goodnight

Good Night Gorilla

Book: Good Night, Gorilla

Author: Peggy Rahmann

Age: preschool, early elementary

Description: A sneaky gorilla steals the zookeepers keys, and lets out all of the zoo animals. They follow him home, all without him ever realizing.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Syllable sequencing (velar-alveolar sequence)
  • Animal vocabulary (zoo animals)
  • Perspective taking
  • Early Narrative
  • Reading Body Language
  • Early Prediction

Why I like this book: It’s one of my favorites because it can be used for so many goals. It’s consistently a hit with my younger friends, but also a great almost “wordless book”for my friends who are working on their narrative skills.

Ideas for use:

  • For kids working on sound sequencing (i.e. apraxia or underlying motor planning difficulties) they can practice saying “good night” (2 syllable velar-alveolar sequence) or “good night X” (3 syllable sequence) as the zoo keeper says goodnight to each of the animals on the story. Pair with touch cues. Great repetitive practice.
  • For other speech production kiddos maybe with “fronting”- good practice of /g/ (but challenging with the co-articulation….so consider that…)
  • Great book for perspective taking. Does the zookeeper “know” that the gorilla is out? Why not? Act out to help with understanding. There are lots of opportunities to discuss what characters are “thinking” and “feeling” (i.e. Gorilla is thinking “wahoo! I’m out…who else can I play with?”). Pair with cut out “thinking bubbles.” Copy pages and write in actual thinking bubbles
  • Lots of great body language to interpret and act out
  • A great book for early prediction. Who might the Gorilla let out next? (i.e. Is a cow a good guess? How about a tiger? Why is a tiger a better guess?, etc.)
  • A great story to retell. Have kiddos use their own words to tell you what is happening. Encourage temporal markers, and appropriate sentence structures.
  • For younger re-tellers- use pictures supports of the animals and sequence the order. Practice first, next, then, after that, etc.

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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super-sam

Super Sam

Book:   Super Sam!

Author: Lori Reis
Age: Preschool, Early Elementary
Description: Sam becomes a super hero by tying on a blanket as a cape. He then entertains his baby brother with his superhero “abilities.” He also saves the day when his little brother needs him.
Goals/Concepts:
  • /s/ production(word, phrase, simple sentence level)
  • sequencing
  • early narrative (retelling)
  • reading body language

Why I like this book: This book is short, simple and loved by kids. Many kids can relate to the sibling dynamic as well, which often opens the door for more language.

Ideas for use:

  • Given the repetative nature of the story, have kiddos “read” the story to you with accurate /s/ production. Have them repeat after you to get started and then “read” on their own
  • Have them retell the story using their temporal markers of first, then, next, etc. Encourage them to use their own words, and use the pictures to help them along
  • A great story to “act out.” Find a blankie and have them “be” Sam. What does he do first, then next, etc. Use a stuffed animal as the younger brother, or another child if available!
  • Act out and point out the body language. How does the character feel? Why? How can you tell?
  • A great book for discussion (if appropriate) of how they try to make their sibling (or other family member) happy. What do they do to make them laugh?

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Eleph_Pig_can_i_play_too_lg

Can I Play Too?

Title: Can I Play Too?

Author: Mo Williams

Age: Early Elementary

Description: Piggie and Elephant plan to play catch when another friend (snake) wants to join in. They are struggling to figure out how include snake because he doesn’t have arms! They work together and after some failed attempts, come up with a solution!

Goals/Concepts

  • social language
  • friendship
  • perspective taking
  • reading body language
  • emotions
  • flexibility

Why I like this book.: A wonderful book to teach friendship. They don’t quit until they can find a way for everyone to be included and happy.

Ideas for use:

  • A great book for reading body language. Use cut out thinking bubbles and discuss how characters are thinking and feeling and why.
  • Read to a social group. Discuss how everyone was included.
  • Role play how to think of a role for everyone. Give them a game (i.e. tag, catch, hide and seek, UNO, etc). See if they can think of a “role”if someone were to join (i.e. change the game, add another “job” , wait and take turns, etc.)
  • Great for discussing and modeling less straight forward emotions such as “embarrassment, concern, determination, etc.”
  • Great book to read when working on tone of voice. Have the kiddo “act” as a character, and read their lines with appropriate tone of voice and body language.
  • Talk about flexible thinking.  After trying the same solution to the problem over and over again, how did Piggy come up with a totally novel idea?  Talk about other ways this problem could have been solved.  Create a “problem” in a game and have the kids solve it to practice including everyone.
  • When snake was accidentally hurt,  he didn’t get angry because he understood his friends were trying to help.  Talk about intention and attitude with kids.  This is especially important for kids who have trouble reading body clues and for kids with sensory modulation issues.

Submitted by: Meghan Graham M.S. CCC-SLP and Jill Perry MHA M.S. OTR/L

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bucket

How Full is Your Bucket?

This book review has been reprinted with the express permission of the author, MJ Fledderjohn, from her blog found at PreschoolSpeech.com.

Title: How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids

Author: Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer

One book I read in my pragmatics language group following a unit on feelings is the story How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer (see http://strengths.gallup.com/114595/Welcome-Bucketbook-com-Users.aspx for more information).  This book demonstrates visually for children how we each feel and how our actions and words impact ourselves and each other.  The premise is that we each have an invisible bucket, which has “water” added to it when words/actions make us feel better (so that we feel great when it’s full) and has “water” removed from it when words/actions make us feel worse (so that we feel the worst when it’s empty).  The idea is to have the children begin to understand how their own feelings are impacted by the environment and others and to understand that their actions and words positively or negatively affect others.  They also begin to learn that filling someone else’s bucket can fill their own bucket, too!

At home, use a small bucket or other container (maybe a plastic cup) for each family member.  Keep a stash of small objects nearby to use to fill them, such as pompoms, cotton balls, paper water droplets, or marbles.  Add and remove them throughout the day, or start with just an activity like a family board game or dinner.  It may help initially to draw or attach a face representing the feeling for each level of the bucket (ex:  very sad/crying face at the bottom, an “o.k.” face in the middle, and a very happy face at the top).

Consider pairing this with looking at books on feelings or pictures in magazines or story books to identify whether each person is having water added to or removed from his/her bucket.  Initially, you can comment on them, and then begin to help your child identify them.  As your child gets good at identifying whether the actions/words are resulting in added or removed water, you can talk quantitatively about the amount of water that might be added or removed.  For instance, a little water might be removed when someone gently bumps a person (something that’s a little deal), but a lot of water would be removed when a child’s favorite toy has broken (something that is a big deal).

* As always, discuss this information with your child’s SLP for information on its relevancy and any appropriate accommodations to his/her communication needs.

By Mary Jane Fledderjohn, MS, CCC-SLP/L

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bear

The Bear Next Door

Book:  The Bear Next Door

Author: Ida Luttrell

Age: Early Elementary, Elementary

Description: This early reader chapter book consists of 3 chapters depicting the relationship of a gopher and his new next door neighbor who is a bear. Gopher and bear learn how to be good neighbors and friends to each other, but have some bumps along the way.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Perspective Taking
  • Theory of Mind
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Social Language
  • Trickery

Why I like this book: For struggling readers, this is a great “chapter book” with pictures to break up the text.

Ideas for use:

  • A great story for perspective taking. Chapter 3 provides a perfect “theory of mind” opportunity. Help children understand what 1 characters knows, that the other doesn’t. Use thinking bubbles (cut out of paper, use a white board, etc.) above characters heads to discuss their thoughts and why. If this is really challenging, “act out” the story to help with understanding.
  • A great story for reading comprehension when you want somewhat lengthier level text. Read to children and follow up with comprehension questions. Can try with and without pictures support.
  • Have a discussion about how to be a good neighbor. What is important to think about? Chapter 1 would be a good example of how behavior affects others. Tie in with Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking © curriculum (www.socialthinking.com), and use the Social Behavior Maps. What was “unexpected” that the Gopher did (i.e. put his sprinkler on right by Bear’s furniture), how that affected others (Bear’s furniture was wet, he was covered in mud, etc.), how that made Bear feel (frustrated), the conquences (Bear is angry, doesn’t want to spend time with Gopher, etc.), and the affects on Gopher himself (feels terrible).

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Watch Me Throw the Ball

Watch Me Throw the Ball

Title:  Watch Me Throw the Ball!

Author:  Mo Willems

Description: A clever multi-level story about the pure joy of throwing a ball regardless of skill and how to support a friend, keeping unnecessary competition out of the picture.

Approximate Age/Language Level: Preschool, early elementary

Goals/Concepts:
• competition
• futility of bragging
• learning new motor skills
• friendship
• turn taking
• reading nonverbal communication
• emotional regulation
• tone of voice

Why I like this book: Elephant and Piggy are true friends who enjoy and sometimes annoy one another. They show off at times and also learn from each other. I love the many aspects of friendship that are represented in this book. It also depicts the importance of having fun in a motor-based activity…even when you are not too skilled.

Ideas for use:
• read before teaching a new motor skill and discuss the value of having fun as you learn
• read to a group of children before or after recess, de-emphasizing competition
• have kids act out the story and talk about which attitude feels better
• have kids re-tell the story by looking only at body language and facial expressions in the illustrations
• discuss what makes a friend and how friendship was evident in this story
• talk about false pride and bragging and how it makes others feel. Use thinking bubbles to help kids think about what others are thinking

• See if kids can identify the tone of voice the characters are using, and how that makes the other feel as well. Have kids imitate and “try again” with a more appropriate tone of voice. How does that change the situation? Maybe even practice using different words? (i.e. Good try, I can help you vs. You did not throw that very far!)

 

Submitted by: Jill Perry MHA, MS OTR/L and Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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swallowshellbook

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell

Title: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell!

Author: Lucille Colondro

Age: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: This story follows the same sequence as the little old lady who swallowed a fly. However, this is a beach theme, with the little old lady swallowing sand, water,  sea gulls and more.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Sequencing
  • Early Narrative Skills
  • Beach Vocabulary
  • Why questions
  • Phonological Awareness (rhyming)

Why I like this book: The absurdity of the story itself, always hooks kids.  Especially the “burping” and “throwing up” concept that happens in the story.  A great summer read, as many kids spend lots of time at the beach.

Ideas for use:

  • Photo copy the pages, and have children put the story in order after reading it.
  • Use cut out pictures from magazine, or Boardmaker software pictures of the various parts (shell, crab, seagull, etc.), and have them place in order as it happens in the story to keep them engaged
  • Highlight “why” questions when reading this story. Why did she swallow the crab? (so it will live in the shell!)
  • Have children attempt to fill in the blank of the rhyming word when reading (i.e. I don’t know why she swallowed the shell…she didn’t____ (tell)). See if they can generate other words that rhyme with the target.
  • A great story to discuss beach vocabulary, or water animals (crabs, lobsters, sharks, etc.). See if kids can generate what they would bring to the beach and what they would see. Use big paper and have them draw and generate a beach scene.
  • Do a simple beach craft with simple sequencing (i.e. make a crab or shell out of a paper plate, make a starfish and cover with ‘real” sand, etc.). Focus on the sequence and include temporal markers (first, next, then, etc.). You can even take digital pics of the child doing each of the steps. Print and send home- a great sequential and personal narrative task.
  • Create their own “There Was an Old Lady book…. Have them think of a “final” product like the sand castle (i.e. a birthday cake, a tree house, etc.) and what “parts” she would have to swallow (i.e. the flour, frosting, candles, etc.). Kids love to think of ways to have her “throw up” like in this story.

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Freckle Juice

Freckle Juice

Title: Freckle Juice

Author: Judy Blume
Age: Elementary School
Description: A short chapter book in which Andrew Marcus really wants freckles and can and does do almost anything to try and get them.
Goals/Concepts:
  • Main idea
  • Perspective taking
  • Reading comprehension
  • Prediction
  • “trickery”

Why I like this book: The chapters are short and broken up with pictures which makes it more enjoyable and manageable for struggling readers, or those with shorter attention spans. The story is humorous and loved by all kids.

Ideas for use:

  • Working on summarizing of each chapter. Have children write/share in 2-3 sentences the “most important thing” that happened.
  • Great for perspective taking as there is a huge element of trickery. If children are challenged by the concept of trickery, use drawings (stick figures will work!) and thinking and speaking bubbles to help them visualize and understand throughout each chapter. Write what characters are “thinking” vs. “saying” and why
  • Have children make predictions at the end of every chapter
  • Work in implicit and explict comprehension questions after each chapter
  • Have kids make up their own version of “freckle juice,” what would they include in their recipe. Who could they “trick”? (always discussing not to do this for real!)

Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Waking up images

Waking Up is Hard to Do

Title:   Waking Up Is Hard to Do

Author:   Music and Lyrics by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, Children’s Lyrics by Neil Sedaka, Illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Age:   Preschool, Early Elementary
Description:   A young alligator goes through his morning routine getting up and ready for school.  His engine is running low at first light but slowly improves as he participates in all the sensory and motor activities involved in a typical morning.  A CD is included that adds to the delightful lyrics and illustrations.
Goals/Concepts:
  • Sequencing
  • Routines
  • Activities of daily living
  • Arousal levels from low to high
  • Sensory input inherent in all morning activities (vision-morning light, auditory-alarm clock, movement-stretching, oral/tactile-brushing teeth, oral-breakfast, muscle sense-books and back pack)
  • Family
  • Social/friendship
  • Early narrative
  • Early prediction
  • Animal Vocabulary (jungle, zoo animals)

Why I like this book:  Catchy tune, fun lyrics, and bright, beautiful illustrations make this book hard to put down… even for an adult.  There is so much to see on each page.

Ideas for use:

  • Many families describe mornings as very challenging.  Try reading this book to them in the evening in preparation for the following day.
  • Play the CD first thing in the morning and look at illustrations together to start the day.
  • Use the book and story to illustrate some activities that can help increase a low arousal state…to get the body engine running.
  • While looking at the book, have kids identify parts of each step in the routine that might help them get their own engines going in the morning.
  • Act out the story NOT in the morning to emphasize the steps and sequence of the routine.
  • Use the pictures to have the child retell the story. Encourage words like “first, next, after that, last, etc.”
  • A great book for description as the illustrations are gorgeous. Play “I spy” on each page
  • Lots of opportunity for “why” and prediction (i.e. why is he feeling blue? Why is the turtle missing the bus? After brushing teeth, what will he do next?, etc.)

Submitted by:  Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L and Meghan Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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bper01

Personal Space Camp

Book: Personal Space Camp

Author:   Written by Julia Cook and illustrated by Carrie Hartman

Age:   Preschool, Early Elementary, Upper Elementary

Description:   Louis is sent to Personal Space Camp in the Principal’s office.  When he discovers that “personal  space” is different than “outer space”, his disappointment abates as he learns how to better manage his body and space.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Body/space awareness
  • Body language
  • Spatial relations
  • Perspective taking
  • Tone of voice
  • Friendship

Why I like this book:  The story and illustrations grab kid’s attention as they watch Louis crash into others.  Once they are immersed in this book, kids find the concepts easy to learn.

Ideas for use:

  • Read before a play date to get kids ready to manage their bodies.
  • Read after a play date to help lower arousal levels and process body and space awareness.
  • Practice some of the activities described in the book that Louis does in his “Personal Space Camp”.   They are easy to do and fun.
  • Discuss the importance of tone of voice when Louis talks about his teacher’s “cranky voice.”
  • Spend time looking at and discussing facial expressions and body language depicted when Louis crashes into others.
  • Have children demonstrate some of the facial expressions seen in the book and have others predict what they are feeling and why they might feel that way.
  • Talk about why managing personal space is important for friendship.
  • Discuss various strategies that can be used to help kids maintain their personal space in various situations.
  • Have kids practice what to say to others when their personal space is invaded.

 Submitted by:  Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

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