PG

The Duckling Gets a Cookie

Title:  The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?

Author: Mo Willems

Description: Another adorable Pigeon story, where he doesn’t understand why HE doesn’t get anything he wants. A little Duckling helps him out (and himself) in the process.

Goals:

  • Perspective Taking
  • Tone of Voice and Vocal Volume
  • Social Skills
  • Question Asking
  • Prosody

Why I like this book: Mo Willems never disappoints. I love the characters expressions (great for teaching body language) and the humor that keeps kids entertained while addressing some goals.

Ideas for this book:

  • A great book to have kids act out (adult can be a character if necessary). Practice the body language, facial expression, tone of voice, etc. Use thinking bubbles to discuss each characters perspective (i.e. How is the duck feeling when the Pigeon is yelling in his face?)
  • A great book to practice “Tone of Voice” with kiddos. Stress HOW you say something. Use voice recording apps like Quick Voice and have kids listen and analyze how the pigeon is speaking.
  • Lots of examples of various vocal volume. Pair with the Incredible 5 Point Scale for understanding of various levels the Pigeon uses. Was his volume appropriate?
  • A great story to elicit question forms. Have kiddos formulate questions for the Pigeon. He states that he asks for many things (i.e to drive the bus, for hot dog parties, etc.). Have them generate how the Pigeon would ask? What words would he use? Who would he ask? Role play.
  • Carry over the idea above for more perspective taking. Who would he ask? What might the person say back? Why? (i.e. asking a parent to stay up late- what might they say? Why?).
  • Pair the 2 ideas above with a great post by Sean Sweeney M.S. CCC-SLP at Speechtechie.com on using fake texting to take both perspectives. Kids love it.
  • Click here for a funny YouTube clip of the Pigeon being interviewed about the book and title. Mo Willems is involved.
  • I use these Pigeon books for my more advanced kiddos with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) to work on stress patterns for prosody. Lots of examples of increasing stress on words, or changing intonation patterns to demonstrate questions vs. comments. Again, you can use the voice recording to help with understanding.
  • A good book for general discussion of social skills (as highlighted above). How to communicate with friends, thinking about others feelings and desires, friendship skills, etc. What were some things the pigeon did that may have made the duck think negative thoughts (i.e. tone of voice, body language, body space challenges, vocal volume, etc.)
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Submitted by; Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Grin and Bear it

Grin and Bear It

Title:  Grin and Bear It

Author:  Leo Landry

Description:  Bear wants to be a comedian but suffers from stage fright.  He and his friends come up with a creative solution to his dilemma.

Goals:

  • understanding humor
  • reading non-verbal communication through body language and facial expressions
  • gaining comfort in learning that many people get nervous
  • problem solving
  • inferencing and predicting
  • handling discouragement and failure
  • valuing friendship from giver and receiver perspectives
  • understanding theory of mind

Why I liked this book:  The bear with stage fright is relatable to kids and adults of all ages.  When Bear is embarrassed, his friends help him problem solve rather than laugh at him.  The first four chapters are titled:  A Dream, A Plan, Ready, and Showtime depicting steps we want our kids to follow for any challenging assignment or task.  The illustrations make me want to hug this book!

Ideas for this book: 

  • Read the 7 short chapters over a period of several days to allow time to explore all this book has to offer.  Discuss the steps to accomplishing something that the kids want.  Have them create the idea, make a plan, and prepare before diving in.
  • Discuss words and terms like “stage fright”, “embarrassed”, “rehearse”, and “nervous”.  This is a great opportunity to also discuss physiological responses to anxiety and ways to help decrease it through deep breathing, yoga, visualization, and other ideas.
  • When Bear falls apart, ask the kids to offer suggestions on how to solve his problem.  What should he do?  Give up?  Try again?  How could he be more successful the next time?
  • Discuss what good friends would do if they saw someone struggling like Bear.
  • Have kids practice and tell jokes to one another.  It’s a great way to help them understand humor both through spoken words and body language.  What makes a joke funny?
  • As always, I love having kids act out stories and this is a great one for that.

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

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pumpkin

Spookley the Square Pumpkin

Title: The Legend of Spoookley the Square Pumpkin (ebook/app)

Author: Oceanhouse Media

Description: A rhyming story about pumpkin who is “different” than the rest. Although this is difficult, Spookley’s difference becomes very helpful to the other pumpkins in the patch, and they learn an important lesson.

Goals:

  • Phonological Awareness (rhyming)
  • Vocabulary (Halloween)
  • Social Skills
  • Narrative

Why I like this book: Because it’s an app ($1.99 iPhone/ipad) it has lots of capabilities. It can be read by children (and allows for recording of their voice), or read to students (there is a narrator, or you can choose to read it to them). There are some interactive components as well, but not so many that it takes away from the story itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ideas for this book:

  • The entire book is in rhyme. Have children fill in the “blank” at the ends of phrases. Provide the initial phoneme, can they predict the rhyming word? (i.e…his friends, where they had curves, he had eeen______(ends)). Use google images, board maker, etc. to make visuals of these rhyming pairs for additional practice, rhyme generation of the pattern (i.e. rare, square, fair, etc.), or home programming. Pair with Rhyming apps such as What Rhymes? or Pocket Phonics App for additional practice
  • This is a great book to expose kids to Halloween vocabulary: pumpkins, patch, scarecrow, bats,  Pair with any of these great apps recommended by The Speech Guy here
  • Use to identify Story Grammar Elements (i.e characters, setting, initiating event, etc.). Great to pair with the Story Grammar Marker by Mindwingconcepts for students to retell the story
  • Great for discussion about “teasing” and “being different.” Have students discuss how Spookley embraced his “difference” – and how it helped save the day.
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Submitted by; Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

Dr Suess

What Was I Scared of?

Title: What Was I Scared Of?: A Glow-in-the Dark Encounter (Classic Seuss)

Author:  Dr. Seuss

Description:  A classic Dr. Seuss book that can now be purchased as an e-book – helpful in these last days of October if you need more Halloween books and have run out of time!  It includes Read to me, read it myself, and auto play options.

Goals: 

  • Perspective-taking.  (Why was the character afraid?   Who is really afraid?)
  • Reading facial expressions and body language.  (How do you know he’s afraid?)
  • Understanding white lies.  (Why does he say, I’m not afraid, when he is?)
  • Vocabulary (Halloween)
  • Phonological Awareness (rhyming)
  • Absurdity and humor
  • Inferencing
  • Feelings
  • Friendship and compassion

Why I like this book:  This is a typical Dr. Seuss story that speaks about real feelings and relationships in the most inventive and silly manner!  The unexpected ending supports new friendships.  Music can play throughout story even in the read it myself mode.

Ideas for this book: 

  • Discuss perspective and intent as you read the book exploring why the main character would be afraid of a pair of pants.   Note that the fear builds with each experience.  How does the character manage his fear?
  • Language describing physiological responses to fear and stress such as “shiver” and “heart thumping” provide opportunities to talk about how our bodies react to fear and anxiety and how we can work to control it through deep breathing, yoga, and other forms of relaxation.
  • The character lies about not being afraid when he clearly was.  This is a good way to talk about why and how some lies are OK.  This character felt calmer when he told himself he wasn’t afraid.
  • Lots of absurdities in this book are fun to talk about – What’s real and not real; what makes a particular scene comical.
  • Great book to talk about making inferences.  You could stop the book and have kids illustrate or act out how they think the book will end.
  • As an OT, I like to have kids act out books.  It provides opportunities for sequencing, ideation, collaboration, planning, adapting, and it’s fun!

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

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Haunted Party

Haunted Party

Title:  Haunted Party

Author: Iza Trapani

Description: A rhyming story about a Halloween party with lots of spooky guests. They get a surprise when 10 children show up to “trick or treat.”

Goals:

  • Phonological Awareness (rhyming)
  • Vocabulary (Halloween)
  • Verbs (present and past)
  • Inferencing

Why I like this book: The pictures are awesome, which elicits lots of language from students. There are goblins with pointy, dirty ears,  who eat worms and eyeballs. Perfect for kids to comment on and laugh.

Ideas for this book:

  • The entire book is in rhyme. Have children fill in the “blank” at the ends of phrases. Provide the initial phoneme, can they predict the rhyming word? (i.e.what a night, the bats take flllllll______(flight)). Use google images, board maker, etc. to make visuals of these rhyming pairs for additional practice, rhyme generation of the pattern (i.e. flight, sight, might, etc.), or home programming. Pair with Rhyming apps such as What Rhymes? or Pocket Phonics App for additional practice
  • This is a great book to expose kids to Halloween vocabulary: skeletons, goblins, vampires, ghosts, witches, bats , monsters, ghouls and more. Pair with any of these great apps recommended by The Speech Guy here
  • The characters partake in many different activities- great for children working on present progressive verbs (i.e. carving pumpkins, eating worms, bobbing for apples, etc.) or have students retell and focus on the past tense. The great detailed pictures are great to elicit
  • If students are going to Halloween parties and need support as to what to expect- a great story to model activities they may experience. Pair with a social story app like  Stories2learnPictello, or Story Patch
  • There is one clear inference at the end of the story that children can make using picture clues and knowledge. Can pair with the Mindwingconcepts approach to inferencing “remember, know and guess” to help students put the pieces together.
  • Charlesbridge Publishers (local to Boston;) provides a “plan your own Halloween party” worksheet here
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Submitted by; Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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Apraxia

Speaking of Apraxia

Title: Speaking of Apraxia: A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech

I feel fortunate to be able to review this book. Leslie A. Lindsay, R.N, B.S.N., the author of this book, and mother of a child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) reached out to us to potentially read and review her book. I’m so glad that she did. I have found a wonderful resource that I will be recommending to parents and other professionals for years to come.

Leslie’s book combines parent perspectives (her own and others’ with children with CAS), the latest academic and medical research, as well as CAS professionals such as SLP’s perspectives. I love her clear writing style, and the way she organized the book. Each chapter has highlighted parent questions/”real life” stories,  the “nuts and bolts” of each chapter, a chapter summary, and extensive “Read on!” Recommended Resources, where she offers additional supports such as books, videos, websites, and even individual professionals with expertise. As a professional, I have found this extremely helpful and thorough.

One section I particularly love, and will be referring many parents to (both with and without a diagnosis of CAS), is the section she labels “Doctors and Specialists” (pg 37-41). Here she offers clear descriptions of the many professionals that can be involved in a child’s care. I find that these “titles” can be overwhelming and confusing to parents (and professionals alike). She lists the professionals  (i.e. Pediatrician M.D, Pediatric Neurologist, Development Pediatrician, Pediatric Physiatrist, Child Psychologist, etc.) and offers clear descriptions of their individual roles, which would help parents who are seeking a diagnosis or support for their child. There is also an extensive list of school professionals (pg 230-232) and descriptions (i.e. Special education Coordinator, Occupational Therapist, Social Worker, etc). Additionally, in this chapter she helps parents through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and how best to support your child in the classroom.

Leslie also offers supports for parents who want to help at home. She titles a chapter “What you can do at Home” Tapping into Your Inner Speech Pathologist. In this section, she offers specific suggestions for parents for activities they can do to help their child “make progress in a fun and nurturing speech-rich environment at home and on the go.” I found this section to be wonderful to refer parents to. Parents ALWAYS want suggestions for home, and this is a great chapter on ideas. Again, these suggestions would be wonderful for any parent who is looking for ways to create a language rich environment for their child. She offers activities, books, arts and crafts, and toy recommendations. As a therapist, she offered some great ideas for me too.

The resources in this book are endless. I have only touched the surface of all that Leslie offers. She breaks down this complex disorder into understandable, manageable sections.  I have found myself referring to it constantly for ideas, supports for parents, and overall perspective. Her writing style is easy to read, informative, realistic, and organized. She provides a wealth of knowledge for parents and professionals. I am thrilled to share this resource though our all4mychild network, and at the clinic. I wish I had found this sooner. Thank you Leslie for this opportunity, and for your extensive knowledge on this important and at times misunderstood disorder.

  • Leslie is a parent blogger (and former nurse) on top of being a writer and parent of a child with CAS who offers great resources on her blog. Read it here
  • For more information. Check out this review of the book and more through discussion of CAS from @SpeechLadyJen Jennifer Hattfield, SLP)  at Therapy and Learning Services, Inc. Blog Radio Post

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

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The little Green witch

The Little Green Witch

Title:  The Little Green Witch

Author: Barbara Barbieri McGrath

Description: A play on the “Little Red Hen,” this story highlights a little green witch who does ALL the “unhousework” as her friends the ghost, the bat and the gremlin do little. They learn their lesson at the end of the story…

Goals:

  • Narrative
  • Sequencing
  • Vocabulary (fall, halloween)
  • Emotions (why are they feeling that way?)
  • Inferencing
  • Past Tense
  • /s/ blends

Why I like this book: It’s a “play” on the classic “The Little Red Hen,” which is another favorite of mine. I love the lesson of the story, and the humor is loved by all children.

Ideas for this book:

  • Have students retell the story identifying story grammar elements. I use with “Braidy” from  Mindwingconcepts, is there is a clear “kickoff,” and sequence of events
  • Great for sequencing as well. Have children retell the story using pictures from the story, incorporating “first, next, then, etc.” You photo copy pages of the story- and have students place in order, and take home to retell to their families
  • The story offers lots of fall, halloween vocabulary (pumpkins, witches, gremlins, bats, ghosts, etc.). Tie with Sara Smith’s Expanding Expression Tool and have children expand on the concepts. You can also use our Bag Game App and use the new fall and halloween pictures for description.
  • There are various emotions/states and emotional vocabulary used in the story (frustrated, lazy, disgusted, excited,  annoyed, etc.). Identify with students, and see if they can generate “why” characters feel that way. Can they “act” out the emotion? Can they identify a time in their life when they have felt that way?
  • The story offers opportunity for students to infer what might happen next. If she plants pumpkin seeds what will she need to do next? (water) After that? (pick) etc. The witch’s friends also NEVER help her. See if children can predict what they will do/say next? Can they see the pattern? Can the predict how the witch will feel?
  • Here is a free coloring page to go with the story provided by Charles Bridge Publishers: Coloring Page. Have students color, add descriptive words (use EET from above), generate their own story about a witch, etc.
  • Lots of examples of the past tense. The witch lists what she has done often (I carved. I planted. I watered. I cooked, etc.) Stress the “ed” ending, and encourage students to retell the witch’s actions.
  • There are numerous examples of /s/ blends throughout the story (scare, scooped, stirred, etc.) Encourage students to repeat your utterances, generate their own sentences using the stimuli, etc. Create picture cards that go along with the story to use for additional practice or home programming.

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

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Apple

Apple Farmer Annie (Ana cultiva manzanas)

Title:  Apple Farmer Annie

Author: Monica Wellington

Description: Annie is an apple farmer, and uses her apples for everything, from picking to cooking, to selling at a farmer’s market! Available in spanish and english all in one book.

Goals:

  • Vocabulary (Fall themed, curriculum)
  • Narrative (retelling, generating)

Why I like this book: A simple story that introduces fall themed vocabulary. Kids can usually relate to apple picking, so a good story for eliciting language.

Ideas for this book:

  • Introduce fall vocabulary with this story
  • Tie to curriculum vocabulary especially around various kinds of apples, planting, etc. There are so many “apple” activity websites on the web. Here are a couple I found: Apple vocabulary and activitiesApple Themed Ideas
  • A good story to generate a personal narrative about a child’s own experience going to the apple farm. Help students create their own story. You can use the Story Patch App to create, then send home to parents via email.
  • A simple sequential story to have children “retell” using pictures as support. Encourage temporal markers (first, then, next, after that, etc.)
  • For a slightly more complex narrative, or when introducing story grammar elements, tie to the Story Grammar Marker through Mindwingconcepts. I did this with a client who is new to “Braidy”….

 

 

 

 

  • Bring in real apples and incorporate some “compare and contrast” activities, tie to the EET (expanding expression tool) for creating semantic networks and description, categorization, etc.
  • Use apple for following directions (red apples, small apples. big apples, green apples). Have them put in, on, under, etc. varying the complexity of your directions.
  • The story is available  in both spanish and english (with a provided dictionary). Great for classrooms or students who speak Spanish, or are early spanish learners.

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

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Iguana

I Wanna Iguana

Title: I Wanna Iguana

Author: Karen Kaufman Orloff

Description: Alex really wants an iguana, so he writes letters to his mother trying to persuade her to say “yes.” The entire book is the letters back and forth between Alex and his mother.

Goals:

  • Perspective Taking
  • Conjunctions
  • Social Skills: humor, reading body language
  • Written Language: letter writing, persuasive writing

Why I like this book: I use this book for so many goals, and kids really enjoy the humor in the story. Alex uses the phrase “burps and poops,”…bathroom humor is always a hit:)

Ideas for this book:

  • Have students write their own “I Wanna X.” They have to generate reasons why they think they should have X, and reasons why Mom or Dad wouldn’t want them to have X. A great perspective taking activity. I’ve been having students create on the Story Patch App which allows you to import your own pictures, and email home as a PDF.
  • Great examples of personal letters. Lots of exposure to appropriate style, language and punctuation for letter writing.
  • Introduce the concept of persuasive writing. What language did Alex use to help convince his mother? Point out how he thought about ways to make mom happy (more perspective taking), and how he used that to help make a case for himself. Pair with persuasive writing graphic organizers like through Mindwingconcepts to help organize their ideas.
  • Help students practice the use of conjunctions (and, so, because, etc.). They generate sentences using these conjunctions in their writing (i.e. I should get the iguana so I can learn responsibility). The story has great examples as well.
  • The illustrations are awesome. Great examples of body language throughout the story to have students interpret. Add thinking and speaking bubbles to the pictures, and have students generate what goes inside.
  • There are a couple examples of this story read on You Tube if listening to the story with pictures would engage your students better.

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

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me first

Me First

Title: Me First

Author: Helen Lester. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Description: Pinkerton the pig always has to be first. No matter what! He learns a lesson that “being first isn’t always best.”

Goals:

  • Perspective Taking
  • Figurative Language
  • Narrative Language
  • Social Skills

Why I like this book: In our social groups we have many kiddos who HAVE to be first.  A good silly story to address the concept. Also a great story for language flexibility, and narrative skills.

Ideas for this book:

  • Discuss and demonstrate the body language when Pinkerton pushes past them to be first. Use thinking bubbles (a white board, regular paper) and discuss how those characters feel and why. What are friends thinking of Pinkerton? Problem solve ways to cope when you aren’t first.
  • A great story to tie to discussion around personal body space. We have used after reading Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook. Practice lining up in a group, managing space, and using words to negotiate who is “first” and next in line.
  • “sandwich” vs. a “sand witch” is demonstrated in this story, as well as “care for” meaning want vs. taking care of. Great example of language flexibility. The author makes a great picture of what Pinkerton was thinking vs. what actually happened. Tie to discussion around idioms and other figurative language. For more examples (check for age appropriateness of course) see Proverbidioms app. Also can pair with other figurative language stories reviewed on all4mychild. Click on “figurative language” on our home page for more.
  • Great for narrative skills. Have students “retell” the story using the pictures to help. I use with Mindwingconcepts “Braidy,” to help students identify story grammar elements.

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

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