I can’t believe it’s already September! Where on earth did the summer go?

I am looking forward to fall, especially seeing the change of leaves throughout the trees. This song was inspired by a poem that I saw on a teacher’s bulletin board, and it was begging to be turned into a song. (I later realized someone else did this when I found the song on youtube!)

Here is a short video on the intervention, but you can download the directives, adaptations, and visuals.

Download your packet here!!

Little Leaves

Background: When working within school districts, you get to see a lot of amazing bulletin boards. During fall time, I saw these lyrics on a bulletin board as a poem and was instantly inspired to write a song out of it (although I think there are a few versions out there on youtube as well, so check them out too!)

Population: Clients ages 0-10, depending on skill level and cognitive level. 

Goal: To provide varied sensory stimulation, to improve physical skills, to improve fine motor skills (grasping), to identify colors, to improve hand-eye coordination, communication skills

Prep:

  1. Create leaves and a tree either by printing and laminating or by using felt leaves and a felt board. This depends on what your client needs, so think about what would be more supportive of your individual client. 
  2. Use cut out leaves to tape up around the room or hide in various places around the room. 
  3. Have parachute ready in the middle of the room or off to the side if you have clients that have difficulty walking.

Steps:

  1. Begin by singing the first verse of the song (maybe several times through) while marching around the room. Use your own eye gaze to support joint attention skills (look at leaves, look at the client, look back at leaves).
    1. You can encourage the client by modeling one or two or if parents/staff are involved, give them a directive to have the client collect leaves throughout the song. 
  2. Encourage clients to throw the leaves onto the parachute during “whirling, swirling, round and round” 
  3. Increase the song tempo while using the parachute to emulate wind while singing the second verse. During the “Then……..woosh!” part, be sure to pause after then for increased anticipation. On “whoosh” move the parachute up high to blow the leaves all around.  It’s okay if leaves fall out, this gives clients another opportunity to engage their fine motor skills with grasping. Also, after you have implemented this a few times, pausing for a long time before “woosh” may elicit some communication responses as well!
  4. Once the parachute is finished, again sing the first verse while encouraging clients to place the leaves on the tree. Here is a space to use color identification and/or matching. 

Key Element: 

  1. The moment when the client is motivated to reach for and grasp the leaves (when taped on the wall or when on the parachute). Use exaggerated affect to support this!
  2. The anticipation that is created before “woosh!” 
  3. The moment when the client is motivated to shake and engage with the parachute

Adaptations: 

  1. Make this more difficult by hiding the leaves under, around, behind or in other objects. This would then be a great intervention to work on prepositions, longer phrases, and questions. 
  2. Make this easier but putting the leaves in a close space (for clients who are not as mobile) and encouraging them to reach and/or grasp. This works great with a felt board because they are much easier to grab!

I hope that this gives you some ideas for this fall and makes the school year feel a tiny bit less daunting! As always, reach out and let me know what works for you and any idea you may have on making things better– I love feedback!

Kate

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