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Friday, October 27, 2017

5 Great Thanksgiving Read Alouds for Speech Therapy

It's about time to put away the jack-o-lanterns and bats and pull out your turkey books and Thanksgiving therapy materials. There are several different themes you can incorporate in your lessons, including: gratitude, family, the first Thanksgiving, save the turkey, and MORE! In this post, I want to share with you my favorite read alouds for speech therapy. These great books are perfect for mixed groups (articulation, language, fluency, social skills) as well as for connecting the curriculum to your students' communication goals.

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano is a witty story about a turkey who sets out to find the perfect disguise in order to avoid becoming the main course of the Thanksgiving meal. Turkey's costumes include dressing up like the other animals on the farm (horse, cow, sheep, pig, rooster) until he finally finds the perfect disguise. Rich vocabulary such as moaned, grumbled, groaned, and howled set the tone for Turkey's dilemma. Wendi Silvano also ads a few puns such as, "Don't be such a ham." and "Quit horsing around." which will provide opportunities for great conversation and language development.

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey is an adaptation of the classic Christmas poem. Eight tiny children board the school bus "while visions of drumsticks danced in their heads." They visit Farmer Mack Nugget's farm where they find out about his sinister plan to kill the turkeys. The children risk it all to smuggle the turkeys back home for a Thanksgiving vegetarian dinner. Your students can show comprehension by completing a graphic organizer story map (character, setting, problem, solution), compare and contrast this story with the Christmas version using a Venn Diagram, elaborate and describe the setting, practice target speech sounds while reading, and determine word meaning from context.

Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson is a sweet story about Bear who wants to throw a party. When he finds his cupboards bare, his friend show up one by one with gifts of food for the party. The repetitive text, "and the bear says thanks" allows for class participation in choral reading. Preschool and early elementary students will enjoy the rhyming and colorful illustrations. The themes of friendship, sharing and gratitude make this a great read aloud.

Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman tells a story about Percy Isaac Gifford's 10 rules for surviving the Thanksgiving holiday. Percy exclaims, "I'm a Thanksgiving Pro. When it comes to Turkey Day, there's nothing I don't know." His advise of "the early bird gets the turkey," and "life is sweeter when you eat sweets."  are only a few of gems he shares. I have found this great read aloud is appropriate for second grade and up. Younger students are less likely to understand the abstract language and details throughout the text. 

Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr follows a similar story line as Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano. Turkey attempts to outrun the farmer by swimming with ducks, rolling in mud with the pigs, and sticking his head in the feed bucket with the horses. Repetitive text, "No. Run, Turkey, Run!" alliteration and onomatopoeia (splashy splash, muckety muck, clankety clank) keep young readers attentive and engaged. Will the farmer catch the turkey? Share this story with your students and find out why Turkey is thankful.

There are so many wonderful Thanksgiving stories and it was hard to narrow it down to my top five. I've picked just a few of my speech therapy favorites to share with you. These read alouds provide multiple opportunities to target speech and language goals, support the curriculum, and build language and literacy skills.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving read aloud? I'd love to hear from you. 

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*Amazon affiliate links are provided in this post.

*To purchase gently used books mentioned in this post, search Thriftbooks by clicking the link:
Used books for as low as $3 each

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Lisa, SLP

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Amazon affiliate links have been provided through the title of each book.

To search for gently used titles mentioned in this post, search Thriftbooks by clicking on this link:Used books for as low as $3 each

A purchase through the links provided may offer a small profit to My Speech Tools at no extra cost to you.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information.
    Speech to Text