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me first

Me First

Title: Me First

Author: Helen Lester. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Description: Pinkerton the pig always has to be first. No matter what! He learns a lesson that “being first isn’t always best.”

Goals:

  • Perspective Taking
  • Figurative Language
  • Narrative Language
  • Social Skills

Why I like this book: In our social groups we have many kiddos who HAVE to be first.  A good silly story to address the concept. Also a great story for language flexibility, and narrative skills.

Ideas for this book:

  • Discuss and demonstrate the body language when Pinkerton pushes past them to be first. Use thinking bubbles (a white board, regular paper) and discuss how those characters feel and why. What are friends thinking of Pinkerton? Problem solve ways to cope when you aren’t first.
  • A great story to tie to discussion around personal body space. We have used after reading Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook. Practice lining up in a group, managing space, and using words to negotiate who is “first” and next in line.
  • “sandwich” vs. a “sand witch” is demonstrated in this story, as well as “care for” meaning want vs. taking care of. Great example of language flexibility. The author makes a great picture of what Pinkerton was thinking vs. what actually happened. Tie to discussion around idioms and other figurative language. For more examples (check for age appropriateness of course) see Proverbidioms app. Also can pair with other figurative language stories reviewed on all4mychild. Click on “figurative language” on our home page for more.
  • Great for narrative skills. Have students “retell” the story using the pictures to help. I use with Mindwingconcepts “Braidy,” to help students identify story grammar elements.

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

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veg soup

Growing Vegetable Soup

Title: Growing Vegetable Soup

Author: Lois Ehlert

Description:  This beautifully illustrated book brings the sequence of growing and enjoying one’s own vegetables to life.

Goals:

  • Vegetable Vocabulary
  • Vegetable Growth Cycle
  • Narrative/Story Retell
  • Sequencing
  • Pretend Play

Why I like this book:  This book offers the “just right” amount of information to use as a primer for a planting unit, and the illustrations are beautiful.

Ideas for this book:

  • Generate sequence cards by copying the key pages of this book and have kids put them into sequence.
  • After reviewing the vegetables introduced in this book and their salient features, play the Bag Game using the set of vegetable pictures.
  • Reinforce the concepts by actually planting some seeds in small cups or gardens and watching them grow over several weeks.
  • Incorporate some pretend by using Playdoh for the “planting”.  This also addresses some fine motor goals:
    • Flatten a small ball of Playdoh to make the “dirt”
    • Roll tiny balls of Playdoh between thumb and first two fingers to make “seeds”
    • Press the seeds into the dirt
    • Roll Playdoh between two palms to make “stalks” and “stems”; plant in the dirt
    • Roll more tiny balls for “vegetables” and place on the stalks and stems
    • Replace the Playdoh vegetables with plastic fruit (the Velcro kind are ideal), pretend to chop and place in a soup pot
    • Serve and enjoy
  • Good book for reinforcing multisyllabic word production (vegetable, tomato, cucumber, broccoli, etc) and velar production (corn, cucumber, broccoli, carrot, cut, cook, etc)
  • Lois Ehlert has a wonderful collection of books, use this book as part of an author study
  • The illustrations in this book are very simple, have kids make their own collage art.  Have precut shapes available or have the kids trace and cut their own for more fine motor fun.

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

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LittleMouse1

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

Title: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

Author: Dan and Audrey Woods

Description: A little mouse is thrilled that he finds a delicious strawberry, however, he hears that there is a big hungry bear who loves strawberries. Especially one that has just been picked….

Goals:

  • Reading Body Language/Facial expressions
  • Narrative/Story Retell
  • Early Prediction
  • Speech production (s blends)
  • Pretend Play

Why I like this book: A classic that is loved by all children, especially the surprise ending 😉

Ideas for this book:

  • The mouse is very expressive. A great story if working on emotions, and reading body language. Have children act out the mouse’s expressions and body language and/or guess yours. There is an emphasis on scared/worried as well as happy and relieved. Add “thinking bubbles” above the mouse and have children think about what he is thinking/feeling.
  •  A great story for early story grammar elements as it’s a simple sequence. There are simple characters, setting, problem (kickoff), internal response,events and resolution. Great when introducing the Story Grammar Marker through Mindwingconcepts
  • As the mouse is trying to keep the strawberry from the bear, have children predict what he might do next? Will he hide under the rug? Under the bed? Turn it into pie? See if kids can think of new and different ways the mouse can hide or use the strawberry.
  • A great story to “act out” given its simple nature. I’ve used it in individual sessions and dyads (both as mice). What can they find to “be” the strawberry? What will be the house? The hammock at the end? If you don’t have a lot of space to act it out physically, use a little mouse and a strawberry for more traditional “pretend play.”
  • Lots of opportunity for /s/ blends (strawberry, sniff, smell, etc.) Readers can read the story, non-readers can repeat.
  • Add a craft for the story. One of the fantastic OTs that I work with created a strawberry out of red construction paper, and glued little lentils as the “seeds.”

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

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but-not-the-hippopotamus

But Not The Hippopotamus

Title: But Not the Hippopotamus

Author: Sandra Boynton

Description: A shy hippo watches other friends play, but doesn’t join in. Eventually the animal pack asks her to play, and even though she is nervous, she decides to join in on the fun.

Goals:

  • Social Skills: Joining play and including others in play
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Speech Production /s/ final position,
  • Early Narrative/Retelling
  • Negation/Exclusion

Why I like this book: Great for discussion around joining others in play

Ideas for this book:

  • Great for discussion around joining others in play and/or including others in play. Great to pair with the “Joining Game” from our Social Adventures App. Help break down this skill for children and practice joining on going play.
  • Create thinking and speaking bubbles for the Hippo in the story. What is she thinking/feeling? Why?
  • Have kids role play what they would “say” to join others in play. How would they offer to include others? How could the hippo try and join?
  • A rhyming story. Have children fill in the rhyming word when reading. Can they generate other words that rhyme with the pair?
  • Lots of practice of /s/ in word final positions. Have children imitate the words as you read. If a reader, have them read the story.
  • Have children retell the story using temporal markers (first, next, then).
  • Have students create the “sequel” as the story ends with an Armadillo feeling shy. What could the next story be like? Have children draw the pictures, and try to write the next story. Can they make the story rhyme as well?
  • Good examples to teach “not” or “everything but” concepts around following directions.

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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images

Curious George Visits the Zoo

Title: Curious George Visits the Zoo

Author: Margret Rey

Description: George gets into mischief again… and then saves the day again… in this relatively short episode of this classic series.

Goals/ objectives:
• Verbal description/ salience
• Inferencing/ Prediction
• Sequencing/ retelling
• Body language/ facial expression
• “Guessing” vs “knowing”

Why I like this story: It is a classic and it is great for acting out in a group.

Ideas for use:
• while reading the story aloud, hide the pages with animals on them and ask kids to guess what animals George visits by describing them before showing the page. The animals pictured are excellent for a lesson in salience (what is the most important thing about a giraffe, kangaroo, elephant?). Have kids take turns describing which animal George might see next.
• following the story, introduce a verbal description guessing game. For easy access to variety of objects presented by category, try our Bag Game app.
• using the picture clues given in the story, ask kids to guess what George might do when the Man with the Yellow Hat asks him to stay put.
• discuss the concepts of “guessing” vs “knowing”. Talk about why the picture clues lead to various “guesses” and why new information may lead to new guesses.
• the illustrations in this book are excellent for talking about facial expressions and body language and reasons for them.
• this is a great story for acting out or retelling either in individual sessions or in a group. For preschoolers, props can be provided to act out the sequence, while for K/1 kiddos, the simple story line offers a great opportunity to introduce Braidy, the Story Grammar Marker from Mindwing Concepts.

Submitted by Karen S Head MS CCC-SLP

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do you

Do You Want To Be My Friend?

Title: Do You Want To Be My Friend?

Author:  Eric Carle

Description: A lonely mouse is looking for a friend to play with. He has to ask a lot of animals before he finds the right one.

Goals/objectives:

  • Early Inferencing/Predicting
  • Possession
  • /s/ production (final word position)
  • Animal Vocabulary
  • Why Questions and Reasoning
  • Sequencing
  • Early Narrative/ Retelling
  • Friendship or Social Skills

Why I like this book: It’s a simple, mainly wordless book that kids love and can be adapted for a number of speech, language or social goals across ages.

Ideas for use:

  • Have children predict what animal is coming next. The tail of each animal is shown before the actual animal. Have them make guesses.
  • Great for possession. The Elephant‘s tail, the Seal’s tail, etc. Good for part/whole relationships as well.
  • Great for /s/ targets. Can adapt to word, sentence levels. Mouse, mice, all final position possession (snake’s, peacock’s, etc.)
  • Why questions and reasoning. WHY isn’t the horse a good fit for the mouse? (grumpy or too big) WHY isn’t the elephant a good fit for the mouse? (too big, would be hard to play with, etc.). WHY isn’t the snake a good fit? (he would eat the mouse!) Because it’s wordless, have kids predict what the animal is likely say to the mouse. Can add in tone of voice discussion as well.
  • Print pictures of the animals, or use toy animals and have children sequence the story. Add in temporal markers such as first, next, then, etc.
  • Have children “act” out the story. If in a group, many animals to re-enact. If not in a group, provide a toy mouse or have the child be the toy mouse and ask other “animals” to play in the accurate order.
  • For a social group- good for discussion around joining others play. It doesn’t always work out. Good to discuss this concept and what makes a good friend. The mouse doesn’t give up, and eventually finds a “good match” for a friend.

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

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little blue and little yellow

Book:   Little Blue and Little Yellow

Author:  Leo Lionni

Age:  preschool, elementary school

Description:  Best friends, little blue and little yellow, have lots of fun playing together.  When they hug each other, their color changes, which creates a problem.  This story about friends, family, and fun can be read and played out on many different levels.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Perspective taking
  • Social Skills
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Symbolic play
  • Why questions
  • Prediction
  • Visual perception/visual motor
  • Friendship
  • Sequencing
  • Motor planning

Why I like this book:   All of the characters in this book are represented by torn pieces of colored paper.  Yet, children are captivated by how they come alive in the book as they play together, spent time in their homes with family, cry, and rejoice.

Ideas for use:  

  • As you read the book through the first time, ask questions about how the “friends” and “papas and mamas” feel based on what the torn paper “characters” look like on the page.
  • Ask kids if they can predict what will happen as the story unfolds.
  • See if kids can interpret the actions of the characters on each page as the colors are shown playing hide-n-seek, ring around the rosie, jumping, and going through tunnels.
  • Have kids think of solutions to problems that arise in the story.
  • After reading the story, have the kids re-tell the story in the proper sequence.
  • Make an obstacle course to act out the story.
  • Have kids tear up pieces of construction paper and create their own stories with their own colors and actions.
  • Give each child one color and have the kids make a group mural of the entire story sequence.

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

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hardcover[1]

Being Benny

Title: Being Benny

Author: Dan Wetzel

Age: preschool, elementary school

Description: Benny escapes the boredom he is experiencing on a rainy day by using his imagination…

Goals/Concepts:
• Imagination
• Ideation
• Problem solving
• Motor planning
• Creativity
• Categories

Why I like this book: Benny uses his imagination rather than “screens” to make his day more interesting. I like to use this book to talk about using the brain as a tool for eliminating boredom.

Ideas for use:
• After reading, talk with kids about what they would like to be. This can be broken down into categories. (e.g. vehicle, food, clothing, animal)
• After kids have talked about what they would like to be, see if each child can remember one thing a friend wanted to be.
• Discuss similarities in what kids in the group would choose to be or do to build friend files.
• Play charades acting out the pictures in the book.
• Find out what the kids do on rainy days and help them think about other ways to use their imaginations for fun.

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

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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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