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What are Picture Scenes?

A picture scene for speech therapy is an image created by the teacher, as a tool to engage students in conversation, often in a speech therapy class. Conversations may include questions, inferences, following directions, describing what’s happening, vocabulary terms, and so much more! Pictures scenes easily capture the interest of the student in a speech therapy session or in the classroom, as they are often fun and silly, and can be tailored by the teacher to pique individual interests. Check out Storyboard That’s free picture scenes for speech therapy today!

Classroom Picture Scene for Speech Therapy

Why are Speech Therapy Picture Scenes Important?

Picture Scenes Get Students Speaking

Because teachers can easily make their own scenes using Storyboard That, they are able to focus on what interests the individual student, thus making it more enticing for the student to talk about. Without even realizing it, students will practice speech language skills like sentence formulation, expressive language, pronunciation, articulation, and word formation with pictures for speech therapy. Picture scenes for speech therapy target multiple goals, eliciting language in any context.

Visual Scenes for Speech Therapy are Versatile

Speech therapy images are extremely versatile and can be used with all levels of learners. Early learners can focus on simply labeling and naming what they see in the picture, and focus on details and vocabulary. Teachers could also make picture scenes for kids to describe. Older students can use the picture scene to generate story ideas and scenarios, expanding their creative thinking and imagination.

Picture Scenes Can Be Used With Anyone, Anywhere

Picture scenarios for speech therapy can be used with any number of people and anywhere. Print them out, view in the browser, or export a file. They can be used between teacher and student, a pair of students, or a group of students. They can also be used in person or virtually, making them accessible to all students whether they are in the classroom, or learning virtually.

Language Picture Scenes Help Students Practice Conversation

The art of being a good communicator is something that needs to be taught and practiced at a young age. Some of the common “rules” of conversation include:

  • Focus on what you are talking about: Whether you are having a real conversation with someone or practicing speech with a picture, it’s important to focus on one thing at a time rather than jumping around all over the place.

  • Try not to repeat yourself: Keep the conversation flowing without saying the same thing over and over again. Picture scenes can help with this, as they challenge students to organize their thoughts while they are talking about the picture.

  • Be brief: In a natural conversation, it is important to be brief but concise, as to allow the other person to speak as well. This can be practiced using picture scenes when instructed by the teacher to do so.

  • Articulate and speak clearly: This is not a skill that comes naturally to many people, and is necessary throughout life. Practicing speed and articulation using an engaging image is a non-threatening way for students to learn.

  • Ask questions: Asking others open ended questions is a really good way to engage in a meaningful conversation. By having students generate their own questions from a picture, teachers can help their students master this important skill.

Picture scenes help students practice these “rules” of conversation. They will practice taking turns, responding, listening, asking questions, and whatever else naturally comes up while they are talking about the scene.

Picture Scenes Are Useful in Any Classroom

They can be used not only in the speech classroom, but also in the world language classroom; they are a perfect tool for learning a new language no matter what age you are. Scenes could even be tailored towards specific subject areas such as math, science, and social studies!

With so much Storyboard That art at your fingertips, you can create a picture scene for any subject! Teaching geometry? Have students make up a picture scene of angles and shapes as they appear in real life! Working on the rocks, erosion, and weathering in science? We’ve got images for that! How about creating a scene from the American Revolution and having your students retell the story from the image? That sounds pretty great. Check out some specific ways to use picture scenes in other areas as well:

  • Students who take other languages, such as Spanish and French, benefit greatly from picture scenes. Students can discuss the scenes and ask and answer questions about the scenes in the language that they are learning.

  • Using picture scenes with English Language Learners is an engaging and stress-free approach to mastering the language. Teachers can create scenes that appeal to the students’ home country, thus relating to the student and giving them a chance to talk about where they are from.

  • Using picture scenes in a writing class opens new doors to creativity. Students can make up their own stories based upon scenes, use a scene as a story starter, or work with a partner or in a group to build a story off of one or more scenes.

Use Storyboard That to Create Picture Scenes

Storyboard That is the perfect platform for creating pictures scenes for all students. With our wide variety of scenes, characters, and items, teachers can create scenes of all kinds and from all over the world!

Themed Picture Scenes

Teachers can create specific themed scenes that excite and entice their students or are specific to a certain subject. Storyboard That makes it easy for teachers to create stories about animals, history, science, sports, fantasy, and so much more! The two examples below have a great deal of details that students can talk about. In the sports scene, students practice sports related vocabulary, and could even practice discussing the rules of a sport that interest them. In the farm scene, there are several animals, colors, and actions taking place. This picture could even be a segway into discussion about habitats and environments where animals live.

Some sample questions and discussion starters for the copyable storyboard above are:

  1. What are the different sports shown in the storyboard? Do you like sports? What is your favorite sport?

  2. Describe what’s happening in the football scene.

  3. How many different types of animals do you see in the farm picture? What’s your favorite kind of animal?

  4. Would you ever want to live on a farm? Do you think it would be a difficult job to be a farmer?

  5. Make up a story about one or more of the people in the farm picture. Do they live on the farm? Do they know one another?

Social Stories and Feelings

Social stories are individualized short stories about a social situation that children may encounter at any time. They use words and/or images to explain interactions, behaviors, and social skills. Social Stories are not just for younger students; they can be useful for all ages, including teenagers. Disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder, Mood Disorders, and learning disabilities can impede a child’s ability to accurately perceive situations, empathize with others, and regulate behavior. These deficits make it difficult for children to learn appropriate behavior. Students who face these challenges benefit from direct instruction in social skills. Social stories for preschoolers and beyond are just one of many components of a social skills curriculum for helping these students prepare for specific situations and to reinforce positive behavior.

Storyboard That’s characters are quite versatile, as they have many expressions and poses. Teachers can create picture scenes that focus on common emotions and issues, helping students feel more comfortable talking about feelings and other topics that may be difficult to discuss.

Want to use this storyboard with your students? We’ve got some ideas to get you started!

  1. The two students on the right are arguing. What are they arguing about?

  2. What is the teacher at the desk looking at on his phone? He should be dealing with the issues in his classroom!

  3. How does this picture make you feel? Have you ever had a day like this, when everything just seems off?

  4. What are the boy and the teacher in the back talking about? The teacher looks confused, why?

  5. What do you think is going to happen next in this scene? Will one of the teachers take charge? What will the class talk about?

Be sure to check out our resources on Social Stories!

Community Scenes

For early learners, teachers can create scenes that depict different parts of the community such as the grocery store, the school, the hospital, the library, the police station, and so much more. Not only will students be able to verbally describe what they see, they are also learning about important people and places in their community.

To use this storyboard with your students, simply click the “Copy This Storyboard” button. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling!

  1. What are some of the buildings that you see in the picture?

  2. How many people are in the image? How many of them are children?

  3. What is the special of the day at Maria’s Pizzeria? Where did you find this information?

  4. What are the jobs of some of the people in the picture? How can you tell what their jobs are?

  5. What is the dog in the picture doing?

Basic Vocabulary

Storyboard That’s picture scenes are perfect for learning new vocabulary as an early learner, English Language Learner, and students who are taking a World Language course. Teachers can create scenes that focus on specific words that they want students to learn and be able to say, and simply instruct them to point and say.

The sample image above focuses on food and kitchen vocabulary. We have provided some example questions for you to use with your students. Have fun!

  1. What kinds of drinks do you see lined up on the countertop?

  2. What do you see outside the windows? What time of year is it, based on what you see?

  3. How many animals do you see in the picture? What are each of them doing?

  4. List five of the foods that you see on in the picture.

  5. What is your favorite food? Do you see it in the picture?

Focus on Detail

Picture scenes can be used to get students to describe, in detail, what they notice about the scene using adjectives, nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech. Teachers can prompt students to infer with the basic WH questions (who, what, where, why), and see how students respond, or they can simply ask students to describe what they see.

Check out our sample storyboard below, along with some questions to get you started.

  1. The two boys on the left, by the tree, seem upset with each other. What do you think happened to make them angry?

  2. Why is the little girl crying? Think of a backstory and explain what happened.

  3. What are the people on the blanket having for lunch during their picnic?

  4. What time of year is it in this picture? What city is it?

  5. Do the people in the picture generally look happy? Why do you think this?

Story Ideas

Storyboard That has so many scenes to choose from, making it perfect for creative thinking and storytelling. Unleash your students’ imaginations by having them make up a story around a premade scene, or even have them create their own!

There is a lot going on in the scene above. Here are some questions that you could give to your students to get them thinking about their own story ideas based on this image.

  1. What are the UFOs going to do when they land? What planet are they coming from? Why are they here?

  2. What are the three ostriches running from? Or what are they running towards?

  3. Where does the inside of the little house lead to? Make up a story about this land.

  4. There are five hot air balloons in this picture? Who is riding on the balloons? Where are they going?

  5. How did all of these characters end up here? Why are they all together? Do you recognize any of these characters?

Ideas For Using Picture Scenes

  • Point to a character and ask, “What is she doing?” Then have students choose their own character to describe.
  • Point to a scene and ask, “When does this scene take place?” How do you know this information?
  • Ask students to point out which item or items do not belong. Why did they choose these items? What about the items is it that makes them not belong?
  • Ask students to give a detailed speech therapy picture description.
  • Ask students to point to all of the items that rhyme with a certain word. Alternatively, point to an item and have students think of words that rhyme with that item.
  • Ask students to point to and name all of the items in the scene that begin with a certain letter. Alternatively, point to an item and ask students what letter that item begins with. What letter does it end in?
  • Point to an item and ask students to say the word and how many syllables the word has.
  • Practice following single or multiple directions. For example, “Point to the boy with brown hair”, or “Point to the red car, then point to the sleeping dog, and finally point to the airplane.” Alternatively, have students practice giving you multiple directions at a time.
  • Give students one minute to look at the picture. Take the picture away and have students write down all of the things they remember about the image.
  • Point to an item or character and ask students to characterize it as a person, a place, or a thing.
  • Take turns making up a story about what is going on in the scene. Build up on what the person before you has said.
  • Ask inferring questions such as, “Why is the girl crying?”, “Why are the kids wearing boots?”, and “Why are the people arguing?”
  • Ask students to point out certain parts of speech such as nouns, examples of verbs, etc. Have students write a list of the various parts of speech.
  • Teachers can even have students create their own speech picture with specific requirements! This is an excellent activity to practice following directions and using new vocabulary!
  • Have students categorize items in the picture scene in various ways. See what types of categories they come up with!
  • Create two copies of the same picture scene, and make changes to one of them. Have students find the differences and explain them to you!
  • Record students talking about what they see in the image, using our recording option.
  • Will your students be working in pairs or in groups? Give them each the same picture, and have them make a list of all of the things they notice in one minute. Then have the students discuss what they wrote on their lists, noting similarities and differences.
  • Want to work more on following directions? Give students a completed picture scene and have them make specific changes to the scene with step-by-step instructions. How accurate are their changes?

How Can I Use These Scenes Today?

If you would like to use one of our premade examples, simply click on the “copy this storyboard” button. This will take you directly to the storyboard creator and ask you to give your storyboard a name. Once you name your storyboard, you can make any changes that you would like, or save and exit the creator if you don’t wish to make any changes.

This storyboard is now saved in your storyboard library. From here you are able to do many things:

  • Add it to an assignment as a template.
  • Add it to an assignment as a completed example.
  • Print it directly from Storyboard That.
  • Project it to the class if you would like to have several students answering questions about the scene.
  • Download it as a high resolution image, an image pack, a PDF, or even a slideshow!

How To Use Picture Scenes To Teach Social Communication Skills, Such As Turn-Taking, Topic Maintenance, And Perspective-Taking


Choose A Picture Scene

Select a picture scene that shows people interacting with one another in a social setting. It could be a scene from a book, a comic strip, a magazine, or any other source that features people interacting with one another.


Identify The Social Communication Skill To Teach

Decide which social communication skill you want to teach using the picture scene. For example, you could choose turn-taking, topic maintenance, or perspective-taking.


Introduce The Picture Scene

Show the picture scene to your students and ask them to describe what they see in the picture. Encourage them to use descriptive language to talk about the people, objects, and setting in the scene.


Explain The Social Communication Skill

Provide a clear definition of the social communication skill you are teaching, and explain why it's important for effective communication. Use examples to help students understand how the skill might be used in real-life situations.


Model The Skill

Demonstrate how to use the social communication skill in the context of the picture scene. For example, if you are teaching turn-taking, model how to wait your turn to speak and how to listen actively to others.


Provide Guided Practice

Guide your students in practicing the social communication skill in the context of the picture scene. Provide prompts and cues as needed to help them use the skill effectively.


Provide Independent Practice

Give your students an opportunity to practice the social communication skill independently. You could provide them with a different picture scene and ask them to use the skill on their own, or you could ask them to use the skill in a real-life conversation or interaction.


Provide Feedback

Provide feedback to your students on their use of the social communication skill. Be specific about what they did well and what they can improve upon, and offer suggestions for how they can continue to develop the skill in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions about Picture Scenes for Speech Therapy

What is a picture scene for speech therapy?

It is an image created by the teacher, as a tool to engage students in conversation, often in a speech therapy class. Conversations may include questions, inferences, following directions, describing what’s happening, vocabulary terms, and so much more.

Who can use picture scenes for speech therapy?

The short answer is: anyone! While these scenes are especially useful in the ENL, speech, and world language classrooms, they can be used in any classroom for any age group!

How do I make simple picture scenes for speech therapy?

Using Storyboard That’s extensive art collection and layout options, making pictures for speech therapy is a breeze! Simply select the layout and the theme that fits your students’ needs, and add whatever you would like! The opportunities are endless.

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