The highs and lows of the Elf on the Shelf
I won an Elf on the Shelf kit. I debated about using it at my school. My students are in K-4th grade and 98% are from different cultures. But since I won this kit I thought we could add our own twists to it.
I told each group that we had visitors move into the speech room. We skimmed* through the Elf on the Shelf book and talked about who celebrates Santa and who didn’t. I shared that our elf was a girl so my first group (1st graders) were the lucky ones to name her. Meet Lucy who now hangs out in the speech room.
*(I often just use a books pictures and make it fit my students needs vs. reading it word for word.)
We learned that she has two rules.
- She can’t talk to us.
- Only adults can touch her otherwise she would lose some of her magic.
She keeps an eye on us to be sure we are all doing our jobs during speech. Yes even me. If we are not following a direction or getting a little too silly someone often states “Lucy” and surprisingly it works!
I understand the whole Elf on the Shelf can do some really crazy things herself. But not ours she is very well behaved and just likes to keep tabs on what we do in speech. So here is how we use her. When each group comes in they look for her and need to say “I found her. She is under the desk (or wherever)” Making a statement that “She is right there” won’t fly in the speech room. The students then get to decide where she should be next. This leads to a lot of practice for prepositions and even a fun game of “hot or cold”. If you haven’t played hot or cold it’s what you say when you are close (hot) to Lucy or far away (cold). The best terms we have used are “hot chocolate, icicle, North Pole” I’m sure you could think of others.
Remember I said we had 2 visitors move in… well meet Steve the Dwarf in the Drawer. And yes the students named him too. I’m thinking his name came from a character in minecraft.
“Steve” introduced himself this past summer in a clearance section and he begged me to take him home. So being a good SLP I knew I would find a way to use him in therapy. He also comes with a book. I again just skimmed through it with my students and told them that he really doesn’t like Lucy. He doesn’t think these Elves should be watching and reporting to Santa about us, let alone moving in! He lives all year at the house/speech room and hates having his routine interrupted.
He doesn’t like rules so anyone can touch him but he’s not much of a talker. The students do the same thing spotting and moving him each day too. He just doesn’t want to be too close to Lucy. He can hide in more places too as he doesn’t need to keep an eye on us. He’s making sure Lucy isn’t too much of a busy body or taking down wrong information about us.
Having two visitors has made this month a fun way to target different IEP goals.
- prepositional concepts
- descriptive language
- social skills: cooperation/team work
Oh and one more twist – my kit came with the birthday kit also. So students who have birthdays this month were thrilled to see that Lucy dressed up for them. Who knows maybe she will hang around and celebrate more birthdays.
So have you used the Elf in your setting? What twists have you added?