pictures (and name them or practice articulation of course!).  Or, play “I spy” with a flashlight to illuminate the picture you name.
  • You might ask the child what all these pictures have in common. (Answer: they all start with the /r/ sound.) What other /r/ words can you generate? This works on phonemic (sound) awareness skills!
  • With children who are starting to read you can also use this opportunity to work on phoneme-grapheme (sound-letter) correspondence. All of pictures start with the /r/ sound, but not all of them start with the letter R!

We’ve given you the pictures four ways:

  1. One image per page, with words, ideal for learning vocabulary or practicing reading
  2. Four images per page, without words , optimal for receptive language practice
  3. One image per page, without words, good for expressive language practice (ask the child “What is this?” and have him/her produce the answer)
  4. As flashcards, so you can print and cut them out to use in a variety of ways!

Each link is a .pdf file that you can download to your computer, phone or iPad. You can print them out to share or use them directly on your device. (We’re using an iPad to show these images as we work with clients.) Let us know in the comments how you use this week’s Wordy Wednesday pictures! (And since we’re just getting started on this, please let us know any suggestions you have for ways we can improve this feature or any themes you’d like to see.) Up next week: a Wordy Wednesday all about the language of kindness!

~Melanie & Elizabeth

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