#TPTTuesday: Speech Pals – Vocalic /r/

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It’s not hump-day, but it is #TPTTUESDAY!

In our first TPT blog post, we shared our Speech Pals /ɝ,ɚ/ for #FreebieFriday. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, head to our site and download it now! We’ll wait…

Okay! Now that you’ve downloaded our Speech Pals: /ɝ,ɚ/ freebie, you’ve seen a preview of our Speech Pals series! We have Speech Pals for a variety of target sounds. Our goal was to make a resource that maximized opportunities for children to practice their target sounds while also having fun! The colorful pictures and fun animations will surely keep your student engaged!

This week we are featuring Speech Pals: Vocalic R from our Artic Reps series. You can purchase it by itself for 9 dollars or purchase it as part of a mega bundle (e.g., Speech Pals: /r/ Bundle or Speech Pals Mega Bundle).

We all know how tough vocalic /r/ can be, considering there are 5 different diphthongs to work on (e.g., /ɑɚ, eɚ, aɪɚ, iɚ, ɔɚ). Since vocalic r is fairly difficult for students to pick up, we must keep their spirits high while they put in the hard work! We all know what it’s like to have a child get bored reading the same old word lists, but struggle to find the time in our busy schedules to make individualized materials. Well, look no further! Speech Pals: Vocalic /r/ is here!

What is it?

Speech Pals: Vocalic /r/ is a no-prep must-have for articulation therapy, either in-person or virtual, for both readers and non-readers. You and your students will love these fun PowerPoint slides, as they practice their r-controlled vowels at the word level, in short sentences, and then in long sentences with multiple targets.

Repetition is the key to success in the production of new sounds. So with Artic Reps: Vocalic /r/, each r-controlled vowel is targeted 58 times! The characters in Speech Pals are diverse and often find themselves in humorous situations. Also, various parts of speech are represented by the target words, rather than being nouns-only, as is typically used in articulation therapy materials.

Each target sound is represented by a main character (whose name includes that target), plus 9 target words. Each word is in the form of a colorful image that will “fly-in” from various directions, keeping children focused and engaged.


  • PowerPoint Presentation with animations. (PDF available upon request)
  • 5 phoneme sets:
    • /ɑɚ/
    • /eɚ/
    • /aɪɚ/
    • /iɚ/
    • /ɔɚ/
  • Each phoneme set contains:
    • 10 target words (character + 9 words)
    • 9 short sentences (2 target words each)
    • 10 long sentences (3 target words each)

Who is it for?

Speech Pals: Vocalic R is for readers and non-readers alike. It’s for students who are working on vocalic /r/ at the word, phrase, or sentence level. While vocalic /r/ sounds are often the most challenging for kids, it’s not unusual for one vocalic /r/ sound to be more stimulable than all the others. For some children it’s /iɚ/ because the tongue is high and tense; for others, it’s /ɔɚ/ because the tongue is back. That’s why each vocalic /r/ diphthong has its own set to practice in this resource.

How to use it?

To use, click “READ ONLY” to open the document. Then click on the slide number corresponding to the sound position that you want to work on. Open “Slide Show” mode. All you have to do is click for each image to “fly in” or to transition to the next page. Students can read or imitate the target words and sentences. This PowerPoint presentation can be used for individual and group therapy, during in-person and telepractice sessions.

Additional Tips from Worldwide Speech

Are you struggling to elicit the vocalic /r/ sound? Try some of our favorite cues:

  • Say it with a smile
  • Push your lips out
  • Make your mouth a square shape
  • Practice saying “ah, la, er”
  • Show your teeth
  • Use coarticulation (e.g., builder-room)
  • Stretch out the /r/ sound
Head over to our TPT to make your week a little easier. Don’t forget to leave us a review and follow us!

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