Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist

Top, Middle, Bottom activities and apps

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on December 14, 2011


I work with a wonderful Occupational Therapist (OT) and over the years we have done many groups together. We combine fine motor, sensory, social skills and language into our sessions.  This year we noticed most of the kids had a lot of difficult working on letter formations. Not unusual for early elementary kids but it appeared that they didn’t know what top, middle or bottom meant. So we stepped back and set up an obstacle course in which they could crawl through a tunnel, wait at the bottom of the slide, climb to the top of a slide,  go through the middle of a squeeze roller, etc.  The kids hid objects in the room and told there friends where to look… Look under the swing. Look behind the door.  (We see our groups in the Motor Room which has this equipment)

Now with support from our principal and other special education staff we are having the educational paraprofessionals (ESPs) work with the students 5-10 minutes a day on handwriting with a concept twist.  My wonderful OT, Liz,  put packets together with worksheets along with manipulatives (play dough, wikki stixs, animal chop sticks, etc.). I added a handout listing the 50 Boehm concepts. We met with the ESPs and went over the materials. One ESP even had basic concept activities ready to use and share. WOW!  This is the sheet I put in the packets: Basic concepts

We always introduce a letter with a fun  music video. The kids are now asking for it. Check it out:  Alphabet Videos

Working on letter formation always includes starting at the top and involves middle and bottom concepts too. So I have been focusing on these concepts within therapy sessions. Here are some ideas to help with TOP, MIDDLE and BOTTOM.


Art Project:  During my indirect/collaboration week I enjoy doing class lessons in the three special education site base rooms. This one was a brainstorm after checking out the die cuts available in my school.  I made mine based on the winter/Christmas season.  Print out for top middle bottom words

This is the request board I used during the activity.  Request board.   This board was made using Custom Boards by Smarty Ears. This app has a wide variety templates and works like Boardmaker on my iPad. I use it for many activities and love that I can use the provided symbols or import my own.

During the activity the students were able to use the Request board to create the project. As they chose each die cut they were asked if they wanted it on the top, middle or bottom. What doesn’t show on my sample is what we added. I had some googly eyes that were added to the snowman or gingerbread boy. We used lemon head candy and red hot candy as buttons  lights and a star on the top of the tree. They all loved watching it “snow” on their creations. Some kids even requested a blizzard! Being in MN blizzards and snow are common but the day we did this project (middle of December) it was raining which is not that common here!


This app is also from Smarty Ears. You have the option to choose how many concepts you want to present. Cost: 9.99 (Universal)

This app is from Mobile Education Store. This app is designed to help elementary aged children learn the correct use of prepositions and learn how prepositions can change the meaning of a sentence. Cost: 9.99 iPad only

This app is from Doonan Speech Therapy.  Milo the Mouse helps to teach a variety of prepositional concepts. Cost: 2.99 (Universal)

The next two apps are not made specifically for prepositions.  I have used both of these as an i Spy activity with a twist. These apps are based on books by Roxie Munro. Roxie’s A-Mazing Adventure has you hop in a car and drive along roads in search of letters, penguins and more. It has small pictures so you really have to search to find the items. When I am working with elementary kids (k-3) I often find the item and give clues it is under the ___ or next to a ___ etc.  Roxie’s Doors  take you to a fire station, train, barn, etc.  You search for various items on each screen; flashlights, apples and even a kangaroo.

Cost: 2.99 iPad(either)  and .99  iPhone (A-mazing Adventure)


2 Responses to 'Top, Middle, Bottom activities and apps'

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  1. Janelle said,

    Wow this is great! I love the craft & other ideas! And so timely for me; I just assessed a bunch of kids with difficulties with top/middle/bottom (amongst other concepts).
    — @albrechtjn

    • Cindy said,

      Thanks! I did this activity twice today in special ed classrooms and had a blast. The kids always help me think of new things to add, say or do!

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