Functional Problem-Solving Resource!

woman standing beside pineapple fruits
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Sick of playing board games or reading hypothetical scenarios for your speech/language therapy students to problem-solve? Tired of pulling out those dull picture cards? Well, I have finally found a problem-solving resource that is actually engaging and very practical: GCF Global.  Under the Everyday Life section, there are activities about grocery shopping, making change, using an ATM, reading a map, fire safety, and tons of other practical areas.  Of course it’s ideal if you work in a district where you can take your Life Skills students out to utilize buses and grocery shop; however, these virtual activities will allow students to practice the skills on a computer or iPad in the event they cannot go on such trips.  It might also be a good activity to supplement field trips by allows students to practice the necessary skills beforehand on the computer before needing to complete them in real life.

I often stop and start these videos to ask questions and guide life skills students.  What section would this food item be in? Where might we get a map for the subway or bus station?  What is another way people get can directions on how to get somewhere via car or bus (many kids say they use their phone GPS, which I tell them is a perfectly ok way to get around).  Below are some pre-simulation and post-simulation lesson ideas.

Extension and Lesson Ideas for Functional Problem-Solving

Grocery Shopping: Practice categorizing food according to the section you’d likely find it in the grocery store.  Discuss how to ask for help from a grocery clerk or staff person.  Practice requesting & using a grocery store card at the checkout line.

Buses, Trains: Discuss where and how to get bus passes, how to ask for help if lost.  Practice using phone GPS to look up how to get to desired locations via buses/trains/subways.  Problem-solve what they would do if their phone died or malfunctioned and they had to find another way around.

Money:  Bring in some foods or other interesting items and have students “buy” them with real money (they don’t need to actually pay, but you should let them practice buying with real coins/dollars for functionality).

Classifieds, Job Applications: Discuss and learn about the different websites you can use to look for a job (Monster, Indeed).  Practice looking up jobs on these websites.  Print out or practice completing segments of job applications for high school and post-high school jobs.  Role-play using the phone or email to ask questions about a job and follow-up with information.  Simulate job interview question and answer.

Paying Bills, Tax Documents: Role-play calling about an incorrect bill or paying a bill via phone.  Role-play calling the IRS about a taxes issue/error.  Call your own electricity/internet provider and have students listen in and study how to select the right options to get to a representative.

Hope your Life Skills Support students enjoy this great website! Tune in for the next post on how to comprehend lengthy noun phrases in text!

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