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elf

The Little Red Elf

 

Title: The Little Red Elf

 Author: Barbara Barbieri McGrath

Description: A play on the Little Red Hen, the little elf tries to get her friends to help her plant and grow a Christmas tree. The penguin, the hare and the reindeer choose to be lazy or do what they want rather than help their friend. They learn their lesson at the end of the story. hey

Goals/ objectives:

  • Early narrative (simple sequence story)
  • Past tense
  • Teamwork
  • Perspective taking
  • Early prediction
  • Question formulation/”who” questions

Why I like this story: Adorable pictures with lots of language opportunities. I’m a big fan of the original Little Red Hen, and this is a fun holiday spin.

Ideas for use:

  • simple story sequence to retell with repetition. Use the pictures and incorporate “first, next, then, etc.”
  • The little elf does lots of actions as she does all the work. A great story to elicit past tense verbs, with clear pictures and lots of opportunities (i.e. shoveled, cleaned, painted, etc.)
  • A good story for a group to stress “teamwork” and and “many hands make light the work” concept. A good message for this time of year as well. Have kids think about how they can help others…an obvious opportunity for some perspective taking.
    • Have children predict what the little elf will have to do next to care for a tree. First plant.. what do you think will be next? (water, bring in the house, decorate, etc.)
  • There is lots of opportunity to model, “Who will help me….” both for expressive and receptive “wh” question goals.
  • The pictures offer opportunity for emotions and perspective taking. Use thinking bubbles to assist kids understand what characters are thinking and why

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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Perfect-Square-hc-c

Perfect Square

Book: Perfect Square

Author: Michael Hall

Age: Preschool and School Age

Description: A perfect square gets cut and ripped and crumpled and discovers the wonders of transformation.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Flexibility
  • Ideation
  • Social Skills
  • Prediction based upon salient clues
  • Question Formulation
  • Verbal Description
Why I like this book: Great for discussion about flexibility and salience.  A great follow-up to our Not a Box activities.
Ideas for use: 
  • While reading this book, talk about the salient features that make up the new design.  Did it help to draw something to make it more obvious?  Why?
  • After reading the book, give kids their own paper (origami paper is best). Have them cut it, rip it, crumple it, or poke holes in it.  Encourage different shapes and sizes.  What can they turn it into? If struggling to come up with ideas, have them talk about the shapes they made.  What do those shapes remind them of?
  • In a group?  Have kids rip or cut the square and then pass the pieces to a friend.  Once everyone is done with their transformation, have them try to guess what each other created.  Remember, adding a few salient clues is a critical part of the exercise.
  • Great for modeling question formulation to gain further clues  (i.e. Is it a thing or a place?  What do you do with it?)
  • Great for verbal description (e.g., “first it was a box with four sides, now it is a garden with lots of orange flowers and long, thin stems. )
Submitted by: Karen S Head M.S. CCC-SLP

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not-a-box

Not A Box

Book: Not a Box

Author: Antoinette Portis

Age: Preschool and School Age

Description: A creative rabbit who turns a box into anything and everything. He makes it clear that it’s NOT a box!

Goals/Concepts:

  • Flexibility
  • Ideation
  • Social Skills
  • Early Prediction
  • Question Formulation
  • Sentence structure (“not”)
Why I like this book: Great for discussion about flexibility. While reading, kids love to make guesses as to what it could be next.
Ideas for use: 
  • After reading a couple pages, see if kids can guess what it could be next? What could he be standing on? What could he be sitting in?
  • After reading the book, give kids their own box. What can they turn it into? If struggling to come up with ideas, have them act out the ideas in the story. Add on to the sequence. First it’s a car. Where will they drive to? What will they do next? Great for working on pretend play schemes and sequences.
  • In a group? Give each kiddo a piece of paper with a square (box). Give them 10-20 seconds then have them FREEZE. Switch papers. Give another 10-20 seconds. Exchange as many times as you’d like. Have kiddos talk about how their idea was changed. Great to discuss how we all have DIFFERENT ideas in our head. This can be challenging for our friends who struggle with flexibility…but a great exercise. If changing their own picture is too challenging, you can just have 1 box, and each add to it. A good exercise to discuss how teamwork can make a cool picture!
  • Great for modeling question formulation and auxiliaries  (i.e. Why ARE you sitting in that box?, What ARE you doing on top of that box? etc. ) You can modify these for your use. Have the kiddos ask the rabbit.
  • Great for modeling sentence structure of ” It’s NOT a box.” Ask your kiddo’s “Is it a box?”- “No, it’s NOT a box!”
Submitted by: Meghan G. Graham M.S. CCC-SLP

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the busy spider

The Very Busy Spider

Title: The Very Busy Spider

Author: Eric Carle

Age: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: This story follows a busy spider that is working on her web on a fence post on a farm. Various farm animals stop by to see her, but she is too busy to answer.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Question Formulation (Do you want to X?)
  • Why? (Because she is too busy)- repetitive practice
  • Farm Animal Vocabulary
  • Speech production:/sp/ blends, /s/ (medial, final position)
  • Prediction (Who will be next to ask the spider?)
  • Social Language: Is it expected that the spider isn’t answering others? Should we ignore our friends if we’re busy?

Why I like this book? Kids love the textured pages, as the spider builds the web.

Ideas for use:

•Make a spider web out of string or yarn, have articulation words/pics get “stuck” (tape, glue stick) in the web for home practice

•Role play what she could say to her friends instead of ignoring them.

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

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