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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Valentine’s Day Speech Therapy Ideas Using “Love Monster and the Last Chocolate” Plus a FREEBIE

If you love using books in your speech therapy sessions, then you will LOVE this Valentine’s Day FREEBIE. I’ve included Amazon Affiliate Links in this post if you would like to add these books to your therapy library. Several of the elementary teachers on my campus read Love Monster by Rachel Bright to their students and follow up with craft and writing activities. So instead of using the same book (which I absolutely adore), I follow up with Love Monster and the Last Chocolate. With themes of friendship, worry, compassion, and sharing, this book provides opportunities to address all your student’s  IEP goals with just one book. By including extension activities, you can easily stretch this book to 2 or 3 weeks of therapy. Now you have your entire month of February covered with just one book!  I’ve used this book with students in PreK through 5th grade targeting both speech and language skills. Here are a few ideas on how you can use Love Monster and the Last Chocolate during the month of February.

Character Traits-Describe Love Monster using adjectives (red, hairy, small, plump, chubby, friendly, worried, scared, grateful, thoughtful). Create a bubble map or web to brainstorm adjectives. Use picture clues, text evidence, and inference skills to make your list of character traits.

Making Connections-Most students have experienced a time that they were worried about something, went on a short trip, shared something with a friend, or attended a holiday or birthday party. Students can make text-to-self connections throughout your shared reading experience.. Love Monster also has his favorite flavor chocolate (double chocolate strawberry swirl) and his least favorite flavor (the coffee one). Talk to your students about their favorite foods and the foods they do not like at all. You could make a graph showing each student’s favorite candy. This is a great way to help students understand fact and opinion as well as perspective.

Sequencing and Story Retell-Illustrate and retell the events of the story using temporal markers such as: first, then, next, last. Have students complete a graphic organizer or flow map to help them organize their thoughts. This is also a great way to monitor comprehension skills, target Mean Length of Utterance (MLU); support syntactic structures such as simple, compound, and complex sentences; and develop short term memory skills. You’ll find a story map and a graphic organizer for sequencing the beginning, middle, and end of the story in the free book companion.

Tier 2 Vocabulary Development- Love Monster and the Last Chocolate is full of rich Tier 2 Vocabulary. Tier 2 vocabulary words are words that we hear across contexts and are not topic specific. Target words for your therapy groups will depend on the grade level and possibly the reading level of your students. The Tier 2 vocabulary I address in Love Monster and the Last Chocolate are: vacation, adventure, favorite, whisper, most, share, single, absolute, decided, burst. These target words have multiple meanings and can be used across curriculum contexts. I like to use Frayer Model graphic organizers and paper foldables when targeting new vocabulary.

Articulation Goals-If you serve mixed groups like I do, you can target articulation goals for r, l, sh, th, k, and g. Target words can be found in initial, medial, and final position of words and in blends. I’ve done the work for you, and you will find articulation practice pages for these target sounds in the companion freebie. 

Fluency-Picture books are a great way to target fluency strategies such as easy onset, pausing and phrasing, full breaths, and continuous airflow. Love Monster and the Last Chocolate has short phrases such as, “What was this?” “But wait!” and “This monster..was just getting back” which provides opportunities for successful forward flowing speech practice.

For more ideas on how to use books in therapy, check out these comprehensive book companions for mixed groups in my TPT Store, as well as these blog posts full of ideas on how you can successfully use books in your therapy session.

How I Use “Chrysanthemum” By Kevin Henke in Mixed Speech Therapy Groups

6 Picture Books About Winter Clothes for Speech Therapy

Best Bug Books for Speech Therapy

10 Speech Therapy Goals for “The Doorbell Rang” by Pat Hutchins

5 Fabulous Farm Books for Speech Therapy

10 Fun Speech Therapy Activities with “Sneezy the Snowman”

If you do not have a copy of Love Monster and the Last Chocolate, or if you are seeing students through distance learning, I recommend these videos on YouTube.

For more Valentine’s Day Resources, click on the links below to visit my TPT Store.

Valentine’s Speech Therapy Activities for K-3rd Grade

Valentine’s Day Riddles and Inferences Task Cards

Valentine, Valentine, What do you See? An Adapted Book for Valentine’s Day

“5 Little Hearts” An Adapted Speech Therapy Book for Valentine’s Day

“What is Red?” An Adapted Speech Therapy Book about Colors

“What is Pink?” An Adapted Speech Therapy Book about Colors

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose!

Finally, grab your FREE Love Monster and the Last Chocolate speech and language book companion with Google Slides for distance learning below.

Lisa, SLP

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