Posted by Emily Richardson in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sometimes you put great care and time into lesson plans, preparing materials, and organizing your approach.  Other times, things just fall into place and you luck into an amazing therapy session.  This happened last week and I wanted to share it with you in hopes that you can recreate a HAPPY therapy session!

I’ve mentioned before that I push into three classes for students with Autism, and those groups are definitely highlights of my day. One of the teachers wanted to focus on the emotions of happy and sad with her students.  So we read some books, sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, and made some faces incorporating choice making for color and emotions.

Materials to sort pictures by emotions of happy/sad

Materials to sort pictures by emotions of happy/sad

On the fourth day of this unit, I walked into the class for this magical session.  Seriously, it made me so HAPPY!  As much as I’d like to take credit for the layout of the session, it was actually the creativity of the special education teacher.  She had prepared the graphic organizers for students to sort magazine photographs by happy/sad.  They have also been focusing on the triangle and circle, so weaved this into the communication lesson as well.

Using the materials for color choice making

Using the materials for color choice making

How’s this for an easy choice board…we flipped over the papers and let students choose the color they wanted.

Using Mr. Potato Head to reinforce happy and sad

Using Mr. Potato Head to reinforce happy and sad

Many of the students required modeling and hand-over-hand to complete the activity. Even though there are often 3-4 adults in this group, they often need something like a puzzle to keep their busy little hands occupied.  For this lesson we let them assemble Mr Potato Head (talking about him being happy or sad, of course!)

Usinga  visual choice board to request materials

Using a visual choice board to request materials

The children were really into this and did a great job of selecting pictures to sort.  They worked hard this session because they also had to request glue each and every time.

Dancing to Pharrell's "Happy"

Dancing to Pharrell’s “Happy”

We ended group with a “Happy” dance session.  This was by far my favorite moment of the week!  We found “Happy” through YouTube and every single child jumped up and started dancing and clapping (adults too!).  Many even let me twirl them and dance with them.  Now this is a song where I can actually learn the words!  I hope you can use this as inspiration to create a little bit of HAPPY in your therapy room!

emily purple

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