Book It, Part 11: Another Great Reference Tool
As part of this series, I had intended to present a great
reference book on using children's literature in language therapy: Vicki
Rothstein's Language Learning Through Literature: Strategies for Enhancing Language,
Critical Thinking, and Reading Comprehension in Students with Language Difficulties.
When I went to search for it on its publisher's website, I
found sadly that it is out of print! Shame on you, PRO-Ed, for letting such a
great title go! If you can find it in you or your colleagues' libraries (it was
published in the last 10 years, and even had a second edition), you'll really
love its pre-made activities and book suggestions for strategies around
predicting, sequencing, vocabulary development and discussion.
But let's mourn and move on. When searching, I found yet
another resource, a compendium of language-based strategies SLPs can use
before, during and after the reading of a picture book: Using Storybooks in Speech-Language Intervention: From Theory to Application by Kara Anderson, M.A., CCC-SLP,
Ellen Stubbe Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, and Scott Prath, M.A., CCC-SLP (Thanks to
these authors-- please check out their website).
This was presented at a conference for Texas Speech-Language
Hearing Association (TXSHA). The presenters did a great job of compiling
strategies from various sources (see the references at the end of the Using Storybooks link) and I thought it
would be helpful to put these in the context of a favorite picture book of
Kevin Henkes' Kitten's First Full Moon
, the 2005
Caldecott Winner, is the story of a kitten that mistakes the full moon for a
bowl of milk and attempts to get to it! This is a great story to use in the
context of a primary unit on Earth, sun and moon; an abstract set of
relationships between heavenly bodies that is often difficult for second
graders to grasp.
So let's take some of the strategies suggested by Anderson,
Kester and Prath and look at how they can be used with this book!
- Music: Try one of these songs about the moon; you can play ‘em right from the website! This offers a great opportunity
to discuss the figurative and literal meanings of the songs.
- Semantic mapping/graphic organizers:
Use a favorite graphic organizer and describe the moon, its category,
function, composition, location, etc.
- Pre-reading discussion:
Use the cover of the book to generate a discussion. What is the kitten
thinking about the moon? Why is she licking her paws?
- Print reference: Using the
array of pictures where the kitten is chasing after the moon but it never
gets closer, the clinician can ask, "What is happening in this picture?"
- Close procedure: "The
kitten thought the bowl of milk was in the pond, but...," (it was just the
- Binary choice: "The kitten
keeps on going after the bowl of milk! Is she giving up or is she
persistent?" (A vocabulary word emphasized on the book jacket).
- Syntactic activities:
Students construct captions for the book's illustrations using word
balloon post-its and target conjunctions such as because, so, and but.
- Narrative retelling: Use a
story map to construct a retelling of the story.
- Semantic activities: Students
can work with the categories of feeling words related to the story,
objects in the natural world, or associations between words (e.g., bowl/milk,
steps/fall, tree/leaves, pond/water).
Hope you enjoy this book and these strategies- thanks again
to the authors for sharing your handout online!
Read more of Sean Sweeney at www.speechtechie.com.