Speech All the Time

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Giraffes Can't Dance

I have a particular fondness for using picture books in therapy. Having fun, interesting and engaging storybooks and activities make learning fun and promote print awareness, text comprehension,  vocabulary, semantics, oral narration, sequencing, and can reinforces phonemic awareness, generalized articulation skills, and use of appropriate syntactic structures . The efficacy of using storybooks will be the discussion for future blogs. So stay tuned.
One of my favorite companion packs is 35 pages of engaging materials that compliment the book by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees. It is designed for children ages 4-8. It is a worthwhile investment to purchase your own copy of the book if you do not already have access to a copy. Here is a preview of the packet.

A set of 23 character cards includes the main “characters” or animals in the story--giraffe, lion, warthog, chimp, baboon, rhino, and cricket. The remainder of the cards are pictures of familiar and less common jungle animals in the story. These can be used for vocabulary enrichment and for a sentences generation activity for articulation.

The next activity includes 23 vocabulary cards that state the sentence in the story that contains the word. Three choices of the meaning of the words are given.

There are 3 levels of comprehension question cards. Level ! has 2 picture responses to choose from, Level 2 has 3 multiple choice answers, and Level 3 targets inferencing. There is no single correct answer for Level 3 questions. Many of the questions start with “What do you think . . . ?” 

To increase semantic mapping, use Same& Different cards and have students tell how the two thing from the story are the same, how they are different, or both.

On the Verb Tense cards, the prompt questions are taken from the text of the story. The student has to listen carefully to the question to determine when the action is taking place. There are 3 grammatic choices with different syntax for the verb tenses. For a more advanced practice, the student can respond with out the choices. This format overlaps with comprehension as well. 

All of these targeted skills can be used with the 2 game boards--"Giraffes Can Dance Too", and "Cha-Cha Chimps".

Activities are included to provide the opportunity for sequencing, and using oral and written narrative skills. Sequencing cards can be used to orally retell the story using just the pictures, or text and pictures together.

The “Write Your Own Story” strips can be used to have students dictate sentences that are written by the adult, or students can generate their own written sentences. 

Articulation cards were developed with words from the story that contain the sounds /k/, /g/, /f/, and /v/. The cards can be used for imitative or spontaneous word productions. For a sentence level activity, have students chose a character card and a target sound card, and generate a sentence using both words. 

That's it folks. Thanks for reading.



  1. I would definitely like to see a post about that - I always appreciate when bloggers pair their therapy ideas w/ EBP, so I can feel confident about the way I teach!

  2. I love this book. The packet looks like it would help extend the lesson to meet many of my students' needs.

  3. Information on EBP is always welcome! It helps when or if we need to justify our activities for administrators.

  4. EBP is what it is all about--so YES--posts about EBP would be great! Packet looks excellent!

  5. Kathy, you are one talented lady. I am going to start buying more picture books for my collection. This is one book at the top of my list. I would love to win this.