Sunday, November 25, 2012

Taking the Mouse to the Movies

Laura Numeroff’s If You Take a Mouse to the Movies is one of my favorite holiday books. A few years ago I read this book to one of my early childhood classes. There were eight students in the classroom and I found the books at one of the Scholastic Book Clubs* for $1 each.  I splurged and bought a book for each student. 

We used this book in speech – language group for three weeks. I met with the class for 30 minutes twice weekly.  At the beginning of each lesson, I read the book or did a picture walk and talked about the story.  A little time for print awareness vocabulary was built into this activity. Title, author, illustrator, cover, page, and word were discussed.  Including pictures of Laura Numeroff and the illustrator, Felicia Bond, really helped the students understand these concepts.

Following the book reading or picture walk, each student was given a few minutes to explore the book. This was my favorite part of the lesson and a great way to gather some data as many of the students “read” the books aloud. 

For my very young students or for students who had difficulty turning the pages, I took the book apart, laminated it, put it back together and added page turners when necessary. For some students, I attached a picture of the mouse or other item to each page with Velcro allowing the students to focus on vocabulary.

Visual supports for objects and actions in If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
Click here to download.

Activities for some of the skills targeted while reading this book were:

Click here to download. 
Labeling objects and actions - click above to download object and action pictures from BoardmakerShare. 

Telling the function of an object when asked, "What do you do with  ______?"  (popcorn, a snowball, a couch, a radio, ornaments, a blanket, etc.). Use the Boardmaker object pictures above or use the adjacent  PowerPoint with graphics from

Why questions – It's easy to read this book and ask why questions. In my next post I will include some why question activities. 

Verbalize prepositions on and around – Put ornaments on a tree and put a popcorn string around a tree. Note that it is easier to string popcorn on floral wire than string. 

Put toy animals and other items under a blanket to keep warm

Throw big and/or little snowballs (pom-poms or Styrofoam balls) over the snow fort. Stand behind, in back of or in front of the snow fort. Our snow fort was a small table covered with a white sheet.

Retell the story or sequence story pictures.

Practice multisyllabic words. Many of my young students had difficulty producing words with more than one syllable. So, at the beginning of every month, two and three syllable words that corresponded with the theme or literature selection were introduced and practiced regularly. Multisyllabic words introduced with this unit were movies, popcorn, Christmas tree, carrot, snowman, snowball, blanket, radio, ornaments, paper and glitter. Click here to download my popcorn themed multisyllabic word activity at BoardmakerShare. 

Links to More Activities:

There are twenty-seven activities for this book at Teachers PayTeachers.  Prices range from Free to $20. 

Free Mouse to Movies vocabulary words at PreschoolPrintables
Play Mouse’s Little Matching Game  and Mouse’s Counting Game at Mouse Cookie

Play Beginning Sounds Popcorn Game or use the If You Take a Mouse to the Movies Comprehension Activity found at

Find a word sort, a cause and effect activity, and a snowman sequence at Today inFirst Grade.

At Mrs. download sequence cards, an interview with a mouse, a question and answer activity, a rhyming activity, and many other suggestions and resources.
At Pitner’s Potpourri download a sequencing activity and a cause and effect matching activity. 

*The Scholastic Book Clubs have books for $1 or $2 each month.  I often purchased books for my students.  I received a few grants that allowed me to buy many books for students. Other times, I used money from the PTA, school funds, or as we all do . . . . .  used my own resources.   


© 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Try TinyTap in Therapy!

Last month, I taught an iPad class for special educators and one of the favorite apps presented was TinyTap. TinyTap allows you to create games, interactive books/stories, and other activities with your own photos or photos found with the search tool. It even allows you to draw your own pictures or draw on pictures. Steps to creating the activities are unbelievably simple. OT's With Apps has a good step by step demonstration on their blog. 

Personalize your game by recording questions and comments.  Add music by choosing from one of the many soundtracks. 

There are a few free activities in the Marketplace and you can share your activities with others that use TinyTap through social media or e-mail. 

There are so many ways that SLPs could use this app.  I plan to use it as a probe next week to determine a child's understanding of pictures of his environment.   SLPs can use it for articulation, comprehension, making predictions, retelling stories or any number of objectives. 

TinyTap is geared for younger children, but at Langwitches Blog, it was used by 5th grade students to create vocabulary review activities for younger students.   

Check out my short sample activities, Santa and Names of Classmates. You will need to download the app and then download the activities so that you can open them in TinyTap. You cannot view these activities on you computer. Visit TinyTap, The Blog for more ideas. 


© 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Am Hungry . . . for Thanksgiving Dinner

This repetitive Thanksgiving story was made quickly and easily with PowerPoint. If you don't use PowerPoint, you should learn. It's not just for presentations.  Pictures and text boxes can be moved and re-sized easily. I have used it to create photo collages, weekly and monthly newsletters, flip charts for whiteboards, books for my students, flyers, signs, and so much more. 

I would use this book to reinforce the use of the "I am;" however, you can customize this book to meet your needs. Some suggestions are below. 

- Put a picture of a student on each page along with the food of their choice. Continue with the "I am hungry" theme. Let each student read the page with their picture. Change to teach possessive /s/ - I am hungry. I want Henry's turkey. Or practice pronouns - He/She is hungry. She wants turkey. 

- Print the story as handouts (six to a page). Cut out the pictures to make cards. The children could use negation and tell likes and dislikes when the pictures are presented - I don't like corn. I like peas. 

- Change the story to practice past tense - I was so hungry. I ate the turkey. 

Look at my posts Playing With Food, Playing With Food on Your iPad, and Playing With Food on Your Computer for more food related resources.


© 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Who is Eating? - Teach pronouns and more with this free download.

Practice WH questions, pronouns, present progressive tense, and increased phrase length with this simple PowerPoint. 

Click here to download "Who is Eating?"

Look at my posts Playing With Food, Playing With Food on Your iPad, and Playing With Food on Your Computer for more food related resources.


© 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Playing With Food . . . on Your iPad

Check out these apps with food related themes!

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox - This app contains seven different games, all with fruit, that teach children about colors, letters, counting, shapes, matching, and differences.  $.99

Toca Tea Party - Have a tea party on your iPad. Wonderful opportunity for following directions and  verbal interactions. $.99

Toca Kitchen Monsters -  Cook, chop, mix, fry, and boil food. Feed one of the four characters and wait for their response. $1.99

Toca Store - Play store on your iPad. Practice turn taking, requesting, answering questions, and so much more. $.99

FYI - Speech Language Neighborhood has activities and printables that go along with Toca Boca's apps.

ABA Flash Cards Food from - 100 clear photos of food. Item selection allows you to choose your own targets.  $1.99

My Playhome Lite - Pour drinks, fry an egg and feed the family pizza in the lite version of this app. FREE

Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake - The little monkeys bake a cake for Mama – one monkey reads the recipe while others get the ingredients and dishes. Once the cake is in the oven, there’s more. . . . $2.99

Lil' Kitten Shopping Cart Game - Children will shop by food category and look for the best prices. Good app for readers. FREE

PhotoTouch Food from - Children find the food named.  Add your own pictures, adjust the level of difficulty, and choose foods by category. $.99 

Look at my posts Playing With Food and Playing With Food on Your Computer for more resources.

Next Post - Playing With Food and PowerPoint - Free Downloads


© 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Turkey Surprise - Spatial Concepts and More for Your Therapy Session

I don't usually post twice in one day, but this activity is too cute. 

© 2013 Jerry Jindrich
Turkey Suprise!  by Jerry Jindrich at Chateau Meddybemps is a short story about a turkey hiding from the family on the farm. Incorporate spatial concepts, pronouns, WH questions, present progressive tense and/or your student's target phonemes into a lesson using this on-line story. 


© 2012

Playing With Food . . . on Your Computer

Enjoy using these food related activities in your therapy sessions:      

Make Pizza and ice cream sundaes at Inkless Tales. 

At ChateauMeddybemps' Bobby's Busy Bakery, you can decorate cakes and arrange the baked goods in the window. Great for descriptive words, WH questions, positional words, and more.  Play in the bakery on your computer or interactive whiteboard and for individual lessons, turn the printed versions into file folder games.  

Both Make Learning Fun and Lil County Kindergarten have emergent readers relating to food on their sites. Emergent readers are great for speech and language as they are often repetitive and can target phonemes or syntactic structures throughout the book.
Five Little Hot Dogs, an Emergent Reader and matching story props can be printed at Make Learning Fun under the food theme. You will also find food playdough mats, restaurant order tickets for dramatic play, a cupcake shape activity and themes for pizza, strawberries, and picnic.

The Stone Soup Emergent Reader and related printables at Lil Country Kindergarten are beautifully done. The printable pictures make great visual supports and the emergent reader is good for targeting “we” and “in.”  There are many math related printables in this packet. Don’t ignore them as you can target numerous phonemes using math concepts. has many games and short videos about food for your youngest students. has as story props for Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert , Today is Monday by Eric Carle, Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar by Jane Manning, and The Great Big Enormous Turnip by Helen Oxenbury. You can watch a version of  the story, The Great Big Enormous Turnip at BBC’s Cbeebies.

Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell, with visual supports and wonderful activity suggestions, was just posted at Chapel Hill Snippets.  A 25 page lesson plan with ready-made activities and story props for this book, and several other books, can be found at Florida's Department of Health. 

Look at my posts Playing With Food and Playing With Food on Your iPad for more resources.


© 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Playing with Food

In November, early childhood teachers were talking about Thanksgiving and my food activities corresponded nicely with classroom lessons. I used toy food as it traveled well and could be used repeatedly. 

I know that I had as much fun as my students playing with this food. There is so much that you can do! Label the food and items related to food and tell the function of the items such as knife and pot. Answer WH questions such as "Why do we need a knife?" or "When do you eat pancakes?" 

Classify fruits, vegetables, food groups, and desserts. Sort and describe the food by colors, size, shape, and/or texture. 

Using toy food, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cheese burger, or a hot dog - any food with parts will work. Take pictures as you put it together. Students can put the pictures in order and tell about the sequence. Make an overlay of the sequence to add to a communication device for your verbal and nonverbal students. Students can press the buttons for each step as they complete the sequence using toy food. Many will verbalize along with the device. I have often used devices in therapy as they make great models for increased utterance length, syntax, and articulation.  So much better than me saying "Say ____."

Encourage the use of he and she with dolls (or animals) representing a boy and a girl, two large plates, and a basket of toy food. Talk about the dolls and what they would like to eat/drink. "He /She is hungry/thirsty."  "He/She wants _______." 

Label verbs and teach present progressive tense by taking pictures of students playing with food. Present the pictures in either print form or in digital form. Help students describe the actions in the pictures using the appropriate tense (Thomas is mixing., Sara is making a cheeseburger, Lila is cutting., etc.). 

Examples of actions include stirring soup, cutting pizza, mixing (toy mixer), cracking eggs, pouring milk, scooping ice cream, or making a hot dog, cheeseburger, PBJ, cake, cupcakes, fries and nuggets.

Read a Three Bears Story and sort pictures of food, furniture, and animals.

Practice using phrases with negation while sorting - "This is food" and "This is not food." Show the student pictures of food (or objects or real food) and talk about likes and dislikes to elicit sentences such as "I like apples." and "I don't like that." 

Set a table to get responses from a variety of commands and questions similar to those below. 
  • Give me a ____. 
  • Who needs a ____? 
  • Where does it go? 
  • What is this? 
  • What color plate do you want? 

Wet, dry, soapy, towel, sponge, in the water, out of the water, sink, and float are only some of the concepts that you could teach when washing and drying dishes. 

With a few props, pretend play can allow for wonderfully spontaneous interactions. 
  • Restaurant – The waitress/waiter has to relay information to the cook. He wants pizza. She needs more milk, etc. Children can request from a picture menu.
  • Grocery Store – Give children “picture lists.” Put "in" the basket or bag. Stock the shelves to put food "on the shelf." What did you buy? How much did it cost? Which one do you want?
  • Bake a Cake - I had a toy cake and other needed toy items. Students cracked eggs, poured milk, stirred the batter, put the batter in the pan, scraped the bowl, baked the cake in the oven until the timer went off, mixed icing with a mixer, put the icing on the cake, and sang Happy Birthday. 

Look at my posts Playing With Food on Your Computer and Playing With Food on Your iPad for more resources.


© 2012

Some Clipart from

Friday, November 2, 2012

Finding Mr. Turkey - A Spatial Concept Activity

Click here to download.

This PowerPoint book was made with photographs of people from Microsoft Clip-art and the picture of Mr. Turkey, also from Microsoft Clip-art. Mr. Turkey has a transparent background and can be easily placed on photos. 

To customize this PowerPoint, substitute the Microsoft Clip-art with photos of your students and/or places in your classroom or school.  

Print the book, view it as a PowerPoint or import it to use on your Promethean or Smartboard. Print handouts to make mini-books or small visuals. AND, save your PowerPoint as a PDF to add it to your iBooks collection. 

Well, I made this turkey PowerPoint activity earlier this week and was set to post it this weekend, when today, while reading blogs on my Google Reader, I saw that Richard Byrne, at Free Technology for Teachers, posted a very cute app for Thanksgiving - Mr. Turkey, Where are You? It goes along nicely with this PowerPoint giving students the opportunity to answer where questions, but also introducing some Thanksgiving vocabulary. AND, it's free!

Next Post - Playing With Food


© 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's Almost Thanksgiving Day and the Old Woman Swallowed the Pie! Great Links for Thanksgiving.

The popular book this month must be I Knew an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson. It's all over Pinterest and as of today a search revealed 37 related activities at Teachers Pay Teachers. There are four activities that correspond with this book at and I posted a few free found downloads below. 

I Knew an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie   
  • Retell the story and feed the old lady with activity pages from Make Learning Fun
  • At Lil Country Kindergarten, find great story props, a sequencing activity and an emergent reader for I knew an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
  • Can Do Kinders has another emergent reader, a beginning sound sort, and vocabulary pictures for a simple writing activity.  
  • Using the printables from Can Do Kinders and Lil Country Kindergarten, Deb Renner Smith at Writing Everyday Works, put a week long lesson together for the book on her blog.  

Read these Thanksgiving books at We Give Books.

Two Bad Pilgrims by Kathryn Lasky (ages 4-7)
T is for Turkey by Tanya Lee Stone (ages 0-3)

Pardon That Turkey by Susan Sloate  (ages 8 to 10)

More Thanksgiving Resources   

Many Thanksgiving activities at Speaking of

November board games (you choose the skill) at Classroom

Free Thanksgiving Analogies at

Download sorting activities, a "What's Different?," a Thanksgiving Match and a Thanksgiving Word Mini Book at 2 Teaching   

Find Turkey Artic and Following Directions (a spatial concepts activity) at Let's Talk Speech-Language Pathology. 

32 pages of activities from Moo Moo's and Tutus. Free downloadable pages include vocabulary pictures, crafts, silly songs, phonemic awareness activities and an emergent reader with a focus on prepositions. 

Practice articulation targets while Rolling Out a Turkey from Teaching Heart. 

Print the mini book, Turkey Turkey What Do You See? at Playing With Words The blog post includes numerous questions to ask while reading the book. This would be a great take-home.

Describe colorful turkey parts while building a turkey with printables from Kiki Creates.

Have fun!


© 2012

Some Clipart from