Top 5 Uses for Stock Photos in Speech - Language Therapy

I recently discovered a photographer on TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) who was offering a fabulous deal of a one-time payment for literally dozens and dozens of beautiful stock images to be used in resources or for marketing or your therapy or classrooms.

uses for stock photos in speech therapy

I am always on the hunt for good photos that I can use both personally and commercially.  Thinking about how I could use Elizabeth’s photos really sparked some thinking (which, I admit, still hurts my head some days).

So, what are my top 5 tips for using these photos in therapy?

  1. Describing skills: tell me about this picture
  2. Compare and contrast skills: how is this picture the same as that one? How are they different?
  3. Barrier games: give 2 students the same photo and a group of other objects to place in the photo to play a barrier game (see this post on barrier how-to’s)
  4. Labeling skills: tell me what it is (my least favorite, by the way)
  5. Association skills: where would you find this? What else would you find there?
    uses for stock photos in speech therapy

Let’s start with describing.  I want students to tell me everything they can beyond the label(s) of the item(s) in the photos.  I always have visual cues for students who need the visual reminder to tell the category, location, function, size, shape, color, amount, texture, taste and sound and smell (if applicable).

Then they can compare and contrast.  There are multiple photos of the same object(s0 in this resource, so there might be a picture with 10 colored pencils laid in a neat row across the top of the page that can be compared to a picture with a hand grasping those colored pencils in a bunch.  The pencils are the same, their colors and sizes and shapes and even degree of sharpening are all the same.  Their location is different, and the addition of the hand in the second photo is different..

How about a barrier game?  Barrier games are played by having two students facing each other, but with a barrier between them that prevents them from seeing each others’ papers.  Both have an identical group of smaller pictures or objects to place on the page.  
One student tells the other which of these smaller objects to place on the photo, and where to put it/arrange it.  At the end, the barrier is removed and students can compare their two pictures to see if they are the same.  
If not, where did they go wrong?  Were the directions not clear enough?  Did the listener not process the directions correctly?  Help the students figure out what each did well, and where they went astray.

And here is a link to a bundle of fun barrier games in my store.  I also have seasonal and other fun themes.

Labeling and association are the easiest of the skills to work on.  Can students name the familiar, every day objects in the photos?  Can they name pencils, pens, markers, rubber bands, pumpkins, leaves, and more.  Can they tell you what other things you might find in the same places?  For example, if you have pencils and paper clips, can you tell me where you would find them, and name 3 things you would also find there?

Bonus: You can also use clip art and symbol cards to create more therapy activities from these photos.  For example, I might use one of the leaf photos and one of the pumpkin photos and have pictures of kids raking, jumping, carving, choosing, etc.  Have students sort which actions go with which photo, then use a sentence to tell about what the kids are doing.

Have fun with these great photographs.  You can find Elizabeth Coller’s Stock Photos store on TPT.

Check out my activities for describing and defining and my visual cues for telling about.

And.... keep on talking!


  1. These are great ideas for using photos to elicit language! Thanks!!

    1. Thank you for reading my post. I try to provide tips for intervention that doesn't require spending a lot of money. This was so simple yet effective.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.