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Early Social Behavior Books
Can You Use Your Words?
Ages: 3-6   Grades: PreK-1

Friendly, colorful characters in this story teach children to use polite and kind words to communicate with others.  Children learn what to say in social situations, such as bumping into someone, making a mess, greeting a friend, and more.  Heartwarming text and interactive questions captivate young learners and build enthusiasm for using polite words, like please and thank you.



  • Replace inappropriate behaviors with appropriate ones
  • Reinforce the use of appropriate language
  • Understand how inappropriate behavior affects the feelings of others
  • Learn to identify, regulate, and express emotions
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Can You Use Your Words? includes teaching suggestions, lesson tips, and follow-up activities.  An introduction page for the child defines the target social skill, cites some relevant examples of the positive behavior, and gives an overview of why the skill is important.

You may purchase Can You Use Your Words? individually or as the Early Social Behavior Books 11-book set.

The 11-book set consists of:
Can You Talk to Your Friends?
Can You Stand Up for Yourself?
Can You Be a Helper?
Can You Keep Trying?
Can You Use Your Words?
Can You Use a Good Voice?
Can You Be a Friend?
Can You Take Turns?
Can You Share?
Can You Tell How Someone Feels?
Can You Be Polite?


Copyright © 2005

14 8 ½" x 11" coated pages, instructions, follow-up activities

Young children will enjoy this book.  It is written in a predictable format that includes question, answer, and brief description of appropriate behavior.  The charming illustrations enhance the quality of this book.  Animal characters demonstrate the behaviors described.  The art is simple with plain backgrounds.


The simple format encourages active participation, as children are motivated to answer the questions and comment on the described behaviors.  Rules and explanations are all discussed in a positive way, using simple sentences to tell children what they should do.

Linda Hodgdon, SLP
Author of Visual Strategies for Improving Communication

  • Approaches that focus on social functioning should be introduced as ongoing intervention strategies from early years to adulthood (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Early intervention that addresses skill acquisition in areas such as interaction, attention, play, and expression supports the later development of communication, language, and speech and enhances emotional, social, and academic development (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Children with social-cognitive deficits need the social curriculum/rules broken down into specific steps and taught to them (Petru, Millette, & Granato-Wagner, 2005).

Early Social Behavior Books Can You Use Your Words? incorporate these principles and are also based on expert professional practice.


Petru, J., Millette, J., & Granato-Wagner, V. (2005, November). Social communication and learning standards: Making the connection. Paper presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA.

Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.


Nita Everly


Nita Everly, M.S., CCC-SLP, has a master's degree in speech and language pathology.  She has over 20 years of experience working with youngsters with communication disorders and is currently a speech-language pathologist for the Mount Airy City Schools Preschool Program in North Carolina.  Nita was the past chairperson of the Interagency Council for Birth to Five-Year-Olds in Surry County, North Carolina.  In 1987, Nita received honors from the West Virginia Speech and Hearing Association, and in 1989, she was on the National Distinguished Service Registry for Speech/Language/Hearing.  In 2006/2007, Nita was named Educator of the Year for Tharrington Primary School and was also included in Who's Who Among America's Teachers.  Nita is the mother of three and lives with her husband in Mount Airy, North Carolina.  She is the author of the Early Social Behavior Books series.


Can You Use Your Words? is part of the Early Social Behavior Books series.  It is a book of educational experiences for children ages three to six years in the discovery of learning to communicate with others in a caring and respectful way.  Using a humorous and repetitive format, the children will learn to use polite and kind words to communicate with others.  The children interact with the reader by responding to the questions on each page.  They become captivated with the text and excited to answer each question, and in the process, learn about good manners.

When reading this book to the children, use lots of expression and show your enthusiasm.  Ask a question, then pause and wait for the children to respond with the appropriate manners word.  Then ask the next question (Why?), and again wait for the children to respond.  Answering this question will show that they understand the reasons for using polite and kind words.  After several readings, the children will excitedly anticipate the correct responses.

If we want children to develop good manners, it is important that we teach them to use polite and kind words when communicating with others.  Children benefit socially from learning this skill and have lots of fun doing it.