When you are pulling out a book in your literacy-based speech therapy sessions, it’s natural to want to jump into reading the story with the group. But, there are some easy strategies that you can do before you begin reading the book to your speech therapy students. In fact, doing these strategies will help your students with understanding the content in the story better. Plus, they will have more engagements with vocabulary in the book. And, you can use a book for at least 2 sessions (often you can use it for 2 weeks or more).

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What to do Before You Read the Book In Your Literacy-Based Speech Therapy Sessions

Here are some strategies that you can do before you begin reading a story to your groups:

  • Teach any concepts that would help their background knowledge on the topic or theme of the book
  • Have them start making inferences by asking students about the cover of the book and what they might think the book could be about
  • Pre-teach key vocabulary by showing them a photo of the word, giving a kid friendly definitions, and ask thme to share a time when that is important to them (we provide focused vocabulary task cards for all the books in the Themed Therapy SLP membership).

Before reading the book, you can use graphic organizers to discus what they know about the topic and what they want to know after reading the book. 

Or, making I wonder statements to see if some of those “wonders” are answered during the story or if you need to plan an extension activity to find out the answer.

Get strategies for what to do in your literacy-based speech therapy sessions before you read a book.

Literacy-Based Speech Therapy Resources Mentioned in This Podcast Episode

Get strategies for what to do in your literacy-based speech therapy sessions before you read a book.

In this episode of the Real Talk SLP podcast we talked about what to do before you start reading a book. The book example in the episode was using Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson. To help activate background knowledge, you can do the following:

-show a video of a bear waking up

sing a wake up song to talk about a bear waking up

-watch a video about bears.


A book companion and cheat sheet is included in the Themed Therapy SLP membership for Bear Wants More as well as all the books in the membership.

What do DO Before You Start Reading a Book in Your Literacy Based Speech Therapy Sessions

by The Dabbling Speechie