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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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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Fiona’s Luck

Title: Fiona’s Luck

Author: Teresa Bateman

Description:  In this Irish folktale, Fiona uses her smarts to trick a selfish Leprachaun king who has taken all the luck of the land.


  • Narrative Language
  • Abstract/Figurative Language
  • Perspective Taking
  • Trickery

Why I like this book: An entertaining story that can address any number of higher- level language goals

Ideas for use:

  • Identify the Story Grammar Elements (characters, setting, etc.). I use with Mindwingconcepts “Braidy.” Multiple “kick-offs,” etc.
  • A great story for perspective taking and “trickery”- what is Fiona thinking vs. the villagers and the leprechauns.  Use thinking and speaking bubbles to assist with understanding
  • Teach/discuss similes and metaphors. Great for reasoning. What do you think the simile means? Have students create their own similes and metaphors.

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

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Pirates Don't pic

Pirates Don’t Change Diapers

Book: Pirates Don’t Change Diapers

Author: Melinda Long

Age: Early Elementary

Description: While Jeremy’s mom is running an errand, his old pirate friends come for a visit and are forced to help Jeremy take care of his baby sister.


  • Narrative Language and Retelling
  • Reading Body Language
  • Figurative Language
  • Prediction

Why I like this book: The illustrations are amazing. Kids love the humorous story. Who doesn’t love silly pirates?

Ideas for use:

  • Great narrative structure for the discussing and teaching the Story Grammar Marker elements(clear characters, setting, initiating event, events, resolution, etc.)
  • Use with “Braidy” ( to help students retell the story. A good example of multiple “kickoffs” (1)pirates show up, 2)can’t find the map) See the Mindwings concepts website for more information on this amazing narrative tool.
  • Examples of multiple meaning words/figurative language (rock, babysitter). See if kids can come up with other similar words (i.e. duck, carpool, etc.) Have them draw “both” meanings.
  • Discuss the amazing body language in this story (i.e. boy holding stinking diaper). Draw thinking bubbles- what are they thinking? Why? How can you tell?
  • Have kids act out the body language and the story. Could use a pretend play boat and people, or have the kids act themselves.

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

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Paperbag Princess

Title: The Paper Bag Princess

Author: Robert Munsch

Age: Early Elementary

Description: This Story follows a princess whose life gets interrupted by a dragon.


• Narrative language-retelling

• Perspective taking

• Inferencing/Prediction

• Reading body language

Why I like this book: The ending is priceless. Every little girl and boy should read this book. Children love the illustrations and the way the princess tricks the dragon.

Ideas for use:
• Retelling- Follows the Story Grammar Marker framework well through Mindwingconcepts A clear “kick-off,” sequence of events, and resolution

•Try this from the princess’s point of view vs. the dragon’s, even the prince! Use “thinking bubbles” or even “Braidy” from the SGM listed above.

• There is lots of “trickery” in this story. Help students make guesses as to “why” the princess is acting like she is (i.e. Why is she complimenting the dragon who just burned down her castle and kidnapped the prince?) Have them think of ways that they have “tricked” others.

•The illustrations are amazing, and are great for pointing out various emotions (many of the “universal emotions”- happy, sad, mad, scared, surprised, disgusted). Have students imitate the pictures. Talk about how ALL of their body can show emotions, not just their face.

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

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