The TSN Favorites: Free Activities for High Schoolers

by | Oct 29, 2021 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

We are starting a new type of blog that we will be posting every few weeks: The TSN Favorites! These are recommendations from our network members on a variety of topics that are consistent with our mission to provide affordable materials, support, and community to all occupational and speech therapy professionals.

Let's start with the motivation behind this--working with high schoolers and keeping the content age-appropriate, goal focussed, and engaging can be extremely challenging. Obviously, this shifts a bit as our clients get older and post-secondary transition becomes a central focus BUT our group has some free resource recommendations that are both functional and engaging!

smithsonian Tween Tribune

This website is such a great source for short articles to read and discuss while also targeting attention, wh questions, main ideas, components of the story, you name it! There are short videos and articles that you can break down by complexity and Lexile. Plus, there are articles in Spanish.

planning and online shopping

I know I've said this in my blogs before BUT I love doing trip planning, online grocery shopping, etc with my older students. This is low prep but fun: plan a camping trip and fill a cart with what's needed: list-making, maintaining a budget, shifting attention from a written list to an online shipping platform, many great targets! Plus, almost every store has online shopping and so you can get very creative with your trip ideas.


This website is a great way to bring history into your therapy setting, as it contains documents from the National Archives to analyze and then complete related activities. This website does require registration (email, password, educator status) but is completely free! They have some great ready-to-use activities, picture analysis, patent analysis--it's pretty cool. You can analyze a picture of Amelia Earhart or analyze the patent for the first "Flying Machine". We won't judge you if you spend your weekend on this website.

News ELA

This is another free website but does require registration (no card required). There are so many great articles on here--including short stories broken down into separate parts to allow for completion over multiple sessions. There are opinion articles, pro/con articles, multimedia materials, and more.

Minute to Win It brain breaks

It's no secret that our therapy (generally) becomes less fun as our clients get older. These minute to win it games can be a great brain break between some tedious therapy activities. Plus, many of them don't require a computer or extra materials which is great for providers that travel between multiple locations for services.

Cool Math Games

This website contains a good amount of online games that are great as reinforcements during the therapy session. Chess, Snake, Word Games, Puzzles--there's so much to do, and all are great for engagement during virtual sessions. There are some games for younger ages, too, so we recommend trialing your game first to confirm it's age-appropriate.

K12 Reader

This website has materials and printables for all ages that are focused on literacy skills. This website is a go-to in the academic environment when working on sounds in reading, reading comprehension, answering questions, or when reviewing carryover of skills into academic activities.

Financial football

We highly recommend this website as a fun therapy activity that addresses functional skills. This "Madden-like" game requires the answer to financial questions before making your next play. Plus, this website has lessons that can be used to discuss finances but also target language goals, problem-solving, and post-secondary transition.

Still struggling with new material ideas? Join our network and gain access to our material center and material request form (where we make materials that meet your needs) for only $15.99 a year.

Happy therapy!

-Elise and The Therapist Support Network Members