One way to streamline your themed therapy lesson planning is to start by picking a book for the theme! Once you have a book selected, it’s much easier to come up with activities to use with that theme that also aligns with the book. Many times, a themed book has other opportunities to theme smash. For example, with a snowman theme, a great book to use for theme smashing is Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehler. You can use that book to discuss snowmen while also targeting a jobs or community helpers category! Today, I am going to share some of my favorite snowman books for speech therapy and give you some tips for selecting a book for your caseload.
Tips for Selecting a Snowman Book
When picking a book to use with your students, you want to ask yourself some questions:
1. What types of goals do my students have on their IEPs?
2. How long can my students attend to a book?
3. Can this book be adapted to cover a lot of different goals and discussions?
4. Is this a book that my students can personally relate to in their own life?
5. Is this book at their developmental level of interest?
It’s always good to select a snowman book that is going cover a lot of groups as well as serve many different skilled needs. For example, if you have a lot of students working on story retell, comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary, “Sneezy the Snowman” by Maureen Wright may be a great choice. This book follows story elements and has lots of opportunities for targeting vocabulary.
Similarly, if you have a lot of students working on building MLU and describing goals, using the book, “Just a Snowman” by Mercer Mayer would be a great selection. This book has detailed picture scenes and a variety of verbs to create sentences about what is happening on each page.
Snowman Book Suggestions by Grade Level
When you plan using a themed-based approach, one way to make selecting a book easier is by choosing a book by grade level or target area.
Here are a few snowman book suggestions by grade level (Amazon affiliate links are included):
Just a Snowman by Mercer Mayer
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright
The Biggest Snowman by Steven Kroll
How to Catch a Snowman by Adam Wallace
Skills to Target with Snowman Books for Speech Therapy
It’s always helpful to know why an SLP chooses a book, so I am going to share some reasons why I would use certain books with different groups or ages. Having some examples of how to use a book can make planning therapy easier too! If you need some tips for using shared book reading strategies, check out this blog post HERE.
Snowman Books With Reptitive Text
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro or The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming would be wonderful for targeting sequencing. Students that benefit from the repetitive text would do well with these book choices. And, they both provide opportunities for CORE words such as “give, eat, more, all done.”
If you need visual supports for the old lady book to work on CORE words, comprehension and story retell, grab this story map set of printable and animated Google Slides.
Books that Target Vocabulary, Grammar and Comprehension
Snowman at Work and Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner would be great for working on grammar, categories, answering wh-questions. The pictures are vivid, so you can target adjectives, prepositional phrases, and verbs when building sentences.
Using Books To Work on Narrative Skills and Inferencing
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a wordless book that allows you to target inferencing, storytelling, and comprehension. You can also incorporate writing by having students share what they would do with a snowman for a day. There are many opportunities to ask and discuss inferential questions in the book.
Furthermore, The Biggest Snowman by Steven Kroll and Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright are great books for working on story elements and comprehension.
What Snowman-Themed Books Do You Use With Your Students?
What snowman books do you enjoy grabbing off the shelf to use in therapy? I would love to know what your students enjoy as well as some goals you target with the books! You can never have enough books of therapy ideas! Share your favorite snowman book in the comments and what skills you target. If you need some snowman toys or props to use with your books, check out this blog post with ideas for toys!