Top 10 Books for Speech Language Therapy

Top 10 Favorite Books for SLPs

Books are a great way to target many different speech and language skills in therapy, particularly for mixed groups!  You can use them to target goals such as:
  • describing
  • story retell
  • past tense verbs
  • predicting
  • inferencing
  • comparing/contrasting
  • identifying problems/solutions
  • articulation and phonology
  • expanding utterances
  • answering WH questions
  • and more!
Top 10 Favorite Books for Speech Language Therapy

One thing I often do is stick notes in a book after I read it, to help remind me what specific targets or questions I asked.  Sometimes I use post it notes, and sometimes I use sticky library pockets and index cards.  This makes each book even more low prep the next time I use it, so it’s easy to just pull it off the shelf and go!

Top 10 Favorite Books for Speech Language Therapy

Today, I’d like to share with you ten of my favorite books that I find myself reaching for the most when working with my elementary students (kindergarten to sixth grade).

Even Superheroes Have Bad Days (by Becker & Kaban) - I love this book because of both the theme (so many of my students love superheroes) and because of the message!  It talks about how everyone gets angry or frustrated, and gives examples of good choices to make when that happens. It’s full of /s/ words, too!

Adrift (by Jessica Olien) - This adorable book is about two polar bears who are polar opposites (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!) who end up being stranded together, and end up as friends.  Bonus: There’s lots of /l/ words!

A Boy and His Jaguar (by Alan Rabinowitz) - This is a book I like to use with my older students (3rd and up), particularly for those who stutter.  It tells the story of Alan Rabinowitz, who grew up with a stutter, and now works for the Bronx Zoo.  It’s got a great message, but I do always have a discussion beforehand about how things in schools were very different back when the author was growing up, and we know people who stutter are no different than anyone else.  This one is also loaded with vocalic /r/ words.

Top 10 Favorite Books for Speech Language Therapy

Shark Detective (by Jessica Olien) - This book is about a lonely shark who wants to be a detective, but people are afraid of him.  He teams up with a cat to find a missing mouse, and ends up finding a family.  Lots of /sh/ words in this one!

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (by Chris Van Allsburg) - This is another one I like to use with my older students (about 3rd on up).  There are different, mysterious pictures on each page, each with one or two sentences to set up a story.  This is great for taking a language sample, because the reader can use their imagination to decide what happens next.  You can also use it to target things such as verb tenses, conjunctions, expanding sentences, telling things in appropriate sequence, describing, predicting, cause/effect, and inferencing, as well as sentence/conversation level articulation and fluency. 

Where the Sidewalk Ends (by Shel Silverstein) - This is a classic book of poetry that I love to use with my students (especially about 2nd grade and up) working on sentence level or higher articulation and fluency skills!  With poetry, you can talk a lot about using a proper speech and rate of speech, which is good practice for all of our students.  There are also a lot of jokes that involve higher level language in Shel Silverstein’s poetry.

Top 10 Favorite Books for Speech Language Therapy

A Unicorn Named Sparkle (by Amy Young) - This is a cute picture book about a girl who wanted to buy a unicorn, but ended up with something a little different than she was expecting.  (Bonus - lots of /sp/ practice!)

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (by Mordicai Gerstein) - This is a true story about a man who walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers in New York City.  It's great for story retell, sequencing, inferencing, and more!

Journey (by Aaron Becker) & Float (by Daniel Miyares)
These are both great wordless picture books!  I like to use these when working on inferring, predicting, and story retell, although they are also great for language/articulation samples.

Tell me, what are some of your favorite books to use in therapy?


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