Using Jokes and Riddles in Articulation Therapy

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

Generalization is everything.



I LOVE articulation and phonological therapy. It's one of my favorite parts of being an SLP. Have you ever had your eyes fill with tears when a student finally produces a sound correctly after weeks or months of trying? I certainly have. Have you had a student go from being 70% intelligible to greater than 95% intelligible over the course of one school year? Yep, me too...and it's magical.


But...one of the most challenging aspects of our job is ensuring that the sounds our students or clients work so hard on in the speech room generalize to other environments.


I don't know about you, but my students get a little bored with reading and conversation carryover activities. That's why I LOVE using jokes and riddles featuring their sounds to encourage generalization.





Why are jokes and riddles so great for articulation therapy? Well, first of all, kids love them. They are intrinsically motivating, so your students will enjoy learning them. Second, they encourage multiple repetitions: not just in your speech room, but throughout the day! When your student learns a funny joke or riddle, he will be repeating it all day to friends, teachers, and his parents.


So when do I start using jokes and riddles in articulation therapy? When my students are at the sentence level or above. For groups with students at different levels (i.e., some still at the word level), I have those students practice the word in the riddle with their target sound multiple times.


My "That's Punny Articulation Riddles" worksheets are available in my shop or my TPT store. They feature sounds k, g, f, v, s, sh, th, ch, l, and r. But you don't have to use my worksheets! There are incredible websites with loads of kid-friendly jokes. My favorites are here and here. Your students can search for jokes, riddles, or puns that contain multiple repetitions of their sounds, then draw their own depictions of them!


Do you use humor and jokes in your speech room? How do your students respond? I'd love to hear about it!