Snow Friends

Title:  Snow Friends

Author: M. Christina Butler and Tina Macnaughton

Description: A little bear wakes from his winter nap and has no one to enjoy the snow with. He decides to build a snowman to play with and meets some friends along the way.

Goals/ objectives:

Early inferencing and predicting
Why questions
animal/winter vocabulary (winter animals: bear, rabbit, otter)
social skills/friendship
body language

Why I like this story: A cute winter story that encourages friendship and thinking about others.
Ideas for use:

Great story for retelling and identifying the story grammar elements (characters, setting, initiating event, etc.). I pair with “Braidy” through Mindwing Concepts. A clear kickoff and plan (bear needs a friend so builds a snowman…)
use to discuss setting (woods, cave). Draw a big winter wood scene and have child add the various winter animals to retell the story.
Good for description as well as the pictures are textured….sparkly, shiny, white, cold snow. etc.
Great for early prediction/inferencing (e.g. What could be under the snow making noise? (rabbit in burrow), what will they use the sticks for?)
Good for modeling and exposing to “why” questions. Why do they need carrots? Why is the rabbit upset? Why is the bear lonely? etc.
Beautiful illustrations for body language and emotions. Have children act out the body language.
Good story to act out in a group or dyad . Use big exercise balls to act as snow balls. One child holds the bottom while the others, “make” the other snow ball. Encourage team work and communication as they roll the balls.
Discuss friendship and thinking of others. Why did the animals make another snowman? (They didn’t want the snowman to be lonely when they left to do other activities). How can they include others?

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

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The Snowy Day

Title: The Snowy Day

Author: Ezra Jack Keats

Description: A classic winter tale of a young boy’s adventures in the snow.

• Early 2-word combinations
• Simple sequencing
• Early inferencing
• “s”-blends
• “wh” questions

Why I like this story: This adorable tale lends itself to use with a wide range of ages. I use it with toddlers to promote 2-3 word utterances and with K-1 kids to work on inferencing, Story Grammar and problem solving. Plus, the illustrations are delightful!

Ideas for use:
• Model simple 2-word utterances (boy walk, snow plop, socks off) for kids to retell the story at this simple language level. Support with simple line drawings if needed
• Copy the pages and have kids put them in order (which happens first, smacking the tree or snow falling on Peter’s head?) to address simple sequencing and cause/effect
• Discuss early problem solving (e.g., how to keep the snow from “plopping” on his head, how to keep the snowball from melting)
• For a group, have the group work collaboratively to figure out how to act out the story given the materials available. Great for negotiation and flexibility
• Have kids generate a similar story with a different concept; such as, “A Sunny Day” or “A Windy Day.”

Submitted by: Karen S Head, MS, CCC-SLP

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I am invited to a party

I am Invited to a Party

Title: I Am Invited to a Party!

Author: Mo Willems

Age: Early Elementary/Elementary

Description: Piggie is invited to a party! He asks Elephant for some help because Elephant…he knows parties.


  • Social skills
  • Emotions
  • Body Language
  • Perspective Taking
  • Inferencing/Predicting
  • Narrative Language
  • Written Language

Why I Like This Book: There isn’t an Elephant and Piggie book that kids don’t love, and they all help me to address a number of goals.

Ideas for Use:

• A great story to address reading emotions and body language. The characters are very expressive. Have students identify emotions, act out, etc. Pair with other emotions apps for further understanding and work on emotions such as: ABA Emotions App, Emotionary App, Feel Electric App

  • Have students act out the story. Can they replicate the emotions with their face and body? Video record and have kids self-reflect. Did their bodies and voices match? This is great for a collaborative activity too. Can they work together to act out the story? Negotiate? Plan?
  • Add/cover up thinking/speaking bubbles within the story. Have students generate what characters are thinking and speaking
  • There are lots of opportunities for predicting what might happen next as Piggie and Elephant get ready for various types of parties. What will they need and wear for a pool party? For a fancy party? etc.
  • Good context to discuss party “etiquette.” Pair with Social Behavior Mapping from Social Thinking© What is expected at a party? What is unexpected? Role play situations in individual or group sessions if necessary (i.e. greetings at a party, giving and receiving gifts, playing winning/losing games, etc.).
  • A great story for character descriptions to develop narrative and social skills. Pair with Mindwing Concepts products. Here’s a great post by Sean Sweeney discussing these character descriptions.
  • Working on written language or hand writing? Use this opportunity to have student write invitations to others for a party. There are lots of apps that would provide a context for generating an invitation as well.
  • There is an example of some figurative language as well….a “pun” “We will make a splash” (with attire for the pool party). Good for discussion of this humor as well.

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

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Dog’s Colorful Day

Title:  Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story About Colors and Counting

Author: Emma Dodd

Description: Throughout the day, a dog accumulates various different colored spots on his body.


  • Basic Concepts/vocabulary (colors and numbers)
  • Early Sequencing
  • “why” questions (simple, highly contextualized)
  • “s” blends (spots, squish, squash, splash, swish)

Why I like this book: An adorable, simple story for early story telling/retelling.

Ideas for this book:

  • Great to pair with counting and coloring apps to help children learn these early concepts. See app stories like Kindertown Apps to search. Lots of activity ideas from other websites such as Making Learning Fun or a whole pintrest page dedicated to ideas here.
  • Make colors spots like in the story. Have kids “retell” the story using the colored spots. Can they remember the order and where the spot came from (i.e red was the jelly when he was waiting under the table at breakfast time, blue was paint from the front door, etc.). Encourage kids to use temporal markers such as “first, , next, then, last”
  • Help teach/model “why” questions. Why does he have a green spot? BECAUSE he rolled in the grass. Why does he have a gray spot? BECAUSE he splashed in the mud, etc.
  • lots of opportunity for /s/ blend practice. Have kiddos repeat the stimuli. Great to pair with articulation apps for more drill work such as Articulation Station or Artik Pix

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

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Title: Hush! A Thai Lullaby

Author: Minfong Ho

Description: A Caldecott Honor winning story of a mother desperately trying to keep the animals of the jungle quiet as her baby is sleeping. However, little does she know that her baby is awake the whole time.


  • Inferencing
  • Reading body language
  • Phonological awareness (rhyming)
  • “Who?” questions
  • Retelling (early narrative)
  • Animal vocabulary
  • Perspective Taking
  • /l/ blends, /l/

Why I like this book: This is one of my favorite stories. The pictures are adorable, and the poetic story keeps kids engaged. Kids also love the animal noises that author provides (i.e. HOOM-pra, HOOM- Pra for the elephant,  Op, Op for the frog, etc.)

Ideas for use:

  • Great book to teach early inferencing and prediction. There are visual clues as to what animal could be making noise next. Have kids collect the “clues” from the mothers words or from the pictures
  • the body language is amazing in this story. Lots of examples for children to interpret, act out, and infer what she is thinking and feeling. Add cut out thinking bubbles above the mother’s head.
  • have kids fill in the blank to generate the rhyming word while reading
  • the story is a good model for “who” questions (a person or animal) as the mother is consistently wondering “who” is making the given noise.
  • a simple sequencing narrative for kids to retell. Use the pictures and have the kids retell the story. Encourage temporal markers
  • would be a good simple narrative to pair with “Braidy” from Mindwingconcepts
  • good story to discuss “setting” as the story takes place in a hut in the jungle of Thailand . Have kids generate and discuss the animals of the jungle, the plants, what they would see and hear (pair with the Visualizing and Verbalizing approach for description)
  • Carry over to pretend play: If a group- Have kids “act” it out! One “mommy” can tell the animals to “hush!” The repetative phrases are easy for kids to remember.
  • If you don’t have a group, use pretend play toys and act out. A simple pretend play house would work- what could be making noise in the house that the mommy would worry about? (i.e. mail man, the dog, cars outside, etc.) Work on sequencing of play schemes.
  • The mother never knows the baby is AWAKE. Perfect to discuss and model perspective taking. Use thinking bubbles and act out for comprehension
  • Lots of /l/ blends and repetitive for kids to practice (sleeping, black, etc.)

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

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Curious George Visits the Zoo

Title: Curious George Visits the Zoo

Author: Margret Rey

Description: George gets into mischief again… and then saves the day again… in this relatively short episode of this classic series.

Goals/ objectives:
• Verbal description/ salience
• Inferencing/ Prediction
• Sequencing/ retelling
• Body language/ facial expression
• “Guessing” vs “knowing”

Why I like this story: It is a classic and it is great for acting out in a group.

Ideas for use:
• while reading the story aloud, hide the pages with animals on them and ask kids to guess what animals George visits by describing them before showing the page. The animals pictured are excellent for a lesson in salience (what is the most important thing about a giraffe, kangaroo, elephant?). Have kids take turns describing which animal George might see next.
• following the story, introduce a verbal description guessing game. For easy access to variety of objects presented by category, try our Bag Game app.
• using the picture clues given in the story, ask kids to guess what George might do when the Man with the Yellow Hat asks him to stay put.
• discuss the concepts of “guessing” vs “knowing”. Talk about why the picture clues lead to various “guesses” and why new information may lead to new guesses.
• the illustrations in this book are excellent for talking about facial expressions and body language and reasons for them.
• this is a great story for acting out or retelling either in individual sessions or in a group. For preschoolers, props can be provided to act out the sequence, while for K/1 kiddos, the simple story line offers a great opportunity to introduce Braidy, the Story Grammar Marker from Mindwing Concepts.

Submitted by Karen S Head MS CCC-SLP

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do you

Do You Want To Be My Friend?

Title: Do You Want To Be My Friend?

Author:  Eric Carle

Description: A lonely mouse is looking for a friend to play with. He has to ask a lot of animals before he finds the right one.


  • Early Inferencing/Predicting
  • Possession
  • /s/ production (final word position)
  • Animal Vocabulary
  • Why Questions and Reasoning
  • Sequencing
  • Early Narrative/ Retelling
  • Friendship or Social Skills

Why I like this book: It’s a simple, mainly wordless book that kids love and can be adapted for a number of speech, language or social goals across ages.

Ideas for use:

  • Have children predict what animal is coming next. The tail of each animal is shown before the actual animal. Have them make guesses.
  • Great for possession. The Elephant‘s tail, the Seal’s tail, etc. Good for part/whole relationships as well.
  • Great for /s/ targets. Can adapt to word, sentence levels. Mouse, mice, all final position possession (snake’s, peacock’s, etc.)
  • Why questions and reasoning. WHY isn’t the horse a good fit for the mouse? (grumpy or too big) WHY isn’t the elephant a good fit for the mouse? (too big, would be hard to play with, etc.). WHY isn’t the snake a good fit? (he would eat the mouse!) Because it’s wordless, have kids predict what the animal is likely say to the mouse. Can add in tone of voice discussion as well.
  • Print pictures of the animals, or use toy animals and have children sequence the story. Add in temporal markers such as first, next, then, etc.
  • Have children “act” out the story. If in a group, many animals to re-enact. If not in a group, provide a toy mouse or have the child be the toy mouse and ask other “animals” to play in the accurate order.
  • For a social group- good for discussion around joining others play. It doesn’t always work out. Good to discuss this concept and what makes a good friend. The mouse doesn’t give up, and eventually finds a “good match” for a friend.

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

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my friend rabbit

My Friend Rabbit

Title: My Friend Rabbit

Author: Eric Rohmann

Age: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: Rabbit tries to be a good friend, but bad luck just seems to follow him. He is persistent in trying to make things right.


  • Reading body language
  • Early prediction
  • Early inferencing
  • Animal vocabulary
  • Spatial terms
  • Early narrative
  • Friendship

Why I like this book: The pictures are awesome. It’s an adorable story filled with friendship and humor that kids love.

Ideas for use:

  • A great story for the Story Grammar Marker “Braidy” through Simple characters, clear “kickoff,” plan, and an easy sequence to follow.
  • Have kids make guesses as to how characters are feeling and based on their body language. Frustrated, annoyed, sad, etc. The illustrations are great for emotions.
  • A great story for cut out “thinking bubbles”- what are the characters thinking, why?
  • This is a great story to model spatial concepts such as “on top,” “under,” “above,” “below,” etc. Use stuffed animals similar to the story to have kids follow directions incorporating these terms.
  • Have children predict what might happen next. There are lots of “clues” as to what rabbit’s plan is, as well as what eventually happens in the end.
  • Have the children add to the ending. What might the rabbit and mouse do next to get out of their new problem?
  • I use “tub” toys (sponge animals that stick to the wall with a spray bottle of water) to “act out” this story. I have the kids follow directions, placing animals “on top” of each other like the story. I model and teach other similar spatial terms (i.e. above, under, etc.).
  • A good story for a younger social group. It opens discussion for how we can be good friends, even when friends make mistakes. Why is rabbit a good friend? Why is mouse a good friend?

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

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