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Speech & Language Activities for Young Learners
Ages: 3-5   Grades: PreK-K         

Use popular children's books to improve speech and language skills.  Suitable for groups and individuals, the activities transfer the magic of a child's favorite book to your therapy session. 


  • Improve receptive and expressive vocabulary, concepts, phonological awareness, and yes/no and wh- question answering
  • Improve literacy
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The kit comes with ready-to-use lesson plans, picture cards, worksheets, and activities that correspond with well-known children's books.  (You supply the children's books.) 

Each book-based unit has these activities:  

  • Receptive and expressive vocabulary: worksheet activities target approximately twenty nouns, verbs, and adjectives from each book
  • Hands-on activities: fun, easy crafts and other activities are perfect for language enrichment
  • Concepts: concepts and their context in the featured book are listed for teaching purposes     
  • Phonological awareness: develop early literacy skills with worksheet activities in rhyming, syllable identification, syllable blending, or listening for beginning sounds in words
  • Articulation and phonological pattern activities: use the picture cards and consonant cards to elicit articulation and phonological patterns; practice target words and patterns by themselves and in the context of the story  
  • Questions: questions about the featured story are arranged developmentally from yes/no questions to who, what, when, where, how and why questions; ask the questions during or after reading the book; questions pertaining to the child's everyday experiences are included 
  • Expansion Activities: multisensory, interactive learning ideas are given for each children's book for further reinforcement of speech and language goals

Copy the student activity pages or print them from the FREE CD.  The units are based on these books (books are not included in the kit):

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Goodnight Moon

Where's Spot?

Sheep in a Jeep

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Rainbow Fish

Trashy Town

Is Your Mama a Llama?

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Mama, Do You Love Me?


Copyright 2007

130-page book plus a CD of reproducible pages, 234 cards (216 full-color picture cards and 18 letter cards) on perforated card stock, vinyl folder

According to the National Center on Education and the Economy, 1999; Bishop & Adams, 1990; Mahoney & Weller, 1980; and "Facts on Early Literacy," ASHA, January 2007:

  • Children who readily develop phonemic awareness in kindergarten will learn to read easily.
  • Unintelligible speech must be resolved by five years six months in order to significantly reduce academic problems associated with speech disorders.
  • Language acquisition occurs with the active participation of the learner.  Language learning is not a passive process.
  • It is the role of the SLP to build a relationship between early spoken language and early preliteracy abilities.

Speech & Language Activities for Young Learners incorporates the above principles and are also based on expert professional practice.


Janet R. Lanza, Lynn K. Flahive


Janet R. Lanza, M.S., CCC-SLP, has worked as a speech-language pathologist in public schools, private practice, and a university clinic in Texas since 1976.  She has been on the faculty of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, since 1989.  At the TCU Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic, Janet is an instructor and clinical supervisor for classroom settings of preschool children with a variety of communication disorders.

Lynn K. Flahive, M.S., CCC-SLP, has over 25 years experience as a speech-language pathologist.  She worked in private and public schools in Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, and Texas for 12 years before joining the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.  Lynn has special interests in working with early childhood and early elementary-aged children with phonological and/or language delays.  She is a board recognized specialist in child language.  Lynn is past president of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association (TSHA) and past executive director of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA).

Janet and Lynn have co-authored numerous products for LinguiSystems.  They also present workshops nationally and in Canada on the topics of practical and motivational speech and language therapy in young children.


"Who wants to hear a story?"  Anyone who works with young children has experienced the magic of a child's favorite book.  Speech & Language Activities for Young Learners was developed to help speech-language pathologists capture this magic.

Speech & Language Activities for Young Learners features ten popular children's books and surrounds them with speech and language activities.  The lessons are equally effective with individuals or with groups.  They are filled with fun, interactive activities based on the featured children's books.  The activities address specific speech and language targets (receptive and expressive vocabulary, concepts, questions, articulation, phonology, phonological awareness, letter identification, and language).  The lessons in Speech & Language Activities for Young Learners are not intended for drill, but are to help guide you in using children's books to meet communication needs.

These ten books are featured in Speech & Language Activities for Young Learners:

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Goodnight Moon
  • Where's Spot?
  • Sheep in a Jeep
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • The Rainbow Fish
  • Trashy Town
  • Is Your Mama a Llama?
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
  • Mama, Do You Love Me?


Major Components of Each Unit

Basic vocabulary from the featured children's book is introduced with three pages of vocabulary pictures.  The first page contains simple action pictures that incorporate eight nouns and four verbs.  The pictures on the next two pages teach eight adjectives presented in contrasting pairs.

In order to expand vocabulary and concept development, some vocabulary is pictured in contexts different from the books (the Sheep in a Jeep vocabulary picture for shout is a child shouting instead of a sheep shouting as in the book).

Directions are provided for teaching the vocabulary both receptively and expressively.  There are also additional activities for targeting other nouns, verbs, and adjectives associated with the book, as well as suggestions for expanding utterances into phrases and sentences.


Hands-On Activity
Each unit contains a hands-on, interactive activity that is fun and motivating for young children.  Simple patterns and easy-to-follow directions are included along with ideas for language enrichment.  You can use these suggestions to help the child develop and use nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions while completing the fun activity.


Children's books are a great way to work on basic concepts that are so essential to a child's vocabulary.  Concepts from the featured children's book are listed with suggested ways to elicit them while reviewing the children's book with the child.


Phonological Awareness Activity
Working with children's books is a perfect way to begin developing the important early literacy skills of phonological awareness.  Each unit contains a book-related phonological awareness activity that targets rhyming, syllable identification, syllable blending, or listening for the beginning sounds in words.


Articulation and Phonological Pattern Activities
Speech & Language Activities for Young Learners comes with 216 colorful picture cards associated with the featured children's booksThese cards are organized by articulation and/or phonological pattern targets and can be used to elicit a response at the word, phrase, or sentence level.  The targets can be practiced by themselves and then used to help remind the child of his special sounds when talking about the story.  Using target sounds in the meaningful context of a favorite book is a wonderful motivator and first step to carryover.  Targets included in this product are bilabials, final consonant deletion, velar fronting, syllable omission, /s/ cluster reduction, stridency deletion, and the phonemes /s/, /l/, and /r/.


Letter Knowledge Activities
Flashcards are included for 18 consonant letters.  These cards can be used to help teach and reinforce letter identification as well as letter-sound correspondence.  Both of these skills are key for learning to read.


Asking children questions is an effective way to teach vocabulary, develop thinking skills, check for comprehension, and keep a child involved in reading a story.  The questions for each children's book are arranged developmentally from "yes/no" questions to "why" questions, making it convenient to include children at a variety of levels in reviewing the same book.  You may choose to ask the questions during or after reading the book as appropriate.  Questions that pertain to the child's everyday experiences are included for follow-up discussions.  As with all teaching, it is important to present and discuss the vocabulary in the book before asking the questions.


Expansion Activities
Additional ideas are provided for each children's book so that you can further reinforce the speech and language goals of the lessons.


Through many years of working with small children as well as enjoying our own children, we have seen how effective it is to use favorite books as the basis for learning.  We hope you will use and enjoy these ideas with your students as we all share the magic!

Janet and Lynn