Hands On Activities To Illustrate Stuttering

I have been invited to speak to middle school kids next month about stuttering during their Disability Awareness month activities. I will be giving three presentations, one each to the 6th grade, 7th grade and 8th grade. There will be 50-60 kids in each grade level. I’ve done this before several years ago to the same school and found that having activities to engage the kids was very successful. Do any of the professionals have ideas for hands-on activities that will illustrate stuttering for the age group? I’m looking for something quick, fun and that several students can participate in. I already plan to use Chinese finger traps to show getting stuck, and plan to have a contest for the loudest, longest, and weirdest stutter. I would be grateful for other ideas.

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Hands On Activities To Illustrate Stuttering — 5 Comments

  1. You could have the kids play “Speech Spy.” One kid get a speech problem, characteristic, or difference on a piece of paper, and they have to model this as they speak. The other kids have to figure of what the issue or difference is….this can facilitate some interesting discussions of similar speech traits in people the kids know in their personal lives. It’s also a great way to show kids that everyone’s speech is different in some way, at least to somebody.

  2. I’ll be interested to read what some others suggest. A few possible ideas beside the finger trap which is very effective, you might try some of the following ideas, adapted for the different ages:

    After you describe stuttering (are you using a PPT – if not, you could adapt one of the teaching PPTs about stuttering that are online at http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad8/papers/ppt/ppt8.html#games)-Make a Stuttering jeopardy game and have them play jeopardy to see what they have learned using: http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad9/papers/therapy9/kuster92.html

    What Does a Grapefruit Have To Do With Stuttering? An Analogy for Understanding the Experience of Covert Stuttering by Kristin Pelczarski http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad11/papers/therapy11/pelczarski11.html

    The “R” Avoider (probably the 8th graders could do this) Have them describe (in pairs) their favorite video game (or something) in pairs without using any /r/ words. – http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad13/papers/therapy13/kuster13.html

    Have them Draw a picture of how they think your stuttering “feels” inside? OR draw a picture of an iceberg – First have the children describe what they see when you stutter, or use part of the Stuttering Foundation video of For Kids By Kids illustrating stuttering. Then ask them to brainstorm words about what they think it might feel like inside when a person stutters?

    Demonstrate a repetition, prolongation and block. Give them a sentence and challenge them to try to read the sentence in small groups, using each behavior. The rest of the group guesses which behavior they are using or grades them 1-5 how effective they were able to do it.

  3. Hello Pamela, I have so enjoyed all your posts and comments on this year’s ISAD conference by the way. A few years ago, I saw Scott Yaruss give a demonstration that simulated stuttering. He had participants pair up and one person was going to write something, and the objective was to write as neatly as possible. While the person was writing, the partner periodically reached over to bump the writer’s hand. This went on for a few minutes and then he talked about how the writer felt, and what the writer did. He talked about how people who stutter live in a world of “neatness of talking;” that everyone thought we all had to talk “perfectly.” And how we get frustrated or angry, and tense up when speech is disrupted.
    I hope this helps and I am sure your audience will learn much from your presentation! I know that my students and I enjoy your blog, Pam.
    Kind regards,
    Jean

  4. There is a game that I like to play with a large group of kids that is not quite what you are looking for, but I will share it anyway. The purpose of the game is to be a confidence builder for all involved, promote positive comments, and to decrease bullying. It is designed to help kids identify how people have different communication skills and personalities, all of which can be valuable and appreciated.

    I call it “IF I WAS AT A PARTY A sheet of paper is divided into 2 columns.

    First column has 3 starter statements:
    “if I was at a party, I would sit next to you because…”
    “If I had a bad day, i would call you because…”
    “If I had good news to share, I would tell you because…”

    The second column has a list of about 20 different finishers, such as:
    “… you make me laugh.”
    “… you tell good stories.”
    “… you are a good listener.”
    “… you are nice.”

    You divide the room into groups of about 10. Every kid has a paperbag mailbox. Each child fills out a paper for everyone in their group by picking ONE STARTER and TWO FINISHERS. Then, you put the paper in the corresponding bag.

    Every child ends up with 9 sheets of paper telling them how nice it would be to talk to them and why. I have never seen a kid NOT LOVE this activity. My daughter has kept her bag of compliments for 3 years đŸ™‚

    If you want a copy of this game, email me and I will give it to you! thedinge@uthsc.edu.

    Tricia đŸ™‚

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