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medal lion

The Lion and the Mouse

Title: The Lion and the Mouse

Author: Aesop’s Fable

Age: preschool, early elementary

Description: A familiar story about helping one another in surprising ways

Goals/Concepts:

  • Helping others
  • Prediction
  • Perspective Taking
  • Not being a bully
  • Dramatic Play

Why I like this book: It’s a great story about not picking on people weaker than you and a reminder that little ones, even kids, can be smart and act kindly.

Ideas for Use:

  • Before reading the story, talk about what kids know about mice and lions – What size are they? What do they like to eat? Are they fierce or mellow, brave or fearful?
  • As you read the story, have the kids predict what the lion will do when it catches the mouse. This often can lead to discussions about bullying.
  • This is a great book to delve into expected and unexpected behaviors and the consequences of each. The lion released the mouse, which freed him, made him happy and resulted in the mouse freeing the lion on another day.
  • This is a great story for dramatic play. With a group of 3 – 5, have the kids take on roles of different small animals such as a mouse, bird, rabbit, or snake. Have them think about and act out how each of those characters might free the lion.
  • Acting out the story creates opportunities for motor play as the kids set up their animal homes and move like various animals.
  • When kids act out this story, they are working on self-regulation. The lion must be careful not to grasp the mouse too hard and when the lion is released from his net, he must figure out how to not struggle too hard.
  • If the motor planning element is too challenging and the kids can’t tell the story while they move, try using finger puppets or making paper bag puppets to use for a puppet show.
  • The best part of the story is that if we help someone, they may come back to help us later, and what a good feeling that is for everyone!

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

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mr bounce

Mr. Bounce

Title:   Mr. Bounce (Mr. Men and Little Miss)

Author:  Roger Hargreaves

Age:  preschool, elementary school

Description:  One of the “Mr. Books” that outright speaks to those overly active, well-meaning, but tough-to-manage kids.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Self-regulation
  • Body awareness
  • Motor planning
  • Perspective taking
  • Good intentions
  • Understanding consequences of actions
  • Accepting help from an adult

Why I like this book:  First of all, this is a series that I used when I was teaching in the late 70’s, and it is adorable.   Even though it’s “old”, kids respond to the characters and story.  There are few books that specifically address those bouncy kids and, as an OT, I am happy to use this one.

Ideas for use:  

  • Before reading, discuss times when you moved too quickly or moved without looking which caused a problem for you or others.  For example, knocking over a coffee cup or tripping over a pair of shoes.  Have the kids offer suggestions of times their high activity level caused bad things to happen.  This helps “normalize” the situation without pointing a negative finger at the “Bouncers.”
  • As you read the story, have the kids anticipate what will happen.  There are lots of opportunities for visualization.  For example, “… you can guess what happened next, can’t you?” and “As you can imagine, that made things very difficult.”  Taking time to think about and discuss these concepts helps kids with ideation and planning.
  • Discuss feelings as you read.  How did Mr. Bounce feel about falling in the water?  The simple line drawings actually have very expressive faces.  Have the kids work on mimicking the expressions.
  • Young kids may not know they need help from adults to manage their high activity level.  They may be disciplined for accidents they cause and feel that they need to figure it out on their own.  I love that Mr. Bounce seeks help from an adult in this book.  Talk with kids about how we, as adults, are here to help them, not punish them.
  • Play a variation of the Silly-Calm body game from the Social Adventures App after reading this book to help kids recognize they can have control over their bodies.  When you say, “Bounce” kids can move, dance, or bounce around the room.  When you say, “Red Boots” (the shoes that were given to Mr. Bounce to help him be more grounded) the kids will freeze their bodies or pretend to sleep, or go back to their seats and remain still.

Check out their great website for lots of fun stuff http://www.mrmen.com

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

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biscuit

Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day

Title: Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day

Author: Book:  Alyssa Satin Capucilli , eBook: Zuuka, Inc

Description: It’s Valentine’s Day and Biscuit and his friend spread the love…

Goals/ objectives:

  • “w” and “f” sounds
  • animal sounds
  • early sequencing
  • turn-taking in conversation
  • OT goal:  figure-ground perception
  • OT goal: craft project to go along
  • “wondering” vs “knowing”

Why I like this story: It’s Biscuit!  Need I say more :)

Ideas for use:

  • for minimally-verbal children, encourage them to attempt a “doggie sound” when Biscuit “woofs”
  • lots of opportunities for “w” and “f” production and simple sound-sequencing (e.g., “doggie”, “meow”, “knock knock”)
  • for more sound play, have Biscuit deliver valentines to a farm full of animals.
  • OT:  prior to reading the story, have kids make one of the adorable valentine crafts found on our Pinterest Board,
  • then act out the story pretending to deliver the Valentine using simple play house and people.
  • talk about conversational turn-taking.  With a girl figurine and a dog, act out the turn-taking.  The little girl speaks, then the dog barks and so on.
  • Use a visual to denote whose turn it is so kids get the rhythm (e.g. pass a bean bag back and forth)
  • OT:  the eBook has bones hidden on every page, encourage kids to find them and touch them.  There will be a tally at the end.  Great for keeping kids focused without being distracting.
  • Enjoy this adorable story, and then discover more Biscuit books…

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

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red sled

Red Sled

Title: Red Sled

 Author: Lita Judge

Description:  A little girl leaves her sled outside at night, and realizes that she is sharing it with many forest animals!

Goals/ objectives:

  • Early narrative (simple sequence story)
  • Perspective taking
  • Early prediction
  • Emotion/Facial Expression
  • Vocabulary (forest animals: moose, raccoons, opossum, porcupine, etc.)
  • Social Pragmatics
  • Speech Production

Why I like this story: This story was recommended by a good friend (and also People Magazine ;)) and has been a hit with so many children. It’s mainly a wordless book with adorable illustrations.

Ideas for use:

  • Have children be the “teacher” and read it to you. Encourage temporal markers (first, next, then) and expanding on their language. Would be great to incorporate with early learning of story grammar elements (character, settings, initiating event, etc.) and pair with “Braidy” from Mindwingconcepts.
  • A great story to “act out” in a group. Have different children be the various animals and get on the sled (can use an actual sled, a carpet square, blanket, etc.). Great to work on “sharing space.”
  • Use thinking and speaking bubbles and have kids fill them in. What are the animals thinking, saying, etc.
  • Mainly a wordless book, but lots of opportunity for speech production. For example, I have been using for syllable sequencing kiddos, and making up different sounds the animals make (appropriate for their targets) as they travel down the hills (i.e. wooogoooo, gaaaaaadeeeee, moooooowaaaa, etc.). You could do this with straight articulation targets too.
  • The illustrations are great for working on simple prediction. What animal will be next? What will happen next?
  • Have kids write a “sequel.” What would happen the next day? Would they try another winter sport? Would new animals join? Kids can draw their own pictures, could create on a story making app (i.e. Story Patch), use google images, etc.

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

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Snow_friends_L

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:

Narrative/Retelling
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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Book Dont wake up the bear

Don’t Wake up the Bear

Title: Don’t Wake Up the Bear!

 Author: Majorie Dennis Murray

Description: A sleeping bear becomes a warm, comfy place for many animals to keep warm in the cold. But this becomes a problem when a mouse with a cold wakes up the bear.

Goals/ objectives:

  • negation and contractions (“don’t”)
  • sequencing/ Retelling
  • early prediction
  • why
  • animal vocabulary
  • vocal volume

Why I like this story: A cute winter story.

Ideas for use:

  • simple story sequence to retell. Can make board maker pictures or use google images to find the various animals. (hare, badger, fox, squirrel and mouse) and use to sequence and retell the story. Incorporate temporal markers (first, next, then, etc.)
  • use to discuss setting (woods, cave). Draw a big winter wood scene and have child add the various winter animals to retell the story.
  • have kids predict what animal is next? Can they think of another animal that lives in the woods? What might happen if they wake the bear?
  • kids can add to the story with more winter animals and write their own stories
  • Great for simple why questions. Why are they whispering? Why are they sleeping with the bear?
  • lots of repetition of “don’t” if practicing or exposing to negation or contractions
  • could use for voice volume. Lots of examples of whispering (when bears sleeping) vs. yelling (when bear wakes up). Could tie to the The Incredible 5 Point Scale and use for vocal volume.

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

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9780670654000

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.

Goals/objectives:
• 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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download

A Day Without Rules

Title: A Day Without Rules

Author: Billy Boston, Illustrated by Joel McNatt

Description: A classroom of children get to see the effects of not having rules for the day. They learn to see the importance of respecting each other.

Why I like this story: A good story for the preschool/kindergarten classroom, as the story provides situations that kids can really relate to, along with great illustrations to help with understanding of emotions.  Our social groups have really enjoyed this story, and has led to great discussion.

Goals/ objectives:

  • social skills/ pragmatic language
  • perspective taking
  • friendship
  • prediction skills
  • early narrative language, retelling
Ideas for use:
  • Role play the various situations that happen in the story (i.e. purposely knocking over a block tower, grabbing objects out of hands, etc.), and discuss characters feelings and thoughts. Exaggerate and discuss body language. Have children act out the “right” way and the “way without rules.” Great for discussion and practice of social appropriate responses/actions
  • Use bubble thoughts to discuss what characters are thinking and why
  • Have students generate what rules they would want to live without. Great for prediction skills…What might happen if we don’t have to keep our cubby clean? Not wash our hands before snack? Take toys/books home? etc. Students can even generate their own stories around not having these rules and the effects. Create the stories on story creation apps like Toontastic or Book Creator.
  •  Great for early narrative skills. Clear characters, settings and initiating events. Pair with Mindwing Concepts story grammar marker or Story Grammar Marker (SGM) App.

Submitted by Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP It is noted that all4mychild was provided with a copy of this story for review. However, options expressed are our own and no other compensation was provided. *Like this review and activities? Check out the Social Adventures App for more activities for children.

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Thank you!

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arnosky turkey

I’m a Turkey

Title: I’m A Turkey!

Author: Jim Arnosky

Description:  The life of a turkey from his own perspective.

Goals/concepts:

-phonological awareness skills (rhyming)

-why questions (i.e. ups and downs of being a turkey, why must they be careful, etc.)

-Discussion around body language (i.e. discuss how they communicate “without words”)

-perspective taking

Why I like this book: It’s a fun holiday story.

Ideas for use:

-Have children fill in the rhyming words, or generate other words that would rhyme.

-After reading do a game of charades. The story talks about how in a “group” they often “communicate without words”- expand on this. Could act out thanksgiving theme ideas as well (e.g. turkey, dinner, setting table, cooking, etc.)

-Have children make their own thanksgiving poems.

-for older students, discuss the turkey’s perspective vs. the hunter, vs. the farmer, etc.

-For causals have children fill in “why” turkeys have to be careful…because….

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

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Elmer

Elmer

Title: Elmer

Author: David McKee

Description: Elmer the elephant isn’t like all the other elephants. He’s colorful and struggles with that difference. After trying to be like all the other elephants and failing, he realizes how much his friends appreciate his uniqueness.

Goals:

  • Friendship
  • Social Skills
  • Narrative language/Retelling
  • Animal Vocabulary

Why I like this book: A good example of appreciating people’s differences, and teaching children to be themselves.

Ideas for this book:

  • Have each child come up with something they can do (i.e. sometimes do friends ideas even if it isn’t exactly what they want, ask a friend what their favorite game is and play it together, let another friend go first, etc.), or something that they are good at, that makes their friends think/feel positively towards them. Discuss how Elmer was good at making the other elephants laugh and enjoy themselves. This made his friends like him, and want to spend time with him. Could they use one of their “talents” or traits to enjoy their time with friends? Maybe they are great at legos- they could make a lego tower together with a friend? Maybe they are good at drawing- they could draw a picture for their friend of their friend’s favorite thing. Encourage discussion around what others are thinking about and feeling when they do these things. They could even draw pictures of this, and share. Use thinking and speaking bubbles to demonstrate how what friends would be thinking and saying.
  • If in a group- have kids each come up with something positive about another group member. What is something that they like about that friend? What makes them special? Again, pair with thinking and speaking bubbles.
  • A great story to identify story grammar elements (i.e. characters, setting, initiating event, etc.). I like to pair with MindwingConcepts story grammar marker /”Braidy” to help students identify and retell the story.
  • Have children retell using “Braidy” or using the pictures from the story. Encourage temporal markers and cohesive ties during their retell.
  • Elmer walks through the jungle and sees various jungle animals. Have children describe and generate other jungle animals. Great to pair with the Expanding Expression Tool (EET) for added description. Could also work on comparing and contrasting of various animals.
  • At the end of the story, the elephants each color themselves in honor of Elmer one day a year. Provide students with an elephant, and have them decorate their own. How would they design themselves? If in a group- a great activity to see how everyone would color themselves differently. Discuss how we all are different, and have different ideas in our head. A great discussion for how much more interesting life is because of our differences. This is illustrated well in this story.

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

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