In my opinion, books are one of the easiest ways to target a variety of speech and language skills with mixed groups.  I also feel that it is one of the best ways to encourage and facilitate a love for literature with kids.  Here are a few of my favorite Autumn books and a short-list of targeted goals that you can cover with them.

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves
 by Lucille Colandro
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters easily with this repetitive story!  Students can even practice carryover of their sounds (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) while targeting language concepts too.

LANGUAGE: Target identification and labeling of basic vocabulary found in the print and in the pictures, work on wh-questions and yes/no questions, phonological awareness (rhyming), description of items, semantic features (location, function, part-whole), and practice sequencing and story retell!

The Biggest Apple Ever 
by Steven Kroll

SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with this cute story about cooperation!

LANGUAGE: Target prepositions, pronouns, irregular verbs, functions for common items, answering wh-questions, and story retell!

Sophie's Squash
by Pat Zietlow Miller and Anne Wilsdorf

SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) in this

LANGUAGE:  Target vocabulary building for adjectives, using context clues to build vocabulary for Tier II verbs, cause-effect relationships, and answering wh-questions!

If you do not want to have go through the books and make your own lists, I have created an easy cheat sheet for articulation words, language concepts to target, and some basic wh-questions you can ask for each book!  You can grab your free cheat sheet below.

    What are some of your favorite Autumn books to incorporate into your speech therapy lessons?  Do you know of some great books with Diversity and an Autumn theme? Please share with us below in the comments!  I would love to expand my Autumn-themed book list. Thanks!

    There are so many fun activities that families can engage in that can build speech and language skills! The Autumn season provides many inexpensive and fun family opportunities to help children build and generalize their speech and language skills. 

    GO FOR A HIKE IN NATURE- Many towns and cities have areas with hiking trails. Going on a hike as a family, can provide inexpensive fun and a wonderful way to engage kids in communication. Bring this FREE Scavenger List. 

    • receptive identification
    • expressive labeling
    • discuss weather and clothing options, cloud formations
    • adjectives to describe items found/seen during the hike
    • target prepositions with where the child found the item 
    • compare/contrast items
    • give instructions on how to return to starting point 
    • sequence the order for what they checked off of their scavenger list


    NATURE ART- Hikes in nature can provide some FREE art supplies.  Students can gather rocks, acorns, twigs, leaves in various colors, and fall berries while on a hike to use in art.  Families can also create apple stamps by cutting an apple in half and dipping it in stamp ink or paint.  Fingerprints in an ink pad can be included in the child's art project.

    • Make requests for supplies ("Please hand me the glue" or "I would like a yellow leaf")
    • Sequence steps taken to create their masterpiece
    • Describe their art project
    • Tell a story about their art project


    NATURAL BIRD FEEDER- This is an easy craft that families can make and that does not cost a lot. The only materials needed is a pine cone, sting, peanut butter, and bird seed.  Here is a link to a video demonstrating how to make this natural bird feeder. 

    • semantic features to needed materials
    • sequencing steps needed to create natural bird feeder


    MAKE FALL SCENTED PLAYDOUGH- Many kids LOVE playing with playdough. You can find 10 reasons why we should encourage students using playdough here. Parents can find a lot of wonderful no cook playdough recipes online.  Check out this video on how to make No Cook Playdough.  Here are two Autumn themed recipes: APPLE CINNAMON PLAYDOUGH (just add red, green, or yellow food coloring) and PUMPKIN PIE PLAYDOUGH.

    • describing materials using senses
    • sequencing steps and recall
    • use the playdough to create items to describe or as visuals when telling a story 


     GO TO AN APPLE ORCHARD or A PUMPKIN PATCH- During Autumn, my family always goes out to an apple orchard to pick our own apples and later to a pumpkin patch to choose our pumpkin before Halloween. You would be shocked to find that there are apple orchards and/or pumpkin patches near cities and towns that you would not have thought would have one near it.  For example, when we lived in Las Vegas, we found both! 

    We have been fortunate enough to find that at the different apple orchards and pumpkin patches that we have been to there are always additional activities to engage in also.  For example, at the pumpkin patch we always went to had huge haystacks for kids to climb, farm animals to feed, pony and horse rides, and a small playground.  The apple orchards we have been to has a variety of sweet treats to try such as apple cider slushies, caramel apples, apple donuts, etc.. They have also had small playgrounds, corn mazes, apple cannons and apple tasting for a variety of apples. 

    • comparing/contrasting two different pumpkins or apples
    • using language to order their own treats
    • explain why they chose one type of apple or a specific pumpkin
    • using adjectives to describe the different types of apples during an apple tasting


    Families can also work on using carryover of speech sound system skills (articulation and phonology) and using fluency techniques while engaging in these fun activities. 


    I hope you share these ideas with your families looking for opportunities to help their child build speech and language skills. Do  you have additional ideas to share?  If so, please share them in the comments below.  Thanks! 


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