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alexander-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day-book-cover-600x455

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Title: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Author: Judith Viorist

Description: Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair and that’s just the beginning. His entire day just isn’t going his way. He thinks he should move to Australia.

Goals/concepts:

  • Narrative / Retelling
  • Why questions
  • Perspective taking
  • Social Language Skills
  • Reading Body Language

Why I like this book: An entertaining read that goes well with the Incredible 5 Point Scale. We use it in group to help us understand how “big” a problem really is as and how to handle it.

Ideas for use:

  • In a social group or social skill session use the 5 point scale and have children decide what kind of problem Alexander is having. Does his reaction match the situation (one of our Social Adventures app activities )
  • Use for retelling. Use the pictures to help kiddos remember what happened to Alexander. Incorporate temporal markers (first, then, later, after that), causals (because, so, etc.). Because so much happens to Alexander, it’s a good story to help with prioritizing. We don’t have to retell EVERYTHING that happens to Alexander…just pick a few of your favorites.
  • Help children interpret body language from the pictures. Add thinking bubbles for all the characters. How is Alexander’s reactions impacting others around him?
  • Have students write their own “Horrible Day.” Great for oral and written language goals. Add pictures. You could even write it on the Story Patch App and insert your own pictures.

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

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Cooperative Play = Teamwork

Working with many 3-6 year olds, I am often struck with the challenge of moving kids beyond parallel play towards cooperative play.  We try familiar duck-duck-goose and tag games.  Inevitably everyone is out to be the winner, be the best, and in the end, that’s all that matters to them.  We don’t tend to see kids rise up as leaders in that they don’t help organize or negotiate for the sake of the game.  Some may appear to be leaders as they boss each other around but they are typically trying to work the situation to their advantage.  Empathy for the “loser” seems non-existent.

We have found one of the simplest of all childhood games helpful in illustrating the importance of “teamwork” to children.  Follow the leader is a cooperative game that has two, clear roles…the leader and the follower.  The game absolutely cannot be played without individuals to play both parts.  Because kids understand the concept of leader (e.g. They often want to be the leader as they walk to lunch, recess, or circle time), follow the leader teaches the value of the follower.  It feels good to be the leader and have others follow along.  It is also clear to kids that they won’t have others follow them if they don’t take a turn following their friends.  This is a game that cannot be played in parallel with others.  It must be cooperative and is a fun and familiar way to help kids understand the concept of teamwork experientially.

by Jill Perry, MS, MHA, OTR/L

If you found the ideas in this blog helpful, you will definitely appreciate the activity ideas in the Social Adventures app available on the Social Adventures - all4mychild

Carl's bday

Carl’s Birthday

Title: Carl’s Birthday

Author: Alexandra Day

Description: A mother tries to surprise Carl her dog with a surprise party. However, Carl and Madeline ,the little girl, find out on their adventure through the house.

Goals/concepts:

  • Narrative / Retelling  (Wordless book)
  • Speech production /k/ (Carl, cake, coat, collar)
  • Why questions
  • Perspective taking
  • Verbs

Why I like this book: A beautifully illustrated wordless book that works well across ages. I keep finding new ways to use it, and kids love it. If you’re a dog lover, the book is even more appealing.
I look forward to reviewing more of the series.

Ideas for use:

  • Given it’s a wordless book, it’s a great book for overall expressive language. Take turns on each page being the “author.” Focus on any number of language goals: subject + verb + object, causal, sub- verb agreement, etc.
  • Great for retelling. Incorporate “first, next, then, etc.”
  • Use for speech production, especially “fronting.”  “Carl goes…..” is a great repetative phrase to work on. Additonally there are other opportunities including “cake, kids, coat, collar, etc.”
  • Why questions: Have kiddos figure out Why is mommy cleaning up? Why are Carl and Madeline hiding under the table?” etc. Use the illustrations to help them generate their own answers.
  • Good for basic perspective taking. The mommy doesn’t know that Carl and Madeline are in the house? Why? Why don’t they want her to know they are there? Use cut out bubble thoughts to help with this concept.
  • Great for basic verbs as Carl and Madeline do many activities (run, eat, drink, play, hide, etc.). Easy to incorporate “he/she/they” as well.

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

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*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.

 

Ideation/Perspective Drawing

I am finding many of the kids with whom I work have a difficult time coming up with novel ideas.  This has been happening in the gym, when telling stories, when they are creating Lego structures, or when drawing.  Our social adventures groups provide kids with ample opportunities to build this particular skill…but it has been a tough one to develop.  When they are given an open ended directive, the outcome is often a repeat of a previous idea or activity, a copy of another child’s idea, or a repetitive theme.
During one recent group, together with the kids and my wonderfully creative SLP co-leader, Meghan, we came up with an idea for creating ideas!    Meghan read the book “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis (featured in our Books4all entry see here).  We then gave each child a piece of paper with the same single-lined non-descript shape and told them to imagine what it could be and then add to the drawing.  After a designated amount of time, they passed their papers to the left and were told to add on to the previous person’s drawing.  Initially, when the papers were set before them, each child attempted to turn the form into what they had initially intended…an angry bird scene, a truck, a ghost, a pool.  After some discussion, we tried round 2 giving each child a paper showing a different form.   We encouraged the kids to look at their friend’s paper when it was set down before them and to try to imagine what their friend was thinking about when they drew it.  Then, they should add to their friend’s drawing.  By the fourth round (over several sessions), the kids were able to take the perspective of their friends and create a novel addition to each picture that was consistent with the original drawing.  A huge side benefit was that the kids also learned to be flexible when their original pictures returned to them looking different that what they expected.
The kids loved this activity and named it, “Not a box drawing” which seemed really appropriate.   I’m excited to try this in other forms to see if it carries over.
Jill Perry  MHA, M.S. OTR/L

If you found the ideas in this blog helpful, you will definitely appreciate the activity ideas in the Social Adventures app available on the Social Adventures - all4mychild

Tuesday

Tuesday

Book: Tuesday

Author: David Wiesner

Age: Elementary

Description: When the sun goes down on Tuesday, frogs are given the power to fly on their lily pads. They travel all over the town, in this book which is all but wordless.

Goals/Concepts:

  • reading body language
  • narrative language/ retelling
  • inferencing/ prediction
  • perspective taking

Why I love this book: The illustrations are amazing, and a fun story that kids love to retell. Lots of opportunity for language.

Ideas for Use:

  • Create thinking and speaking bubbles and have kiddos fill in what animals and characters are thinking. Discuss “why.” Focus on body language.
  • A great book for prediction. Where will the frogs fly next? Have them guess before moving to the next page.
  • Ask kids where they would fly if they could? Why? Great for the why/because sentence structure for oral or written language (e.g. I would fly through a zoo because I would want to get close to exotic animals.)
  • Have them create the next Tuesday. Where do the pigs fly?
  • A great story to have kids “retell” and use their own words. Encourage temporal markers, first, then, next, last
  • A great story for inferencing and higher level “why” questions. For example, “Why is there a police man looking at lily pads?” or  “Why isn’t the woman reacting to the frogs (“because she’s asleep, etc.).”

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

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*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.

 

mommas magical purse

Momma’s Magical Purse

Title:  Momma’s Magical Purse

Author: Paulette Bogan

Age: Preschool and School Age

Description: Cousin David doesn’t believe that Momma’s purse is magical, and then it starts to rain…

Goals/Concepts:
• Simple Narrative Structure
• Perspective Taking/Theory of Mind
• Why? Questions
• Early Prediction
• Interpreting body language
• Sentence structure (“not”)

Why I like this book: The illustrations are wonderful. Children love them and they provide another set of learning opportunities. Also, we all know a David…

Ideas for use:
• Great for modeling sentence structure of ”It is not… .”
• Instead of reading the words of the story, show the pictures and work on “why?” questions. Why does Momma have a bandaid, an umbrella, etc? The body language in the illustrations is fantastic. Once you’ve set the stage, see how much of the story kids can figure out using just the pictures.
• After reading a couple pages, see if kids can guess what else might be in Momma’s purse.
• Ask kids what they think about the magic. Great for open-ended discussion
• In a group? Have kids take turns being Rachael, David and Momma. Focus on the feelings that each of them has throughout the story. Talk about how David’s perspective might have changed at the end.
• The page where David takes the bucket is great for Theory of Mind. Where does each of the characters “think” the bucket is? Who actually “knows” where it is?

Submitted by: Karen S Head M.S. CCC-SLP

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*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.

goodnight

Good Night Gorilla

Book: Good Night, Gorilla

Author: Peggy Rahmann

Age: preschool, early elementary

Description: A sneaky gorilla steals the zookeepers keys, and lets out all of the zoo animals. They follow him home, all without him ever realizing.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Syllable sequencing (velar-alveolar sequence)
  • Animal vocabulary (zoo animals)
  • Perspective taking
  • Early Narrative
  • Reading Body Language
  • Early Prediction

Why I like this book: It’s one of my favorites because it can be used for so many goals. It’s consistently a hit with my younger friends, but also a great almost “wordless book”for my friends who are working on their narrative skills.

Ideas for use:

  • For kids working on sound sequencing (i.e. apraxia or underlying motor planning difficulties) they can practice saying “good night” (2 syllable velar-alveolar sequence) or “good night X” (3 syllable sequence) as the zoo keeper says goodnight to each of the animals on the story. Pair with touch cues. Great repetitive practice.
  • For other speech production kiddos maybe with “fronting”- good practice of /g/ (but challenging with the co-articulation….so consider that…)
  • Great book for perspective taking. Does the zookeeper “know” that the gorilla is out? Why not? Act out to help with understanding. There are lots of opportunities to discuss what characters are “thinking” and “feeling” (i.e. Gorilla is thinking “wahoo! I’m out…who else can I play with?”). Pair with cut out “thinking bubbles.” Copy pages and write in actual thinking bubbles
  • Lots of great body language to interpret and act out
  • A great book for early prediction. Who might the Gorilla let out next? (i.e. Is a cow a good guess? How about a tiger? Why is a tiger a better guess?, etc.)
  • A great story to retell. Have kiddos use their own words to tell you what is happening. Encourage temporal markers, and appropriate sentence structures.
  • For younger re-tellers- use pictures supports of the animals and sequence the order. Practice first, next, then, after that, etc.

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

Please support books4all and order this book from Amazon.com.  Thank you!

*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.

Eleph_Pig_can_i_play_too_lg

Can I Play Too?

Title: Can I Play Too?

Author: Mo Williams

Age: Early Elementary

Description: Piggie and Elephant plan to play catch when another friend (snake) wants to join in. They are struggling to figure out how include snake because he doesn’t have arms! They work together and after some failed attempts, come up with a solution!

Goals/Concepts

  • social language
  • friendship
  • perspective taking
  • reading body language
  • emotions
  • flexibility

Why I like this book.: A wonderful book to teach friendship. They don’t quit until they can find a way for everyone to be included and happy.

Ideas for use:

  • A great book for reading body language. Use cut out thinking bubbles and discuss how characters are thinking and feeling and why.
  • Read to a social group. Discuss how everyone was included.
  • Role play how to think of a role for everyone. Give them a game (i.e. tag, catch, hide and seek, UNO, etc). See if they can think of a “role”if someone were to join (i.e. change the game, add another “job” , wait and take turns, etc.)
  • Great for discussing and modeling less straight forward emotions such as “embarrassment, concern, determination, etc.”
  • Great book to read when working on tone of voice. Have the kiddo “act” as a character, and read their lines with appropriate tone of voice and body language.
  • Talk about flexible thinking.  After trying the same solution to the problem over and over again, how did Piggy come up with a totally novel idea?  Talk about other ways this problem could have been solved.  Create a “problem” in a game and have the kids solve it to practice including everyone.
  • When snake was accidentally hurt,  he didn’t get angry because he understood his friends were trying to help.  Talk about intention and attitude with kids.  This is especially important for kids who have trouble reading body clues and for kids with sensory modulation issues.

Submitted by: Meghan Graham M.S. CCC-SLP and Jill Perry MHA M.S. OTR/L

Please support books4all and order this book from Amazon.com.  Thank you!

*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.

bear

The Bear Next Door

Book:  The Bear Next Door

Author: Ida Luttrell

Age: Early Elementary, Elementary

Description: This early reader chapter book consists of 3 chapters depicting the relationship of a gopher and his new next door neighbor who is a bear. Gopher and bear learn how to be good neighbors and friends to each other, but have some bumps along the way.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Perspective Taking
  • Theory of Mind
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Social Language
  • Trickery

Why I like this book: For struggling readers, this is a great “chapter book” with pictures to break up the text.

Ideas for use:

  • A great story for perspective taking. Chapter 3 provides a perfect “theory of mind” opportunity. Help children understand what 1 characters knows, that the other doesn’t. Use thinking bubbles (cut out of paper, use a white board, etc.) above characters heads to discuss their thoughts and why. If this is really challenging, “act out” the story to help with understanding.
  • A great story for reading comprehension when you want somewhat lengthier level text. Read to children and follow up with comprehension questions. Can try with and without pictures support.
  • Have a discussion about how to be a good neighbor. What is important to think about? Chapter 1 would be a good example of how behavior affects others. Tie in with Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking © curriculum (www.socialthinking.com), and use the Social Behavior Maps. What was “unexpected” that the Gopher did (i.e. put his sprinkler on right by Bear’s furniture), how that affected others (Bear’s furniture was wet, he was covered in mud, etc.), how that made Bear feel (frustrated), the conquences (Bear is angry, doesn’t want to spend time with Gopher, etc.), and the affects on Gopher himself (feels terrible).

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

Please support books4all and order this book from Amazon.com.  Thank you!

*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.

Freckle Juice

Freckle Juice

Title: Freckle Juice

Author: Judy Blume
Age: Elementary School
Description: A short chapter book in which Andrew Marcus really wants freckles and can and does do almost anything to try and get them.
Goals/Concepts:
  • Main idea
  • Perspective taking
  • Reading comprehension
  • Prediction
  • “trickery”

Why I like this book: The chapters are short and broken up with pictures which makes it more enjoyable and manageable for struggling readers, or those with shorter attention spans. The story is humorous and loved by all kids.

Ideas for use:

  • Working on summarizing of each chapter. Have children write/share in 2-3 sentences the “most important thing” that happened.
  • Great for perspective taking as there is a huge element of trickery. If children are challenged by the concept of trickery, use drawings (stick figures will work!) and thinking and speaking bubbles to help them visualize and understand throughout each chapter. Write what characters are “thinking” vs. “saying” and why
  • Have children make predictions at the end of every chapter
  • Work in implicit and explict comprehension questions after each chapter
  • Have kids make up their own version of “freckle juice,” what would they include in their recipe. Who could they “trick”? (always discussing not to do this for real!)

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

Please support books4all and order this book from Amazon.com.  Thank you!

*Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.