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Speech & Language Activities for Grades 1-3
Ages: 6-8   Grades: 1-3         

Teach with endearing, favorite children's stories and build a variety of speech and language skills.  Ready-to-use lesson plans, picture cards, and word definition cards make this set indispensable.


  • Improve receptive and expressive vocabulary
  • Comprehend story elements, main idea, questions, and inferences
  • Expand expressive and written language
  • Develop proficiency in grammar and syntax
  • Articulate target phonemes in storytelling
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Each story-based unit includes 16 activity sheets, 10 picture cards, 10 definition cards, instructions, and teaching suggestions.  You supply the easy-to-find story books.   

Target these skill areas:

  • Vocabulary—define words, use context clues, learn antonyms, synonyms, categories, associations, and multiple meaning words
  • Comprehension—make predictions and inferences, describe story elements, sequence the story, determine the main idea, and answer wh- questions; learning is supported with story prediction charts, story maps, and sequencing templates
  • Narrative Language—retell a story and write narratives; prompts help students organize story events and convey their thoughts
  • Figurative Language—comprehend and use idioms, similes, and metaphors
  • Grammar & Syntax—identify grammar forms, judge grammar for correctness, and use different grammar forms in sentences
  • Articulation/Phonology—create humorous stories by inserting words with target phonemes into the story
  • Enrichment—reward students with a fun activity using words and concepts from the unit

Copy the student activity pages or print them from the FREE CD.  Units are based on these books:

Amazing Grace Miss Rumphius
Caps for Sale Stega Nona
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs           The Hat
Corduroy The Wednesday Surprise
Hey, Al Where the Wild Things Are


Copyright © 2011

176-page book plus a CD of reproducible pages, 200 cards (100 full-color picture cards and 100 definition cards) on perforated card stock, vinyl folder
  • Treatment of spoken and written language should reflect their reciprocal relationship.  Problems in spoken language can impact written language and vice versa (ASHA, 2001a).
  • Children who become poor readers may exhibit deficits in vocabulary, knowledge of word relationships, comprehension, morphology, and syntax.  Thus, the building blocks for reading readiness can occur in the form of spoken language therapy (ASHA, 2001b).
  • Successful reading and literacy comprehension is the result of multiple strategies used simultaneously.  Students use the strategies of prediction, monitoring, inference, and summation in order to understand and manipulate a text (Block & Duffy, 2008).
  • Explicit instruction in vocabulary and narrative text structure may improve reading comprehension.  Students need sufficient foundational knowledge (e.g., prior knowledge of vocabulary and text structure) in order to comprehend new knowledge.  SLPs have the knowledge and skills necessary to convey essential background knowledge to students with language impairment (Catts, 2009).
  • Storybooks can be an effective way to expose students to novel, high-frequency vocabulary words.  New vocabulary words need to be taught in an elaborative manner for maximum benefit.  This includes activities such as defining words, listening for words in context, and generative tasks (e.g., student-generated sentences) (Justice, Meier, & Walpole, 2005).

Speech & Language Activities for Grades 1-3 incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2001a). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to reading and writing in children and adolescents [Position statement]. Retrieved on December 20, 2010 from

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2001b). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to reading and writing in children and adolescents [Technical report]. Retrieved on December 20, 2010 from

Block, C.C., & Duffy, G.G. (2008). Research on teaching comprehension: Where we've been and where we're going. In C.C. Block and S.R. Parris (Eds.), Comprehension instruction: Research-based best practices (2nd ed., pp. 9-18). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Catts, H.W. (2009). The narrow view of reading promotes a broad view of comprehension. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40, 178-183.

Justice, L.M., Meier, J., & Walpole, S. (2005). Learning new words from storybooks: An efficacy study with at-risk kindergarteners. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 36, 17-32.


Kristin Becker


Kristin L. Becker, M.A., CCC-SLP, has worked as a speech-language pathologist in the public schools since 2007 after graduating from Michigan State University.  Kristin has provided both classroom based and small group instruction to preschool and elementary students.  Her experience includes working with students who have primary speech and/or language impairment, autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, and severe/multiple disabilities.  As a military spouse, Kristin has had the unique opportunity to work across the nation, including working at schools in Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma and (soon to be) South Carolina.  Kristin incorporates story books into her therapy and has found this to be a quick and easy way to establish rapport with students.  Kristin has special interests in the connection between spoken and written language as well as using alternative/augmentative communication to help students with disabilities access activities alongside typically developing peers.  Speech and Language Activities for Grades 1-3 is Kristin's first publication with LinguiSystems.


Sharing books with children is a great way to promote a love of literacy and to provide a fantastic foundation from which to launch teaching or therapy activities.  In the age of video games and action-packed television shows, storybooks are becoming somewhat of a novelty.  It's important to show our students that storybooks possess a magic all their own!

Speech & Language Activities for Grades 1-3 utilizes ten popular children's books as the starting point for a variety of speech and language activities.  These activities can be implemented in a classroom or therapeutic setting with groups or individuals.  Activities can be presented orally or in a paper and pencil format if students' reading skills permit.  Each unit contains the activities listed below.


  • definitions
  • sentence completion
  • word relationships—antonyms, synonyms, categories, associations, or multiple meaning words


  • prediction
  • story map & sequencing
  • main idea
  • wh- questions
  • flash cards
  • inferences

Narrative Language

  • retelling a story
  • writing activity

Figurative Language

  • idioms, similes, or metaphors

Grammar & Syntax

  • grammatical identification
  • grammatical judgment & grammatical expression


  • story creation—word, phrase, sentence, or reading level

Reward Activity

  • arts & crafts activity or word puzzle

These ten books are featured in Speech & Language Activities
for Grades 1-3:

  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  • Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
  • The Hat by Jan Brett
  • The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak