Blog Archive

Monday, March 12, 2018

10 Speech and Language Goals for "In the Tall, Tall Grass"


In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming is a colorful fun read aloud written from a caterpillar's point of view. With rhyme, rich language and simple text this is a wonderful book to share with students this Spring.

So let's spring forward with 10 different goals you can target using "In the Tall, Tall Grass" for your speech and language therapy groups this Spring.

Speech and Language Targets:

Vocabulary Development "In the Tall, Tall Grass" is written in primarily Tier 1 vocabulary but does include several Tier 2 concepts that provides opportunities to expand on language as well as  allow for explicit instruction. You can target concepts such as: dart, sip, strum, hum, flap, glide, scurry, flop, lug, glow, swoop, and loop. 

Encourage students to make text-to-self connections by asking questions such as, "The hummingbird sips nectar. What drink do you like to sip? Why do you think the hummingbird only takes small sips?" You can also have students act out or demonstrate new verb concepts such as: "strum and flap." In addition, the simple text also includes concepts that are multi-meaning words.  "Dart" is both a noun (a sharp item to throw) and a verb (move quickly across a short distance). "Dip" can also be a multi-meaning word. As noun, the condiment is eaten with chips. As a verb, the bird dips (drops) down quickly.

In the Tall, Tall Grass

Phonemic Awareness Written in rhyme, "In the Tall, Tall Grass" is perfect for identifying rhyming words, choral reading, and expanding on word families (ex: dip, ship, sip, trip, flip, hip, etc.). Students can also also segment and blend CVC words (ex: s-i-p, t-a-ll, h-u-m, b-ee-s, l-u-g, etc.), and add or delete onset/rime with consonant blends (gr-ass, cr-unch, str-um, dr-um, cr-ack, sn-ap, and fl-ap).

In the Tall, Tall Grass

Wh-Questions Students can answer basic comprehension questions by answering "what? when? which one? where?" and "why?" questions related to the text. Wh-questions can relate to story details ("Where and when does the story take place?), vocabulary ("What does the word ___ mean in the sentence ___?"), story sequence ("What did the hummingbird do after it darted and dipped?"), and inference questions ("When you look at the illustrations, what do you think the ants are pulling and tugging?).

Text-to-Self Connections and Story-related crafts  Most students have a story to tell when it comes to bugs. Either they've stomped on one, caught one and kept it for a pet, or have been on a bug hunt. I've included a Pin from my Pinterest board for a fun "Build-a-Bug" Craft that my students enjoyed. Students can request, sequence, problem-solve, describe, label, compare, and much more.

Students can also illustrate and write a personal narrative based on an experience they have had with bugs or create a work of fiction and share  their story about a bug.

In the Tall, Tall GrassIn the Tall, Tall Grass

Sequence and Summary Many of my students have narrative retell goals and main idea goals. Students can identify the main idea and details, and retell the story events using a graphic organizer with "Beginning-Middle-End" or with "Main Idea and Details." Using a visual organizer will help students organize their ideas for retell. Students may also need support and prompts to add details to their descriptions. 

Syntax and Morphology There are more than one of each item described throughout "In the Tall, Tall Grass" . Students can identify the regular plural nouns (caterpillars, beetles, hummingbirds, bees, ants, snakes, moles, ears, wings, fireflies, bats, starts), and Noun-Verb agreement phrases and sentences (ex: moles scratch, beetles hurry, wings hum, etc.). You can also have students produce both the singular and plural forms of the phrases for more practice (example: one snake/many snakes).

In the Tall Tall Grass

Articulation Word lists can be generated from the story and can include /r, l, s, k, g, f/ in initial, medial and final position of words, as well as consonant blends. Here is a list /l/ words to target before, during and after reading. 
  • tall
  • caterpillar
  • lunch
  • flap
  • pull
  • lug
  • slip
  • slide
  • glide
  • moles
  • beetles
  • flop
  • fireflies
  • glow
  • lunge
  • loop
  • moonlight
"In the Tall, Tall Grass" by Denise Fleming is quick read aloud with lots of opportunities for rich language instruction. It is a high interest topic many children will be able to relate to. This story would be great read aloud to pair with a sensory box full of plastic bugs or cute bug craft.  If you  have used this story in your therapy, I'd love to hear from you. leave a comment below and share this post with someone you think can benefit from these ideas.

If you enjoyed this post, link to these related posts on using books to develop language and literacy skills in speech therapy.

You can also go directly HERE to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download my book companion for "In the Tall, Tall Grass," Denise Fleming's engaging "In the Small, Small Pond" book companion and my adapted book, "Butterfly, Butterfly, What do you See?"

*Amazon affiliate links are included in this post. 
*To purchase gently used copies of books mentioned in this post search Thriftbooks by clicking on the following link:Used books for as low as $3 each

Any purchase from Amazon or Thriftbooks links may result in a small monetary profit to My Speech Tools at no extra cost to you.

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Lisa, SLP

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