Blog Archive

Friday, August 18, 2017

Top 10 Back-to-School Books for Speech Therapy


Are you looking for a fun back-to-school read aloud to start the year with? Do you want an attention grabber that will spark an excitement for learning this year? For me, starting a new school year is an exciting time of the year. New room decor, new school clothes, and newly sharpened pencils. But what I get excited about is NEW books!


In this post, I want to share with you my top 10 back-to-school books for speech therapy and why I recommend them.







The dinosaur books are some of my favorite. They teach social skills with rhyme and rhythm. In the engaging read aloud, How do Dinosaurs Go to School?, you can target expected/unexpected behaviors or appropriate/inappropriate behaviors for school conduct. The authors ask questions such as,  "Do dinosaurs yell?" This book targets expected behaviors throughout the school day and throughout the school environment (library, classroom, playground, etc.) I used this book with my PK-2nd grade students and we made a large T-chart showing what we should/should not do at school. We hung it in the hall and titled it "How do (name of school) Leaders Go to School?"



Do you have students who show anxiety at school or worry about what other's think of them? David Shannon's book  A Bad Case of Stripes uses a crazy illness like "stripes" to depict the consequences of worry and anxiety. The illustrations provide detailed opportunities for inference and discussion, as well as an opportunity to discuss "size of the problem." I used this book with students in 2nd-5th grade. I copied pages from the book and we looked at text and picture clues to make inferences. The theme, "Be yourself" is a complex concept for younger students to comprehend. I recommend this book for students in upper elementary or older.



For those of you who love Froggy, this is a must for back-to-school. In Froggy Goes to School, Froggy is nervous about school and has a horrible dream about going to school in his underwear. When he wakes up from his nightmare, he is excited to find out it was just a dream. This read aloud for student in PK-2nd grade is engaging with repetitive events and text. Full of onomatopoeia, you can't resist but to read it with enthusiasm. This is another great book to calm the jitters and provide opportunities for young learners to tell you about a time they were nervous or even a bad dream they might have had. So how does Froggy get to school? They leapfrogged all the way to school, Flop, Flop, Flop!



Model personal narrative skills with Mark Teague's  How I Spent My Summer Vacation. This book is written to target older elementary students and middle school students. A young boy stands up in front of his class to tell a story about his summer vacation. With elaborate detail, the readers are thrown into a wild western. This book is perfect for older elementary and middle school due to the nature and complexity of the story. If you are targeting story sequence, personal narratives, adding details, expanding sentences, visualization, and sensory language, this is the perfect book for your students. Story expansion activities can include vocabulary development, and an oral or written personal narrative with the opportunity to share it with others.


A fun book in Lucille Colondro's series depicts the Old Lady getting ready for the first day of school. In There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books! readers follow the traditional pattern reading they are familiar with from her other books. She swallows all her school supplies, just in time to catch the bus. Tier 2 vocabulary such as fuss, balk, brag, measure, protect are rich in meaning and should be taught in context and expanded further in discussion. A few story expansion activities may include: school vocabulary, story sequence and retell, identifying rhyming words, and answering "wh" questions.


David is back! and he's as active as ever! This is another terrific book by David Shannon to target expectations at the beginning of the year. It is perfect for PK-2nd grade since David gets into quite a bit of mischief on his first day of school. This book reminds me a lot of How do Dinosaurs Go to School?I can definitely see it read as a companion book to discuss expectations and behaviors at school. Full of vibrant illustrations, this book is also ideal for building descriptive language, targeting inference skills and expand on cause/effect skills with your students. No matter the age, there are always consequences (good or bad) to our choices.


Nancy Carlson, author of ABC I Like Me! and I Like Me! wrote these two books to provide students the opportunity to develop self-esteem and self-expression. These companion books expose students to rich vocabulary and simple sentence structures. These are great books for "All About Me" themes at the beginning of the year. These books are appropriate for PK-1st grade students. 


It's Llama Llama's first day of preschool! Llama Llama's mama helps him get ready for school. "Llama school begins today! Time to learn and time to play. Make the bed and find some clothes. Brush the teeth and blow the nose."   This book provides opportunities for young students to sequence their morning and tell you what they do to get ready for school. Language expansion activities may simply be, "draw a picture of what you do to get ready in the morning." You could also make sequencing pictures and let students retell the story (wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, drive to school...). When Llama Llama starts missing mama, his friends help him feel better about his first day. What a great opportunity to talk about how to "be a friend."




Her parents chose her name especially for her.  Chrysanthemum loves her name. However on the first day of school, she is teased, "You're named after a flower. Let's smell her." Kevin Henkesauthor of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, is the author of this charming book that touches on friendship, bullying, and self-esteem. This books provides opportunities for character analysis, Tier 2 vocabulary instruction, verbal problem-solving, and story comprehension with inference skills. This book is recommended for students in 1st -3rd grade. 


 This little mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is going to school. Laura Numeroff writes a circular story in the traditional "If...Then..." story pattern.  "If he asks for a lunchbox, he'll want a sandwich." Students will have the opportunity to make text-to-self connections by talking about their first day of school, buying school supplies, packing or buying their lunch, and even having a class pet. This story provides many opportunities for story expansion activities, such as: back-to-school vocabulary, story retell, describing, sorting and categorizing. This book is ideal for PK-1st grade students.



I've provided several book companion links to  my Teachers Pay Teachers online store.

Take a look at my Back-to-School products, including my all inclusive "Back-to-School Speech and Language Pack," adapted books and book companions. Click on the image to link to my Teachers Pay Teachers online store.







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*Amazon affiliate links are provided through the post.
*To search for gently used copies of books mentioned in this post, click on the following link:
Used books for as low as $3 each

Any purchases made through Amazon or Thriftbooks affiliate links may result in a monetary  profit for My Speech Tools at no extra cost to you.

Lisa, SLP


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1 comment:

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