Word Retrieval Activities for Adults with Aphasia

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Helping adults with word retrieval skills can be a challenge. Use these simple activities to engage participants in identifying synonyms and antonyms, defining images, and finding words related to a sequence of events.

Word Retrieval Activities for Adults with Aphasia

Helping adults strengthen their word retrieval skills can be achieved in many ways. Use these activities to assist them as they identify variations of familiar words, identify images based on definition, and determine words related to a sequence of events. Each activity can be used one-on-one or with partners. Although each activity requires some making word lists, only ''Image Defined'' requires physical materials. Extension and challenge ideas are included within each activity description to help you differentiate the activity based on the skill acquisition of your participants.

Same and Different

  • No materials needed.

In this activity, participants will identify variations of commonly used words. This skill will help with word retrieval during everyday conversations. Begin by providing a simple example, such as walk, and ask that the participants determine words that mean the same thing. For example, saunter, traipse, and shuffle can all be used to describe walking. Since these words have slight variations in definition, consider providing additional support by acting it out and having the participants think of the word to describe that action. Next, ask participants to determine words that have a different meaning or action, such as sit, run, or stand. Avoid using the words 'synonym' and 'antonym' when conducting this activity so that participants do not feel limited to literal connections.

Image Defined

  • Materials: image cards and definitions

In this activity, participants will identify an image based on a written or spoken definition. This skill will help them with word retrieval based on common tasks and experiences. Begin the activity by providing participants with an image and asking that identify the word. For an added challenge, have participants think of as many related words as possible. For example, if shown a picture of a hand, participants may relate palm, fingertips or thumb.

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