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Speech in the Schools

A Yummy Read!

Published October 17, 2011 8:30 AM by Alexandra Streeter

I have always enjoyed children's literature, and enjoy using children's books in my therapy sessions. I always hope that I'm doing the books, and my students' goals, justice. Because of this, I really enjoyed the ADVANCE Webinar  Narrative Development: Beyond Story Grammar  presented by Maryellen Rooney Moreau, MEd, CCC-SLP.

This webinar gave some wonderful tips and reassurances about the value of working with our students on narratives. I loved the reminder that one of the most important things we hope for our students is for them to tell us stories, whether it's a story about what happened over the weekend, talking about what happened in a movie they've seen, or retelling a story for academic purposes.

I discovered that Maryellen Rooney Moreau has a company that sells lots of cool-looking materials which target narratives. Unfortunately, most of them are out of my price range right now (however there are free handouts if you listen to the ADVANCE Magazine Webinar.) I tried to copy the structure onto my white board as a guide for my students.

I have reintroduced the story grammar markers to my students, and have chosen books with a clear structure to read with them. This week, my students have enjoyed a story called "Arnie the Doughnut" by Laurie Keller.      

Arnie the Doughnut   

Arnie is a doughnut, made in a bakery and bought by a man named Mr Bing. Arnie is so excited to leave the bakery for his new home that he's terrified and astonished to learn that he will be eaten!  Not only is there a clear narrative structure, but there are lots of feeling words (and I was reminded in the webinar of the importance of emphaisizing those!).

I found this delightful book in my school library and surfed the net to see if I could find any Arnie tie in activities, and  all I found was a coloring page  (there may be some cartoons on YouTube, but I haven't made that leap yet). I decided to send the coloring page home with instructions for my students to dictate the story to their parents, in order to practice retelling. They were excited to do that and share this fun story with their families!

I enjoy seeing which books Sean Sweeney has written about in his book series on this blog. Have any of you found some new ones recently?  Do you work on narratives? If so, please let me know in the comment section below or on the ADVANCE Facebook page!


Thanks for the mention! Maybe try a couple of Student SGMs- they're only $7 and they are attention-grabbers for the kids.  Good entry point so you can decide what you might want to buy later, and also they're really all you need to teach the whole program!

I love Laurie Keller, she's got some other good ones, including "Scrambled States of America" and "Do Unto Otters."

Sean Sweeney October 17, 2011 8:59 PM

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About this Blog

    Speech in the Schools
    Occupation: School-based speech-language pathologists
    Setting: Traditional and specialized K-12 classrooms
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