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14 Great Ideas for Shark Week in Preschool Speech Therapy


Need some ideas for shark week to plan for awesome summer speech therapy activities?

I’ve rounded up preschool shark books, games, and easy craft ideas for shark week plus a free shark activity for you to download.

Shark Week is in July of course.  However, if your therapy sessions are on pause because school’s out in July, grab these shark week ideas for the next time you’re feeling sharky in speech. Anytime works for your shark week. I do my week in May and make it last for several sessions. Plan some shark week fun and watch your student’s engagement soar.

 So, true confession…

I can’t watch Jaws. Or any of those movies where people get eaten. I hide my eyes and cover my ears with scary movies. But I love shark week! Sharks and an ocean theme equal tons of language opportunities for your speech therapy room.

Children are fascinated with the ocean, especially sharks.

Well really, who isn’t? Most of my kiddos have never actually been to the shore, but love talking about mysterious creatures of the deep. Scary things. With big teeth. Huge whales, ferocious sharks, and colorful fish too.  It’s okay though, we keep it not-so-scary for my preschoolers and kindergarteners. Still plenty of fun.

Music and movement ideas

Baby Shark by Super Simple Songs. If you want a fun sound-loaded song for littles, show the video and sing along with Baby Shark!

There’s Baby Shark, Papa Shark, Mama Shark, and even Grandma and Grandpa Shark. We stand up and pretend to swim (and chomp); it really helps to get the wiggles out before sitting down to read!

Five Little Sharks by KidsTV is a count-down song like The Five Little Ducks. Five little sharks go swimming one day, down in the bay, where all the sharks play. Mommy shark calls them, but only four little sharks come back, and so on.

Warning: Baby Shark is one of those tunes that gets stuck in your head. Know what I mean? When you wake up at 2 am and the tune is still on an automatic loop in your brain. Over and over and…how do you make that stop? But that’s another topic, so…

Read one of these fun preschool shark picture books.

Read Smiley Shark in Speech therapy during your shark week or ocean themes. Plus 13 more great shark activity ideas that go Chomp! #speechtherapy

1. Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway is a favorite of mine.
If you haven’t read this adorable book, you should! Smiley Shark is a friendly guy who just wants someone to play with. All the other sea creatures are scared of him and swim away, which makes poor Smiley very lonely and sad. But things change when the other fish are in danger, and Smiley Shark saves the day.

This book is sound-loaded with /sm/, Initial sh and final /k/ because it repeats “Smiley” and ‘shark.” The children really relate to Smiley when he feels lonely with no one to play with, and we got lots of discussions going. This book is full of fun ocean creatures, a shark hero, and a lovely message about not judging a book by its cover. See Smiley Shark read aloud by Give Us a Story.

Goals to target:

  • articulation: /sm/, initial sh and final /k/
  • rhyming words
  • social skills/ friendship
  • feelings/emotion words
  • problem/ solution
  • ocean animal vocabulary

2. Shark in the Park by Nick Sharrat.
A little boy, Timothy Pope, goes to the park with his telescope and thinks he sees a shark through it. He yells “There’s a shark in the park!” But it turns out to be something else.  False alarm. This happens several times until he realizes there are no sharks in the park. Or are there?

This simple story has rhyme and repetitive text which is great for retelling, and we make a telescope with our hands to look through as we tell it! You can listen to Shark in the Park read online.

Goals to target:

  • articulation: initial sh and final /ks/ blend
  • rhyming words
  • sequencing
  • story-retelling

3. Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale.
Clark goes to school, but Clark is too loud, too wild, and just too much shark. Until he learns to stay cool… It’s a great story for talking about social skills, self regulation and taking someone else’s perspective.  Listen to Clark the Shark read online by actor Chris Pine.

Clark the Shark is one of the great storytime videos by Storyline Online. If you haven’t checked out their YouTube channel, you should, it has wonderful videos of books that are read by actors, so the readings are beautifully done. It features storybook readings by Lily Tomlin, Sarah Silverman, and Ernest Borgnine reading Rainbow Fish to name a few.

Goals to target:

  • articulation: /kl/ l-blend, final /k/, Initial sh
  • social skills

4. The Three Little Fish and The Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist
This book is a fun takeoff on The Three Little Pigs and repeats “Little fish, little fish, let me come in!”
It has plenty of repetition of the words shark, fish, and “crunch” for articulation practice and the familiar format is great for participation.

Goals to target:

  • Articulation: initial /f/, initial /l/, final ch and sh
  • sequencing
  • story re-telling

5. Nugget and Fang by Michael Slack.

Nugget is a little minnow and Fang is a great big shark. The two are the best of friends, and they have lots of fun together. Then… school starts and Nugget learns that sharks can eat minnows! At first, he can’t believe it’s true, but then he gets a little scared. Fang tries everything he can think of to prove to Nugget (and his new minnow friends) that he’s not scary, but nothing works until… the minnows get in trouble and Fang saves them!

Check out Nugget and Fang read aloud on YouTube by Bumble kids

Goals to target:

  • Social skills/friendship
  • Feelings/emotion words
  • Spatial concepts: over, under, around
  • Problem-solving

Arts and crafts ideas for Shark Week or your ocean theme

When you do crafts in speech therapy, you can make sure to get lots of repetitions of articulation words by having the children repeat their words in blocks of 5 or 10. (Do you want the yellow fish or blue fish? Tell me “fish” 10 times. Here’s your yellow fish.)
Work on requesting, sentence structure and MLU (sentence length) as the children request each item needed and describe what they’re doing.
Make a shiny shark in speech therapy during your shark week. 14 great ideas that go Chomp! Paint tin foil  to make this shiny shark for your ocean theme! Read this post for 14 terrific speech and language shark week ideas for preschool and kindergarten #speechtherapy #preschool #kindergarten

1. Shiny Sharks Paint tin foil with tempera and swirl the paint while wet. When dry, top it with blue construction paper with a shark cutout- so cool! (We pre-cut those ourselves with a template but it might just make a great project for your upper elementary kiddos to do for you. Kids love to help out little ones.) We added a “Shiny Shark” label to ours.

You can get plenty of articulation”sh” practice talking about sharks. Where do they live? What do they eat?  How do they move? What animals are smaller? Larger?

Make thumbprint fish in speech therapy. Read this post for 14 terrific shark week ideas #speechtherapy #preschool #kindergarten

2. Thumbprint Fish  Practice /f/ and “sh” while making thumbprint fish. Do you think we need to add a shark under the boat?

3. Puppets Make a Shark Puppet or

4. Shark Cootie Catcher with free printables by Easy Peasy and Fun.

5. Play the Shark Race Game. Find this free printable and and more shark week ideas from Goldie Talks Speech.

6. Shark Craft Make this Cupcake Liner Shark by I Heart Crafty Things.

Add some sharp teeth to this scary-looking shark! Read this post for 14 terrific shark week speech and language activities #speechtherapy #preschool #kindergarten
Draw this shark and add  his teeth

7. Shark Teeth Craft Draw the shark above on a white paper template and then use a copier to print it on blue paper. Glue on the teeth- with initial “sh” words of course! If you’re not sure you want to try your hand at drawing one, I created a free printable shark for you .

This printable cut, color and paste page is one of the Shark Week activities for preschool speech therapy in this post. This worksheet shows a large shark that has been colored blue. It's mouth is wide open Triangular teeth with articulation words written on them are glued in his mouth, while smaller sharks swim behind him.

Sensory bin ideas for Shark Week

Give your sharks a bath! I think a little soap in the water is not only fun and bubbly but keeps those little hands sanitary too. If you want to find more waterplay ideas, check out this post: April Showers! Why You Should Include Waterplay in Speech and Language Therapy.

Give your sharks a soapy bath in speech therapy or your preschool centers for shark week. Read this post for more fun ideas for pre-k and kindergarten shark and ocean themes.

Water Beads These are always fun.  I love the slippery texture and so do the kids. Use blue beads and have your sharks swim through them. Which shark is below the beads? Is he diving, chomping or swimming?

Play a Group Game

Baby Shark: Play this game like London Bridge if you have a larger group of children (5 or more would work). Two children hold hands and raise their arms up to be the “jaws.” The other children are the fish. They make a circle and walk under the jaws while you sing to the London Bridge tune:

Baby shark is hungry now
Hungry now
Hungry now
Baby shark is hungry now
Snap, he got me!

Of course, you lower your hands and catch a child when you sing “snap!” And guess what? you’ve just practiced /sn/, /k/ , /h/ and “sh”. I love repetitive activities!

There are plenty more great activities in this Smiley Shark Book Companion:

If you’d like more ready-to-go summer speech therapy activities for shark week,  you may want to check out my Smiley Shark Book Companion. It has activities for littles and some for older students too, so you can easily use it with PK- 2nd grade.

All my kids love the Fishbowl Frenzy game. Older kids roll the dice to fill their fishbowl, little ones just get to pick a card for each response. This game is open-ended, so it works with any goal you are targeting.

Category sorting and syllable counting under the sea! Read about this Smiley Shark Book Companion plus 14 terrific ideas for shark week in preschool speech therapy
Ocean-themed category sort activity and syllable counting

We sorted ocean animals and jungle animals with the sorting mats. They really enjoyed using dot markers to dab the number of syllables in all those fishy words!

Yes-No and WH question comprehension cards. Read about this Smiley Shark Book Companion plus 14 terrific ideas for shark week in preschool speech therapy

I created WH questions and Yes/No question cards to work on listening comprehension. Other activities included for this adorable storybook are sequencing, articulation for /l/, sh, plurals, rhyming, inference, and prediction.

Have fun with these shark week summer speech therapy Ideas!

If you have any favorite shark activities or if you try some of the ones I’ve shared, I would love to hear about it! Leave a comment here or tag me on social media.
Don’t forget to pin this post to your boards if you see ideas you’d like to try, to make it easy to find these ideas for shark week later. You can find even more ocean-themed ideas on my Ocean, Shark, and Fish Pinterest board.
If you love using themes in therapy like I do, be sure to follow Speech Sprouts on Pinterest. I’m always adding more themed ideas.

Until next time my friends!

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