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.


  • 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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