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Dragon

Me and My Dragon Scared of Halloween

Title: Me and My Dragon: Scared of Halloween

Author and Illustrator:  David Biedrzycki

Age:  preschool, early elementary

Description:  A boy tried to help his pet dragon to not be afraid of Halloween.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Perspective taking
  • Body language
  • Early prediction and inferencing
  • Trying new experiences
  • Narrative language
  • Pretend play
  • Trickery
  • Social skills
  • Halloween vocabulary

Why I like this book:  The illustrations are incredible and keep kids engaged. An adorable story with a nice sequence of events for kids to retell and/or act out. There is also an Elvis reference, which I find awesome…I mean why not? :)

Ideas for use:  

  • A great story for labeling emotions and what characters could be thinking. Create a “thinking” bubble and hold over different characters heads to discuss. Point out and act out body language. Pair that with the character facial expression and discuss the context. There are great examples of “trickery” too- the dragon eventually dressed up as a dragon, but adults and kids think it’s a kid dressed as a dragon. A great opportunity for what do people “think” versus what is really happening.

Screenshot 2014-10-07 14.06.42

  • Encourage “detective eyes” to look for “clues” to help kids make inferences and predictions throughout the story. You can use the “remember” + “know” = “guess” framework for inferencing. For example in the first scene help students REMEMBER (see the clues) of the burned cake, small fire, burned clothing, soot on faces, holding fire extinguisher). What do they KNOW about dragons and fire? (they breathe fire, extinguishers are used to put out fires, etc.), helps us GUESS that the dragon accidentally burned down the cake and presents with his fiery breath!
  • Have students act out the story. Someone can be a dragon, the boy in the story and the various other characters (parents, other kids, etc.). Make a visual plan with the sequence to keep kids on task.
  • There are many opportunities for social skill discussions. A concept we work on constantly is “friends don’t make other friends wait.” The dragon has a tough time selecting his candy while trick or treating. The children in line are visibly frustrated. A good opportunity for discussion.
  • Pair with the Zones of Regulation for different emotions are how our body feels. Lots of opportunity for discussion around regulation. The Dragon obviously is “scared” and even “terrified” which can be at different “zones” in this program. Discuss the differences and what tools could help.

Z of R

Screenshot 2014-10-07 14.04.08

  • There are lots of examples of halloween vocabulary including werewolves, zombies, frankenstein, mummies, costumes, etc.
  • There is lots of “subtle” humor throughout the story that can be pointed out if language skills allow for it.

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

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Dragon

Me and My Dragon

Title:  Me and My Dragon

Author and Illustrator:  David Biedrzycki

Age:  preschool, early elementary

Description:  A boy describes all the things he could do with a dragon and how he would take care of this new and unusual pet.

Goals/Concepts:

  • Perspective taking
  • Body language
  • Early prediction
  • Trying new experiences
  • Managing the unexpected
  • Pretend play
  • Trickery

Why I like this book:  Incredible illustrations practically come alive!  Characters on each page, including the dragon, show a wide range of emotions such as happiness, confusion, fear, remorse, concern, curiosity, sneakiness, and surprise.

Ideas for use:  

  • Before reading the book, discuss what kind of unusual pets kids would like and what they would do with them
  • Read the book to tap into the children’s imagination, then talk again about unusual pets and see if they can come up with different suggestions
  • Before turning the page, ask the kids to predict what will happen next
  • Discuss how each child, adult, or dragon is feeling by noting facial expressions and body language.  Have the kids act out different characters while the others guess which character they are mimicking
  • Help preschoolers with regulation and deep breathing by taking deep breaths and blowing when they see the dragon breathe fire
  • Have kids practice impulse control by holding bubble blowers and only blowing when they see the dragon breathe fire
  • Play open-ended dragon games.  Have the kids make up new ways to play with or take care of a pet dragon
  • Create a dragon with craft materials as a group project

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

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fiona

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.

Goals/concepts:

  • 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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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

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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

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