hard to be a verb

It’s Hard to be a Verb

Book: It’s Hard To Be a Verb!

Author: Julia Cook

Age: Preschool and School Age

Description: Louis (our friend from Personal Space Camp, and My Mouth in a Volcano) struggles with “focus.” His mom gives him some strategies to help him at home and at school because “it’s hard to be a verb.”


  • Social Skills
  • Body Language
  • Sensory Tools
  • Regulation
Why I like this book: Great for discussion about whole body listening, and helping kids find ways to help themselves.
Ideas for use: 
  • While reading, have kids identify how their body feels when they feel their body is a “verb.” Louis feels itchy and jumpy, how do you feel? Is it your body? It it your mind? Is it both?
  • A good book to introduce some body tools (best to do with guidance from your team OTs). What tools and strategies help them? Taking a break, moving their bodies, a drink of water, putty, reading a book, squeezing thier muscles and then relaxing, making a schedule with visuals, visual reminders, etc. Great to discuss how everyone uses different tools to help themselves. Provide some options and experiment.
  • Discuss how their bodies should look when they are “focused.” Focus on all different parts of the body. Listening eyes, listening hands, listening feet, etc. With younger kiddos you can do “NOT listening eyes,” then switch to “listening eyes,” and do with each body part.
  • Discuss WHY we need good listening bodies. What are other people (friends, teachers, etc.) thinking if we’re not listening with our whole bodies? What are some clues that we may not be listening? How can we help a friend that is having  a hard time?
  • Brainstorm places/contexts where it’s ok to be a “verb.” Playgrounds, outside, P.E. class, movement games in the classroom, etc. Can tie to safety awareness too.

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

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