Best Ocean Books for Your Elementary Caseload

Best Ocean Books for Your Elementary Caseload

One of the most efficient ways to plan your themed therapy units is to find books that will cover different ages and skills.

Today, I wanted to share some of the BEST ocean books for your speech therapy elementary caseload. Planning extension activities is easier when you have a handful of themed books to pull from for treatment.

Plus, using books in therapy is a low prep material that works well for mixed groups.

Tips for Choosing Themed Books for Speech Therapy

It’s hard to give you ocean books that will perfectly fit your caseload’s needs because we all have different ages and needs for our students.

Typically, when choosing books, I consider how versatile the book is to adapt for different goals and ages and if I can use the book to cover therapy for two to four weeks.

When I search for themed books, I either aim to find stories that fit the ages I serve or cover skills I need to target. For example, if I have students working on wh-questions, CORE words, and needing predictive text, I may select Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck.

If you need some tips for effective shared book reading techniques to use when reading the story in therapy, check out this post

Amazon affiliate links will be provided throughout this blog post. I receive a small commission at no additional charge for you when you use the link to purchase items.

Ocean Books for Prek-1st Grade Levels

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae would be a great ocean book to use in speech therapy if you want to teach the category of ocean animals. Each page has information about the different animals and targets vocabulary and verbs related to each creature. There is fun rhyming prose with the text; however, there is a lot of text on each page. You can read chunks of the book across several sessions. Because there is a lot of text, there are many opportunities for finding words with your student’s speech sounds.

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck provides a repetitive text that allows many opportunities to see and hear vocabulary words or target specific CORE words. This book greets each sea animal and says goodbye, which can provide practice with language for greetings.

Need Cheat Sheets for Your Ocean Books To Reference in Speech Therapy Sessions?

If you are running mixed groups and struggle with remembering what targets you can use for your group’s different goals, check out the themed book cheat sheets from the Themed Therapy SLP membership. Not only do you get book cheat sheets for each themed unit, but you also get various digital and printable materials to use as extension activities. Doors re-open July 22nd for the membership, so get on the waitlist HERE.

Ocean Books for 2nd-3rd Grade Levels

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson is a book choice for students working on story narrative elements.

This book also uses rhyming prose, which is excellent for working on phonological awareness skills.

In the story, the snail wants to go sail at sea and hitches a ride with the whale. Each page shares where the whale and the snail go, so the pictures highlight different things in the ocean.

Some skills you can target with this book are homophones, s-blends, word opposites (i.e., night/day, emotions), and basic concepts.

Dory Story by Jerry Pallotta is another book that works well for story narrative goals. It’s a tale about a boy who takes a dory into the ocean to explore. As the young boy rows out to sea, he sees different animals eating food, such as blue fish eating mackerels.

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!

This book highlights ocean animals’ food chain and addresses why the boy’s grandfather says not to go out in the dory alone.

Ocean-Themed Books for Older Students

For older students, you can use these two books focusing on non-fiction text. Shark Lady by Jess Keating is the ultimate theme smash because it covers types of sharks, a woman scientist’s work, and the theme of finding beauty in something that others may find scary.

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs by Kate Messner is about the works of environmental scientist Ken Nedimyer. This book teaches about the ocean and provides a theme of small acts individuals can do to help preserve the coral reef. Sea urchins

With rich vocabulary embedded in the book, you can target a lot of tier II vocabulary, comprehension, and discussions that spark personal connections to the reader.

What Ocean Books Do You Use in Speech Therapy?

What types of ocean-themed books do you recommend for SLPs serving Prek-5th grade? Share in the comments your recommendation and how you use that book in therapy. If you need more summer-themed book ideas, check out this blog post.

Want extension activities to use with your ocean-themed books? Check out these blog posts and resources to help you plan engaging therapy:

Ocean Sensory Bin

Ocean-Themed Crafts

Ocean Language Activities for K-2

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!
3 Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy

3 Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy

When you plan a themed therapy unit, one of the best ways to keep the engagement up in your speech therapy session is by pairing a themed book with an extension activity.

An extension activity reinforces or reviews concepts from the theme or book that you just read. So, that can include sensory bins, an informational YouTube video, a game, a writing assignment, task cards, or a craft!

Themed crafts can be an easy way to plan your mixed groups or whole class lessons. Today, I will be sharing three ocean crafts you can use in speech therapy. 

Craft Supplies You Will Need 

Have simple ocean crafts for speech therapy that you can use for whole class instruction or mixed groups!

For these ocean crafts, you need basic supplies, which means it is nice on your wallet! You may find some or all of these things in your school supply room. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.

  • Glue
  • Streamers (Dollar Tree)
  • Paper plates (Dollar Tree)
  • Cardstock
  • Acrylic paint, water color paint, or dot markers
  • Plastic eyes (optional, you can draw in with a marker or cut out with black construction paper)
  • Markers

Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy That Work on Goals

When it comes to crafts, you want to consider the prep time needed to make the craft. If it isn’t too complex and targets many goals, then the craft is worth the prep.

To make this “Who is hiding in the seaweed?” you print off the template in the ocean language lesson plan guides. Then, print the verb and vocabulary seaweed strips on dark green and light green colored cardstock or white cardstock.

Students can paint their ocean animals with dot markers or watercolors. Then, your students can glue the seaweed pieces to hide their ocean animals. During the craft, you are working on the concepts on/off, colors, turn-taking (only have one glue per table so students can share), and “who” questions. Students can practice the verbs or vocabulary on the seaweed before gluing it on.

You can put it on a bulletin board or send it home for additional practice.

Have simple ocean crafts for speech therapy that you can use for whole class instruction or mixed groups!

Books That Will Pair Well With This Ocean Craft

Have easy to prep ocean crafts for speech therapy to use in your whole class lessons or small groups.

This craft pairs well with the following books:

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck 

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

Crab Craft To Use in Speech Therapy

This crab craft has a lot of possibilities to be used as a therapy tool after your students create it!

It would help if you had a paper plate, red paint, and construction paper. Print out your ocean images or pictures of your student’s speech words. Have ocean-themed vocabulary words to glue on the inside of the crab included in the ocean language activities unit. Or, you can use the Any Craft Companion to print out speech or language targets.

Your students will paint the plate red and cut out crab legs with red construction paper. Glue the speech or language targets on the inside of the craft. Once the paint is dry, students can use the crab to catch things with their mouth. So, pull out your flashcards and have your students feed the crab the cards after practicing. Or, your students can follow directions with their crabs!

Watch the Crab Craft Tutorial on YouTube

Books the Would Pair Well with the Crab Craft

There are several crab-themed books you can use with this craft. Here is a list of them:

You’re a Crab!: A Moody Day Book by Jenny Whitehead

The Brave Little Crab by Beth Costanza

The Happy Snappy Crab by Tiger Tales

If you want to have visual supports with this craft to use on the SMARTboard or laptop, you can get access to Visual Themed Crafts in the Themed Therapy SLP membership re-opening summer 2022. You can get on the waitlist HERE so you don’t miss any details. 

 

Jellyfish Ocean Craft for Speech Therapy

With this jellyfish craft, you can work on basic concepts and follow directions after you make it!

The blue streamers can help your students understand the verbs “sway’ and “float” while moving the jellyfish craft up, down, high, low, right, left, and around.

Cut a paper plate in half and either paint or glue blue construction paper to the plate. Then, cut out blue streamers to be the jellyfish’s tentacles.

Students can write their speech or language words on the back or use the Any Craft Companion to glue them on the craft.

Books to Pair with This Jellyfish Craft

You can use Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae because it features a jellyfish in the book. If you are looking for some books specifically with jellyfish in the storyline, check out these:

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

I am Not a Fish! by Peter Raymundo

Jellyfish (A Day in the Life: Sea Animals) by Louise Spilsbury

If you are looking for more craft ideas to use in your speech therapy sessions, check out these easy paper plate craft ideas!

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