How to Use Picture Scenes in Speech Therapy (+ free scenes!)

how to use picture scenes in speech therapy

Picture scenes are a versatile and engaging tool to use in speech therapy to work on many expressive and receptive language goals. Including grammar, wh questions, following directions, inferences, conversations, and much more!

I am all for activities that target multiple goals – and these are no exception! Picture scenes decrease planning time because of the many goals you can target. Their versatility also makes them great for mixed group therapy. Even better, I have a Pinterest board with over 150 FREE PICTURE SCENES ready for you to use – no printing necessary!

Feel free to pull this web page up in your session to work on any of the skills listed below. These are images from the internet that I have saved on one webpage (pictured below.) You will need a Pinterest account and you can click on any picture scene to make it bigger and use it in your session. These scenes are busy, so I don’t recommend using them to teach the beginning stages of concepts or for those students who get distracted or overwhelmed easily with visuals.

picture scenes




I love to use these scenes to work on conversational turn-taking or initiating conversations. They are silly enough to pique interest and work on these skills before moving to a less structured approach. Present your student (or let them choose) a  picture and have them start a conversation based on it. You may also see how many times you, or 2 students, can go back and forth with questions/comments about the picture.


Many of these scenes have a theme – camping, at school, swimming, at the park, etc. Use these themes to teach vocabulary and discuss associations, categories, and negation. Why do you take a tent camping? Which doesn’t belong?


Most of these scenes are packed with people doing things. This makes them perfect to talk verbs – present, past, or present progressive. I like to use these scenes as a generalization tool for this instead of the beginning stages of teaching verbs. Use the scenes to point to a character and ask: What is she doing? What did he do?


Use the scenes to work on answering various questions correctly: Who is that? What is that? Why is he crying? Where is the dog? When do you go swimming? It’s easy to come up with different types of WH questions to ask with the variety of scenes and many things happening in each one.


Have your students work on sentence formulation with an engaging scene of their choice. Ask them to describe something they see. If needed, prompt your student with a more specific question, such as: Tell me what the boy did. Use a sentence scaffold to focus the sentences on including something specific, for example, pronouns or past tense verbs. (eg. He/she + is + -ing.)


Give simple 1-step directions or complex multi-step directions! For example, “Point to the chair” or “Touch the girl with brown hair, then find the boy sleeping, and last point to the red car.”


These fun scenes are great for making inferences. Why are the kids wearing gloves outside? Why are the kids laughing on the playground? Why is he crying?


Since these pictures are packed with people, it’s easy to work on nouns (boy, girl) and pronouns (he, she, they, his, hers, theirs). Ask: Who is that? Who is running? Whose car is it? 


Discuss where the scenes are: outside, inside, at the park. You may also test generalization skills of various prepositions: in, on, under, near, far, between, in front, between, above, below, or prepositional phrases.


I began creating my own scenes because of how integral scenes have become in my therapy. In these resources, I include supplemental activities of task cards, WH questions to ask, and sample directions to give your students.

Download a free birthday party picture scene with pre-made WH questions and 1-3 step directions.


free picture scene speech therapy Find 23 full versions of these language scenes for various holidays and seasons – check them out! language picture scenes



Another way I use scenes to target many language and articulation goals is through barrier games! Read about what they are and how to use them – and grab a free one in this post! Why You Should Be Using Barrier Games in Speech Therapy

Have you ever utilized picture scenes in therapy? What other skills would you target?

You may also be interested in these Pinterest boards:

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picture scenes speech therapy

7 Responses

  1. i wish somebody did picture scenes to target articulation. a scene loaded with words with the target phoneme at Initial, medial and final postions. i find it very hard to work at sentence level with kindergarteners. they cant generate sentences

  2. Dear Allison,
    Thank you for this post. And for the blog which I have just found out about.
    Actually, I am neither a speech therapist nor a parent, only a humble teacher of English as a foreign language but since I work mostly with pre-schoolers and primary, I am always on the lookout for new ways of maximising production in kids. It is a real relevation that there is so much that I can learn from the techqniues and approaches that you are sharing and adapt them to second or foreign language teaching and learning. Simply: Wow!
    I have found one of the ‘silly picture scenes’ and your post only today, so there is no real classroom experience to be shared, not yet, anyway, but I am pretty excited about trialling and testing them with my students soon.

    Thank you once more!
    Happy New Year!

  3. Good info however, I went to the pinterest board and none of them are free, am I missing something? Where are the 100 free scenes?

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