The Mitten book for Speech Therapy
During the winter months, I love using The Mitten in Speech Therapy. It is such a versatile book to target speech and language goals. One reason, “The Mitten” is a great book choice for your students with language impairments is because there is a little illustration on each page showing what will happen next. This gives our students a visual cue to help with comprehending the story.
Today, I wanted to share some ways you can use the book to target multiple goals as well as share about some resources you can use as extension activities. This book is such a classic that you can find it at the library, GoodWill or on Amazon (affiliate link).
Speech Therapy Activities for The Mitten Book
There is research that shows when language therapy focuses on a broad range of skills such as vocabulary, grammar, syntax, narrative skills, and inferencing are linked to showing effective outcomes for student’s reading comprehension abilities. As oral language improves, so does reading comprehension, which is what we want to see in our students.
So, using stories to cover all those concepts is an effective way to plan therapy. You can teach your students tier II vocabulary from the story such as attracted, grumbled, commotion and swooped.
After you read the story, your students can act out the words, use them in a sentence within the context of the story, name antonyms/synonyms for the word and create picture friendly definitions.
As you are reading the story outloud to your students, you can conduct think-alouds about the book. A think-aloud is a strategy you can use to demonstrate how you are thinking about the text you are reading. This helps you students to learn the strategies they need to utilize to understand the content they are listening to or reading. You can have your student think-aloud about what the character’s are feeling, making predictions about the story elements and to help your students check to see if they understand what is happening in the story.
Using Sentence Frames with The Mitten in Speech Therapy
As you read each page of the story, you can create visual sentence frames that you want the student to use with the book.
By having one or two sentence frames, this helps reduce the cognitive load for your students. It can help your student to expressively demonstrate their grammar or comprehension skills without feeling overwhelmed with what they have to produce.
A simple sentence frame for “The Mitten” could be, “The ___ went inside the mitten.”
A more complex sentence frame visual could be working on inferencing such as “I predict the ______ will _______ because of ______.”
You can also use this FREE sentence frame graphic organizer to create more complex sentences about each page in the story.
Place the graphic organizer in a page protector and use it with a dry erase marker. Have you ever tried Ultra Fine Tip dry erase markers? They are the best! You can get them on Amazon (affiliate link).
Adapt The Mitten for AAC Users
One way you can make this book more accessible to your students using AAC is by adding the CORE and FRINGE vocabulary to your book!
Many of your students with moderate language impairments may need the story simplified to help them understand the main parts. These visual sidekicks from The Language Ladies SLP can help you have the visual supports you need to help improve your students’ grammar and vocabulary.
For your students that are struggling with comprehension and need the book adapted, having those visuals to reference while you are reading can be very helpful to increase engagement. When our students understand the language, they are more likely to be excited to participate.
I just attached the visual sidekicks with Velcro Dots that I got on Amazon (affiliate link).
Mittens Sensory Bin for Articulation and Language
After reading the book, “The Mitten” you can work on describing mittens by attributes such as category group, function, parts, textures, where, etc.
You can talk about how mittens come in pairs and why you need them for both hands.
This mittens match-up sensory bin resource allows your students to find “pairs” of items that go together such as word-association, antoynms, and categories. This helps build depth of knowledge for words being taught to our students with language impairments.
For the filler, you can use salt, white play dough, cotton balls, white yarn, cutup white straws, or white pom pom balls.
The Mitten Free Printables for Oral Narration
If you have students that benefit from hands-on activities, I highly recommend downloading these free printables for, “The Mitten.”
You can use them to help your students with story retell, which is an evidence-based practice for improving vocabulary and comprehension. You can also use these visuals to create a sensory bin. An SLP submitted this sensory bin idea. She used ripped up white paper for filler, and a long piece of string to be the mitten. Then, she placed the printables in the bin and worked on oral narration.
You can work on the vocabulary word “fit” and “big” while using this free printable art project that can also teach vocabulary.
While coloring the item that can fit in the mitten, you can talk about mittens by attributes as well as the item the child chose to draw. How would you use this free printable for The Mitten in therapy? Share in the comments.
More FREE Printables for The Mitten to Use in Speech Therapy
How Do you Use The Mitten in Speech Therapy?
I would love to know what resources or tools you use to incorporate the book, “The Mitten” in your speech therapy sessions.
What skills do you target? How do you use the book in mixed groups? Share in the comments what is working for your students. I would love to add some new ideas with this book.