Moving Beyond the Hungry Caterpillar

Saturday, July 18, 2015

As I look ahead to my 7th year as a preschool speech language pathologist I've been feeling the need to reinvigorate some of my themes. After all if I'm not excited about my materials, how can I expect my students to be? 

I love incorporating literature into my sessions and am always on the lookout for fun new books which I can use to target speech language objectives. 

Possibly one of my favorite discoveries has been Eric Carle's 10 Little Rubber Ducks

This children's book was inspired by the true story of 28,000 bath toys washed overboard during a storm in the Pacific in 1992. In Carle's story, each rubber duck drifts in a different direction, encountering a variety of sea animals along the way, each of which performs a distinct action. The visuals are engaging, and the language simple & repetitive, while still introducing new vocabulary. And the best part is each student gets a chance to press a button at the end to make the duck squeak! 

My students have been loving 10 Little Rubber Ducks this summer and I'm loving that I get to target a TON of speech & language objectives including: 

   Prepositions (especially over & under to describe each animal's position)
   Adjectives (Aren't animals are so great for teaching attributes?)
   Past tense (including irregular past such as fell & sang) 
   Final Consonants (especially the final /k/ in duck, quack, & squeak)
   Consonant Blends (e.g., flamingo, drifted, stared, screeched)
   Ocean vocabulary (e.g., pelican, seal, octopus, seagull)
   Action words (e.g., glided, blinked, chattered)

To ignite even more language development I've created a book companion designed to specifically target narrative skills (e.g., correct grammar use, increased sentence length, articulation), concept understanding (e.g., size, attribute, quantity, negation), and comprehension of Wh-questions (e.g., How did the rubber ducks fall off the boat?)  

There is certainly a time and place for picture books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, but the beauty of stories with a simple plot like 10 Little Rubber Ducks is they lend themselves to discussion of the problem, characters' feelings and motivations, inferencing, sequencing, and making predictions. If you're not familiar with 10 Little Rubber Ducks, or have never considered incorporating it into a speech therapy session, I encourage you to give it a try! 

And for a fun summer (grown-up) read check out Donovan Hohn's Moby Duck:

Thanks for checking out my blog! Any new books or themes you're looking forward to trying this year? Love to hear from you! 

Stay fired up! 

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