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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.

Goals/Concepts:

  • 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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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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The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!

Title: The Pigeon Wants a Puppy

Author: Mo Willems

Description: The silly pigeon thinks he wants a puppy, until he meets one.

Goals:

  • Perspective Taking
  • Reading Body Language
  • Tone of Voice
  • Prediction

Why I like this book: The pigeon always entertains children, and allows us to address some goals along the way.

Ideas for this book:

  • A great story for kids to “act” as the person the Pigeon is talking to. Have them converse with the pigeon. Given the Pigeon’s responses, what do they think the conversation partner said?
  • A great post by Sean Sweeney at Speechtechie.com about a “fake texting” activity where you could do just this.
  • The pigeon is very expressive, have children interpret body language and act out. You could even take pictures of these emotions and body language and  have kids create their own “body language” story with various emotions. Try apps like Story Patch to create this story.
  • If working on Tone of Voice, have kids speak with the Pigeon’s emotions. Use a recording device to give students feedback. Is that how they wanted to sound? Does it match the Pigeon’s body language? We love the easi-speak microphone for recording and so do kids!
  • Have student brainstorm what responsibilities you would have taking care of a puppy? Can they generate a list of other pets? What are the responsibilities? What are reasons why parents may not want you to have a pet? Can they take another perspective?
  • The pigeon decides that he’d rather have a walrus. Have kids generate what a walrus might need? What could be “scary” to the pigeon about a walrus? Would a walrus be a good pet?
  • Students could write the “next” book as the pigeon attempts to explain why he wants a walrus.

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

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ice cream

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Title: Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Author: Mo Willems

Description: The beloved elephant, Gerald, labors over the decision whether to share his ice cream with friend, Piggie. Should he or shouldn’t he….?

Goals/Objectives:

  • Body language/facial expressions
  • Friendship
  • Perspective taking
  • Prediction
  • Emotions

Why I like this story: A beautiful story about Gerald who doesn’t want to share his ice cream but knows it would be the friendly thing to do. He thinks about what Piggie might be feeling and makes a decision. The twist at the end is the icing on the cake (or the whipped cream on the ice cream)!

Ideas for use:

  • Great book to lead off discussion about why we share and how it makes us feel.
  • Talk about Gerald’s facial expressions and body language and how that communicates what he is thinking and feeling.
  • Kids may want to act out Gerald’s exaggerated body language and see if others can guess what they are feeling or thinking.
  • Have kids predict what Gerald will decide based on his page by page reasoning.
  • Discuss how Gerald feels when the plans change unexpectedly. What does Gerald do? What would the kids listening to the story do?

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

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Picture 3

City Dog Country Frog

Title: City Dog, Country Frog

Author:  Mo Willems

Description: A story of friendship between a dog and a frog.

Goals/objectives:

  • friendship
  • social skills
  • vocabulary (seasons)
  • descriptive language
  • prediction
  • past tense verbs

Why I like this book: Beautiful pictures and message about friendship.

Ideas for use:

    • great for discussion about friendship in general. What made their friendship work? They do each others interests (not just their own), they took care of each other, they check in with each other, they make plans, etc.
    • Good for discussion about “change” as the frog doesn’t return at a point in the story, and the dog must adjust. You can predict/infer what could have happened to the frog as the author doesn’t explicitly state (i.e. Did the frog hibernate? Move to a new location? Did he die?)
    • could use for descriptive language (oral or written) and tie to the Linda Mood Bell Visualizing and Verbalizing program. What does the dog see, hear, feel, smell, how does he move, etc.
    • discuss the seasons. Brainstorm ideas for activities and events within each season
    • Can tie to science curriculum if appropriate (frog life cycle, hibernation, seasonal changes, etc.)
    • great modeling of present vs. past tense throughout the story
    • have students write the “next” chapter of this story. What happens with dog’s new friendship? What do they do next? Have them write and illustrate….

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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