In my earlier blog, SLP Author Wannabes, I discussed the relative ease of self-publishing. The difficulty comes in the marketing. Speech/language pathologists have a willing audience for books, particularly if your book has speech and language goals that can be used in therapy and teaching. If any of you ever used the book, Books Are for Talking, Too! Third Edition,by Jane L. Gebers(currently out of print), you will understand how to target your children’s storybooks for therapy. She is a master at breaking down all segments of a story for articulation, language and pre-reading goals.
In an interview with Jane a short time ago, she told me that once she got a sense that she really liked a book, then she looked at it for potential therapy goals.
“Something would just jump out at me,” she said. “Then I’d look to see if that feature occurred again. It usually did. Over and over!” She used Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as an example.
“Right off the bat you can see there’s plenty of action for kids to focus on and talk about, as alphabet letters try to climb a coconut tree. “Plenty of repetition. Easy rhythm and beat. And wonderful words, ones kids relate to. Once you’ve got those great words, like ‘tree/flee, aunts/pants, wiggle/jiggle, and alleyoop,’ then you know you can play games with them every which way and back and just have fun!”
When considering writing your children’s storybook that can be used in therapy, it is useful to have insight into how Jane Gebers analyzes books for therapy. To get this insight, I am reprinting a book entry from “A Catalog of Picture Books for Children in Preschool and Kindergarten” in Section 1 of her book.
Books Are for Talking, Too!, Third Editionby Jane L. Gebers
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Reprinted with copyright permission from Jane L. Gebers, author of Books Are for Talking, Too! Third Edition.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
By Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1989
Suggested Grade and Interest Level: Pre-K
Topic Exploration: Alphabet
Phonological Awareness Articulation, K
Synopsis: This is a clever alphabet rhyme about all of the alphabet letters trying to climb up a coconut tree. As they come down, they become personified as children, with names such as “skinned-knee D and stubbed-toe E.”
Method: Read and reread this clever rhyme. For phonological awareness training, use the book to play sound games with the words.
Children identify the word omitted from a previously given word string. For example, say
tree, top, room, more
top, room, more
Which word is missing? (tree)
If necessary, begin with two-word strings. When the children are successful, increase to three-word strings, then four. Additional word strings include:
chicka, chicka, boom, boom skit, skat, skoodle, doot flip, flop, flee, tree
uncles, aunts, dears, pants help, pile, knee, toe breath, tangle, cry, knot
loop, stoop, twist, knee tooth, eye, knee, look sun, tree, moon, bed
Children rearrange, in correct word order, a scrambled phrase or sentence from a portion of the text. For example, say
Chick boom boom chicka
Can you help me say the words of the title in the right order?
That’s right. Chicka boom boom chickashould really be Chicka chicka boom boom.
More words to rearrange include
I’ll you meet Who’s coming look Sun the down goes
He here comes Breath out of all The alphabet whole
Tree the up I’ll you beat Full moon a there’s
Way on their
(PLAY) The Same-Sound game.
Children identify whether two words selected from the text begin with the same sound. For example, say
Do the words begin with the same sound? (Yes)
To make an unmatched pair, exchange one of the following words with another word from the text, such as chicka, tree. More word sets include
pants, pile boom, bed flip, flop
top, tooth dear, dust flop, flee
tip, top skit, sat
Children select from a string of alliterative words the one word that has a different beginning sound. For example, using a line of text, say
skit, skat, skoodle, doot
Which word has a different beginning sound? (doot)
That’s right. Doot is the odd one out.
Using another line of text, say
flip, flop, flee, tree
Which is the odd one out?
Use the words listed in the Same-Sound game. Add a word from the story that does not belong to the list, such as
loop, look, boom
so that the odd one can come out. Then add another same-initial sound word to vary the length of the word string.
Children supply the rhyming word left out at the end of a verse. Teach children to use the meaningful clues in the pictures as well as the meter of the verso to rhyme the word. If necessary, prompt with picture cues and with the initial phoneme, then gradually remove the scaffolding. For example, say
“A told B
and B told C
‘I’ll meet you at the top
of the coconut (tr) ______.’” (tree)
“Chicka chicka boom boom!
Will there be enough (r)_______?” (room)
“Look who’s coming!
It’s black-eyed P,
Q R S,
And loose-toothed _______.” (T, as in the word tee.)
Children identify the rhming word after you read each set. Provide initial phoneme cues as needed. For example, say
“P rhymes with _______.” (T, as in the word tee)
Children identify whether word pairs rhyme. For example, say
Do they rhyme? (Yes)
Insert non-rhyming words from the text into the following sets of rhyming words to make an unmatched set:
tree/flee aunts/pants cry/tie
looped/stooped free/tree me/tree
Children supply another rhyming word after a set of words is presented. Give initial phoneme cues if needed. Accept any rhyming nonsense verse. For example, ask
What word rhymes with tree? Tree, flee, (m) ______. (me)
Practice with the following words, giving initial phoneme cues: see, bee, C, D, G, P, T, V, Z, fee, flee, free, knee, and wee.
Then continue with the rhyming sets provided in Do-They-Rhyme?
Children clap to, then count, the syllables heard in selected words from the illustrations and text. Demonstrate by clapping to a word and then asking children how many parts they heard. For example, clap and say
How many parts are in the word? Clap it out. (one)
Clap and say.
How many parts are in that word? Clap it out. (two)
Pile-up. One, two.
A puppet can also demonstrate by opening and closing its mouth to indicate syllables, stressing and elongating them when presenting words, such as
chi-cka run-ning a-lley-oop
co-ming ji-ggle co-co-nut
wi-ggle kno-tted al-pha-bet
Children listen for the “little” words within the two-syllable words of the text. For example, say
wiggle (changing the stress to wig-le and drawing out the word)
Can you hear any little words in wiggle? (wig)
That’s right. Wig is a little word in wiggle.
Present the list of two- and three-syllables words provided in Clap-and-Count, and find the little words within the larger words, changing the stress pattern as necessary so children can hear all the “little” words.
Children say a two-syllable word, then leave out the beginning or final part to create a smaller word. For example, say
Saypileup but leave out up.
What little word is left? (pile)
That’s right. Pileup. Pile.
Continue using the two-syllable words provided in Clap-and-Count.
Children put two words together to make a compound word, or two syllables together to make a two-syllable word. For example, say
Now say pile, and add up.
What larger word can you make? (pileup)
Pile. Up. Pileup.
Continue with the two-syllable words provided in Clap-and-Count.
Children synthesize one-syllable words divided into onset-rime. Start with words that begin with a continuous sing-consonant sound. Demonstrate by presenting each part of the word separately. Show children how to elongate the onset part and to blend the two parts together, say them a little quicker each time until they are readily identified. For example, say
Put these two sounds together: m-eet
Say it until you hear it. Mmmmmm—eet. Meet.
Words beginning with a single consonant and divided into onset-rime include
f-ull r-oom b-eat
m-ore s-un t-ie
m-oon h-ug t-op
Continue with these consonant-vowel-consonant (C-V-C) words from the text beginning with a single sound.
tr-ee (tree) br-eath (breath) sk-at (skat)
fl-ee (flee) fl-op (flop) sk-in (skin)
fl-ip (flip) sk-it (skit) st-ubbed (stubbed)
For K articulation therapy, use the recurring words chicka chickaand coconutto practice the target sound, first with auditory bombardment, then in unison, then in single production, then in cloze activities, and so on. Other K and K blend words from the text and pictures include comes, coming, cried, skinned, K(the letter), look, and catch.
As one can see from the analysis of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Jane Gebers it is possible to extract many goals from a book that was not specifically written for meeting therapy goals. However, when writing your book, consider many skills that can be added – alliteration, rhyming, language concepts, specific phonemes, etc. Once you have written your book, but before publishing it, analyze it for speech and language objectives to determine if more can be added. Once you have published your book, you can use these goals in blogs and written materials to market your books to your followers on social media sites.