Books I Read In 2020

Books I Read In 2020

 

image stating: "Books I Read in 2020" with book stacks and an open book in the background

I’ve always been an avid reader and love becoming lost in the pages of a book. In 2020, I decided that it would be fun to keep track of the books that I read, and as it always seems to happen, the minute I decided to do that, I happened upon something that would help me So, armed with a love of reading and a fun way to track it, I got to it! Here are the books I read in 2020, a short little blurb about each one and a link if you want to pick up the book for yourself : 

Book #1: Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley

picture of the cover of the book "Grace Not Perfection" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. I still stand by my thoughts of not making resolutions but – I love this tracker and am going to use it to motivate me to be more intentional in making time for reading in 2020!

 

 

Book #2: Fall Down 7 Times Get up 8 by Naoki Higashida

picture of the cover of "Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. Real talk: I had high hopes and was really excited to read this book, however, after starting to read it I was informed that the author (a young man with ASD) is suspected to have used Facilitated Communication (FC) or the Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) to write the book.

Since there is no evidence and/or research to back up the use of FC and RPM, I was obviously disappointed in learning this information. I lost my faith in that the content of the book was directly from the author, however the information shared within the book is good information for all of us working with individuals with ASD.

Regardless of who wrote the book and whose ideas are shared, the main idea, treating everyone with respect, grace and acceptance no matter our differences, is something that we should ALL keep in the forefront of our minds!

Book #3: Everything is Figureopicture of the cover of "Everything is Figureoutable" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. utable by Marie Forleo

This book is chock full of such great information, I’m already planning to re-read it to make sure I can absorb it all!

If you are a dreamer, an over-thinker, a procrastinator, a go-getter, etc this book is a must read – basically, it’s for everyone! 

Marie shares too many amazing quotes for self-talk and mantras for me to list, but the one that encompasses them all, and the one that I am continually telling myself is “Everything is Figureoutable” – really everything!

Book #4: Atomic Habits by James Clear

picture of the cover of "Atomic Habits" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to make changes in their lives for the better – changes that will turn into habits that will stay with you for life and help make you a better version of you.

The tips provided within the book are easy to implement gradually and functionally incorporate into your life as you work to create new habits. My favorite parts of the book are the emphasis that is placed upon the ability to use these strategies in all aspects of your life as well as the importance of self-reflection and re-evaluation as you progress to continue your self-improvement.

Book #5: Becoming by Michelle Obamapicture of the cover of "Becoming" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

I don’t read a lot of biographies but, I really enjoyed this one! Loved learning about her past, who she was before she was the First Lady of the United States, how she approached her ever changing roles as a woman, mom, advocate and so much more, as well as what she is looking forward to in her new stage in life, outside of politics.

I’m not one that pays much attention to politics at all and this book was less about politics and more about how Michelle Obama changed and evolved throughout her life. Demonstrating to the readers that change is ok and often needed to become the person that you are meant to be and that can make the most difference in this world.

While reading, and after as well, this book has me thinking and reflecting about who I was, who I am, and who I want to become. picture of the cover of "Present Over Perfect" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

Book #6: Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

When I saw the title of this book I knew I needed to read it! Thanks to Spring Break and the incredible content within, I was able to read this book in one day!

My word for 2020 is “intention” and I am actively trying to increase the intentionality in all actions and aspects of my life. This book gave me so much to reflect upon and help me grow in the areas that I often struggle with – overthinking, worrying and perfectionism. Filling my head and heart with positivity, love for others and self-love is something that I can never have too much of!

Book #7: The Fault In Our Stars by John Greenpicture of the cover of "The Fault In Our Stars" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

Sometimes you just need to read a fiction book from 8 years ago.

I have been on a roll with reading books for professional and self growth but felt the need to change it up a little. This book was a good reminder to live your life to the fullest everyday.

Book #8: Practically picture of the cover of "Practically Speaking" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. Speaking by Gloria Soto & Carole Zangari

Started reading this book in January with the peeps in the AAC and ASD SLP Book club – here on Facebook.

Finished it up today and will be posting key points from it in the group throughout this week. We will also start voting on what book we should read next.

Want to see what we’ve been shafting about throughout this book and help choose what we read next? Hop over to the group through this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/443174499698800/?ref=share

See you there!

Book #10 & #11 in 2020: Books 1 & 2 of The Last 13 Series by James Phelan

picture of the cover of Book 13 and Book 12 of "The Last Thirteen" series and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. Picked up a new series of books to keep my boys occupied with something other than screens and thought I’d read along with them.

There are 13 books in the series and they count down from 13 to 1. Two books in and I’m hooked – they are really good!

 

Books 12-22 in 2020: Books 3-13 in The Last 13 Series by James Phelanpicture of the cover of Book 11 through Book 1 of "The Last Thirteen" series and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

These books are the reason I’ve not been posting as regularly the last week or so. I’ve been obsessed with finishing this series.

I bought the series for my boys and decided to read along with them. Haven’t been this into a young adult series since Harry Potter and Hunger Games!

Book #23 in 2020: Let Me Hear Your Voice by Catherine Maurice

picture of the cover of "Let Me Hear Your Voice" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

This is an older book – published in 1993 – but the title drew me in when I saw it at my favorite local used bookstore.

A lot of new developments have happened in the world of autism since this book was published, however I LOVE the common themes that were reiterated throughout the book.

All kids with autism are individuals and therefore therapy, life, interactions, etc should be adjusted to best meet their individual needs. The author and mom of the kids in the book, was very adamant that all kids need a variety of therapy – and I loved that they showcased how SLPs and ABA therapists can work together toward a common goal – helping the kiddo be the best they can be!

Another recurring theme that I was so happy was included was that parents know their kiddo(s) best and they should believe in themselves and surround themselves with people that empower them and build them and their families up!

I hope that I am one of those empowering voices for the families that I work with!

Book #24 in 2picture of the cover of "Fierce Free and Full of Fire" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. 020: Fierce, Free and Full of Fire by Jen Hatmaker

At the beginning of 2020 I chose a word for my year – Intention. 

My thought process was that I needed (and wanted) to increase my focus and attention to the important things in my life. I was thinking about things outside of myself – my family, my work, my business, etc. – not really thinking about me – on the inside.

Then March came and I started to do a lot more self reflection and thinking about how I could be more intentional with myself. I was thinking about applying my word for 2020 differently.

Although authors like Jen Hatmaker may have been concerned with releasing a book during this time – I can tell you that this was the PERFECT time for me to read this book!

As a person who has (and still continues to) difficulty with accepting myself as I am and letting the world see the true me – this book set me free! I feel empowered & strong enough to let the world see me as I am and to be truthfully, honestly and wholly me!

If you are looking for a book to inspire & encourage you to be you – this is it! We are all meant to be just who we are. Each of us are Fierce, Free & Full of Fire in our own individual ways and when we realize the importance of that, nothing can stop us!

Book #25 in 2020: Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allenpicture of the cover of "Get Out Of Your Own Head" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

Do you ever gets lost in your head? Thinking about everything and anything until you can’t figure out what is what?

I’ve definitely been there more often than not and so the title of this book definitely caught my attention. Throughout the book Jennie Allen guides readers through different ways to break out of this pattern and to start to change your mindset.

I had to read in bursts, taking time to process and reflect all the thoughts & ideas shared – thinking about how I can apply them to my life.

Two of my favorite takeaways are:

  • We can observe our suffering (or thinking) without being overtaken by it.
  • We don’t have to like our circumstances, but we can choose to look for the unexpected gifts they may bring.

Looking for a book to challenge your thoughts on mindset and how you are in charge and can take all your thoughts captive – I highly encourage you to pick this one up!

 

Book #26 of 2020: I Thought It Was Just Me by Brene Brownpicture of the cover of "I Thought it Was Just Me" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

This title sucked me in and when I saw it was by Brené Brown I knew it was a must read.

Another read that encourages us to live authentically as we are, vulnerability and all. If you’ve ever thought you were the “only one”’or that “it’s just me” I highly recommend this book. You are not alone, you are enough and wonderful just the way you are!

This final sentence sums it all up – “Change doesn’t require heroics. Change begins when we practice ordinary courage.”

Book #27 in 202picture of the cover of "Me and White Supremacy" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. 0: Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

This book challenged me in all the right ways. I will openly say that I typically avoid confrontation at all costs. Anything that makes me uncomfortable, stressed, seems like it might cause tension of any kind, I typically stay away from and don’t try to engage.

No longer – I will not be silent, I am actively anti-racist and I will stand with BIPOC.

We all should, can and need to do better. This is only the beginning for me – I will no longer avoid the hard conversations, the things that need to be said. I will speak up and out to denounce what I know is wrong and pronounce what is right!

Here, listening, learning and doing the internal work to continue on this anti-racist journey.

Books #28-30 in 2020: Polly and Buster Series by Sally Rippinpicture of the cover of the "Polly and Buster" series and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

As a Harry Potter book lover the fact that the main character of these books is a witch caught my attention. However, as I began reading I realized that there was so much more within these books!

Buster and Polly have a unique friendship and connection. They are so close, in fact, that Buster’s appearance (color, size, etc) changes as his emotions change. Talk about a way to open up a discussion about feelings with young readers!

Although this series is geared towards readers ages 7-10, the topics covered throughout the trilogy are important for readers of all ages to learn and remember.

Throughout the series, readers learn and see in action:

  • a main character with dyslexia
  • increased social emotional awareness for self and others
  • true friendship
  • importance of standing up for yourself and friends
  • believing in yourself 
  • fighting for what you believe in
  • seeing the good in others and yourself
  • that everyone is different and that’s fantastic
  • everyone should be treated equally
  • believing that you can do hard things
  • what division over differences looks like and how to bring unity
  • promoting justice, quality and understanding

Book #31 in 2020: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colferpicture of the cover of "Artemis Fowl" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

Disney Plus made me do it! When I saw that they were making a movie off of the books, I knew I wanted to read the book first. To be honest, I wasn’t a raving fan but will read the remaining books in the series to see how the story line evolves and changes. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be a big fan by the end of the series?

Now I just have to decide if I watch the movie now or wait until I have read the other novels in the series…

Book #32 in 2020: Comprehensive Lpicture of the cover of "Comprehensive Literacy for All" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. iteracy for All by Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver

When this book was released I knew I HAD to have it and read it! I ordered it immediately and it did not disappoint!!

If you are passionate about literacy for ALL, work with individuals with complex communication needs, and/or want to develop your ability to effectively teach literacy – you MUST pick up a copy of this book!

I savored every word, highlighted paragraphs and pages at a time, and know that it is a book that will easily become dog-eared and warn as I continue to re-read it over and over again!

Book #33 in 2020: Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley

picture of the cover of "Own Your Everyday" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

If I hadn’t already heard great things about this book I know that the title itself would have attracted me to it.

Who doesn’t want to live into their PURPOSE and few free enough to do so? I know I do and this book definitely help ensure that I am in the right mindset to do just that.

Best thing of all, Jordan writes like she’s your BFF and you are sitting on a couch in comfy clothes, no makeup, drinking coffee, wine, cider, tea, etc. Reading her tips and advice felt like a conversation and motivational chat which made it easy to read and know that I can apply to my everyday life.

Book #34 in 2020: How To Be An Antiracist by Imbram X. Kendipicture of the cover of "How To Be An Antiracist" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

A MUST read! So much to think about, reflect on and act on.

What I learned from this book will stick with me forever.

 

Book #35 in 2020: I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Autsin Channing Brownpicture of the cover of "I'm Still Here" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

Add this book to your list ASAP! So captivating, haunting and beautifully written, I couldn’t put it down & read it in one day.

The stories shared within broke my heart, opened my mind and are stories I will not forget.

 

Book #36 in 2020: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smithpicture of the cover of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

It took me a little longer to read this one because of its length but it’s definitely worth the time to read it.

A story full of resilience, persistence and overcoming obstacles, as well as the importance of keeping a positive mindset no matter what life throws at you. It’s clear why it’s a classic and still rings true 77 years after its original publication!

Book #37 of 2020: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collinspicture of the cover of "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

I’m always a little leery of “prequel” books that are released after the “original” series. I’m not sure why, but I think that it’s because, especially if I loved the series, I’m afraid the “prequel” won’t hold up.

Thankfully, soon after I started reading – this prequel to the Hunger Games series did not disappoint! I was hooked from the beginning – learning about the past of Coriolanus Snow and how he became the ruler that he was in the Hunger Games series.

Although it was lengthy, I was engaged throughout and the twists and turns of the storyline kept me guessing and surprised until the very end!

Book #38 in 2020: The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaillepicture of the cover of "The Culture Code" and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read.

My husband says I’m a marketer’s dream – so the subtitle of this book caught my eye! “An Ingenious Way To Understand Why People Around The Works Live And Buy As They Do”

Plus, I’ve always been interested in learning more about people, why we do what we do, how that varies from country to country and within cultures. This book opened my eyes – the observations and thoughts make total sense and definitely have me thinking!

It was written 14 years ago but the messaging still rings true today!

picture of the cover of "Internment " and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. Book #39 in 2020: Internment by Samira Ahmed

My high school freshmen (twin boys) read this in their history class this year. They loved it and urged me to read it – both as they were reading it as well as when they were finished reading.

I was hooked from the moment I started reading. It’s a fiction book but – unfortunately, with how crazy the world has been lately, it could be non-fiction.

A riveting novel sharing the fight and determination of a young girl fighting against religious persecution and the nation joining together with her. Easily one of my top reads for 2020!

Books #40-42 in 2020: The Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka

You know I can’t resispicture of the cover of "The Timewarp Trio" series and a book tracker stating "In 2020 Resolve to read" with spines colored in for each book read. t looking through bookshelves no matter where I see them right?

That’s how I found these books. While we were setting up for the winter book walk, I started browsing through the bookshelves in the teacher work room and found these books.

The titles drew me in as I’m also a fan of funny and punny titles for books. The books themselves are a fun way for young readers to learn a little about history while keeping them engaged and learning to love reading.

Whew – that was a lot of reading and I’m keeping it up in 2021 with the help of a new book tracker!

Want to join me in keeping track of the books you read in 2021? You can download my reading tracker here: 2021 Book Tracker

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storybook Sessions: Garrett Morgan

Storybook Sessions: Garrett Morgan

Storybook Sessions: Garrett Morgan

In each Storybook Sessions post, I highlight a book that I have used, or plan to use in therapy as well as associated, extension activities that can be paired with the book to increase vocabulary comprehension, provide opportunities to express yourself verbally, written, creatively, etc., sensory exploration, fine motor practice, gross motor movements, etc. Some extension activities will focus on all of these components while others will focus more specifically on one area.

Garrett Morgan

Author: Megan Stewart

Illustrator: Symbols by Boardmaker 7

Do you ever have an idea for an activity to do, book to read, etc but can’t find exactly what you are looking for? Anyone else, or is it just me?

This happened to me while I was planning for my February sessions. I knew I wanted to highlight a famous black person from history to celebrate Black History Month with my students but while looking for a book to lead my activity/session, I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. I will say that there are a TON of great kids books featuring and highlighting famous black people, however I waited too long to put these on hold or check out from my library, so I decided to create my own.

My Book Creation Process

I chose to highlight Garrett Morgan, who added the yellow light to the stoplight as we now know it, within my lesson. With a quick Google search to find a picture of him, and learn a little more about him and his inventions, I took that information, opened Boardmaker 7 software and got to work! Using the printable book template, I was able to easily add in pictures, symbols and text that told the story of who Garrett Morgan was, why we need to learn about him, what his invention was (Mr. Morgan did invent items other than the stoplight, (i.e., the gas mask), but I thought this invention was most appropriate to highlight for my PreK students), and how it has affected our world. Here’s a sneak peek of the book: 

Now What?

Now that I had the book, I needed to decide on the extension activities to continue our learning after we read the book. I chose activities that focused on color, shape and number recognition & labeling, spatial concepts, fine motor skills, bi-lateral (both sides) hand coordination, sorting, following directions, and gross motor skills. 

Creating A Personalized Stoplight

In the first activity, the students create their own stoplight.

First, I cut black construction paper into rectangles and drew 3 circles down the center with a white crayon. 

picture of black construction paper in a rectangle shape with 3 white circle outlines drawn down the middle of the paper and red, yellow and green circle stickers

Stoplight template and stickers

Second, I cut color coding stickers from Avery into strips of yellow, green and red. 

Each student was given a stoplight template and, after a model from an adult, placed all of the colored stickers onto their stoplight template. Hopefully the students placed the stickers in the right place based on color, but if not, that’s ok too – I am all about fostering independence and creativity and this is not a test!

black construction paper rectangle with 3 white circles drawn down the center with red stickers in the top circle, yellow stickers in the middle and green stickers at the bottom

Student Created Stoplght

black construction paper rectangle with 3 white circles drawn down the center with red stickers in the top circle, yellow stickers in the middle and green stickers at the bottom

Student Created Stoplight

Additional Skills Addressed While Creating the Stoplights

While the students were making their stoplights, we were able to focus in on the topics of: 

  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Location words (prepositions)
  • Quantity (numbers, more, less)
Don’t forget all the Core Vocabulary!

And of course we used our core vocabulary communication boards to chat, modeling words, individually and in short phrases, such as: 

  • Put  
  • On
  • More
  • Where
  • Help
  • Want
  • Like
  • Not
  • Different
  • I
  • My
  • You
  • Finished
  • Here
  • That
  • Again
  • Next
  • See
  • All
The Fun Doesn’t Stop There!

After students finish their stoplight you can:

  • Play “Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light” to help get the wiggles out. You can use these visuals to further show students if they are to “GO”, “SLOW” or “STOP”. 
  • Play with cars and other vehicles, using your traffic light to tell the cars to “GO”, “SLOW down” or “STOP”
This Sounds Great! Where Can I Find These Resources?

If you are interested in doing these activities and/or reading the book about Garrett Morgan to your students I have linked them here for you to download: 

image of Garret Morgan book, sorting template and stoplight activity template

Garrett Morgan book and activities

image of Garret Morgan book, sorting template and stoplight activity template

Garrett Morgan Printable and activities

If you create stoplights in celebration of Garrett Morgan and his invention, I’d love to see it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post pictures in the comments below or tag me (@senseableliteracy) in posts online!

Until next time – Happy Reading!

Modeling Core Vocabulary word “GO” with “Busy Trucks on the Go”

Are you looking for fun ways to incorporate core vocabulary, early first words and literacy into therapy sessions and/or daily routines but not sure what books to read and/or how to focus on specific words while reading?

picture of core vocabulary communication board in front of a black bookshelf with multicolored books in background

Core vocabulary and literacy – a perfect match!

You’re in luck! I am going to introduce you to one of my favorite books to read, focusing on the core vocabulary word “GO”. I am also going to show you examples of how I might read this book with students to provide lots of opportunities for communication partners to model the word “GO” as well as opportunities for students to imitate and/or initiate communication with that word.

Ready? Here we GO!

Let me introduce you to “Busy Trucks on the Go” – a picture book filled with engaging scenes featuring various trucks and vehicles that kids may see throughout their day. The illustrations are narrated with simple rhyming text that labels the name of the vehicle as well as providing a clue as to the job the vehicle helps perform within the community. This mix of engaging, colorful illustrations and rhyming, rhythmic text make this book a fun read for kids and adults alike!

Let me introduce you to “Busy Trucks on the Go” - a picture book filled with engaging scenes featuring various trucks and vehicles that kids may see throughout their day. The illustrations are narrated with simple rhyming text that labels the name of the vehicle as well as providing a clue as to the job the vehicle helps perform within the community. This mix of engaging, colorful illustrations and rhyming, rhythmic text make this book a fun read for kids and adults alike!

Something to note is that the word “GO” is not included frequently within the text and therefore, the reader should not rely on the text alone to provide opportunities for modeling “GO” for students. However, opportunities to model “GO” do appear frequently when looking at and chatting about the illustrations of the trucks and vehicles as well as the adventures of a boy and his dad as they move about town seeing the various vehicles. 

Modeling Core Vocabulary while reading…

This book lends itself very easily to engaging in shared reading between an adult and student – sharing observations about the illustrations such as: 

Where are the vehicles are “GO”ing?

The cement is “GO”ing out of the cement truck.

Dirt is “GO”ing in the dump truck.

Dad’s truck can not “GO”.

Water is “GO”ing out of the fire hose.

Where are the people are “GO”ing?

Remember…

Follow the lead of your students or whomever you are reading with during shared reading, modeling various vocabulary as you read. While you may be focusing on one core vocabulary word in particular, modeling a variety of words demonstrates that there are no “right” or “wrong” words and that you can say lots of different things about the same picture. 

I need this book!

Ready to add this book to your library? Follow the link below to purchase this beautifully illustrated and engaging book:

Busy Trucks on the Go: https://c8314.myubam.com/p/3737/busy-trucks-on-the-go

Remember – there is no right or wrong way to read a book – just keep reading!

Image stating There is no right or wrong way to read a book! Just keep reading!

By the way…

P.S. If you are a visual learner or just hang out on YouTube – you can watch this content come to life there: https://youtu.be/2rA-gROzCF0

Modeling Core Vocabulary word “GO” with the “Busy Train Book”

Are you looking for fun ways to incorporate core vocabulary, early first words and literacy into therapy sessions and/or daily routines but not sure what books to read and/or how to focus on specific words while reading? 

picture of core vocabulary communication board in front of a black bookshelf with multicolored books in background

Core vocabulary and literacy – a perfect match!

You’re in luck! I am going to introduce you to one of my favorite books to read, focusing on the core vocabulary word “GO”. I am also going to show you examples of how I might read this book with students to provide lots of opportunities for communication partners to model the word “GO” as well as opportunities for students to imitate and/or initiate communication with that word.

Ready? Let’s GO!

Let me introduce you to the “Busy Train Book” – it’s one book in a collection of Busy Books that include: Busy Car, Busy Helicopter, Busy Bug and one that is released around the holidays, Busy Santa. Each of these books includes a pull back and go vehicle that travels around four various tracks throughout the story book, with each page narrating the travels of the pull back and go vehicle.

cover photo of the Busy Train Book with title Busy Train Book and caption Perfect for modeling of the core vocabulary word "GO".

The “Busy Train Book”: Perfect for modeling the core vocabulary word “GO”.

pictures of additional Busy Book Titles including "Busy Helicopter", "Busy Car", "Busy Bug", "Busy Santa"

Additional Busy Book Titles including Busy Helicopter, Busy Car, Busy Bug, & Busy Santa

pictures of open Busy Books to show tracks and pull back and go vehicles moving along the track

Each book has 4 tracks for traveling throughout the book!

The train in this book, and the vehicles in all the other Busy Books, are highly motivating and provide a built in opportunity to practice modeling and using the word “GO” multiple times on each page which is fantastic for early communicators – you can model “GO” while checking out the scenes around each track without reading the text.

picture of core vocabulary communication board with prek student reading and playing with the "Busy Train" Book

PreK student reading and playing with the “Busy Train” book

picture of core vocabulary communication board and open "Busy Helicopter book" with prek student in background

PreK student playing with and reading “Busy Helicopter” book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

picture of prek student reading and playing with the "Busy Car" book

PreK student playing and reading the “Busy Car” Book

 

Incorporating Core Vocabulary while reading…

Opportunities to model “GO” are everywhere in the book and starts on the first page where the text encourages the readers to place the train on “start” and let it “GO”!

picture of the first page of the "Busy Train" book and a core vocabulary communication board with a finger modeling/pointing to the word/symbol "GO".

Modeling opportunities start on the first page!

Other opportunities to model “GO” include:

When starting the train on the track, say and model: “READY, SET, GO!”

While the train is moving along the track, say and model: “LOOK AT THE TRAIN GO!”

If the train stops you can say and model “GO” by saying “Let’s make the train GO again!”

The word “GO” is also in the text on 2 of the tracks – this is a natural opportunity to model “GO” while reading the text to build literacy skills. 

picture of a page within the "Busy Train" book showing text

The word “GO” is featured in the text as well – providing extra opportunities for modeling and literacy.

text within a page of the "Busy Train" book

Text featuring the core vocabulary word “GO” provides extra opportunities for modeling and literacy exposure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But that’s not all!

image stating "Additional Core Vocabulary to model while reading"

There are lots of additional Core Vocabulary to model while reading as well!

While this book lends itself to easy and frequent modeling of the core vocabulary word “GO”, there are lots of other core vocabulary words that can be modeled throughout this book, including:

image stating "LIKE", I "LIKE" watching the train "GO"! and I "LIKE" going to the zoo.

There are many opportunities to model “LIKE” throughout the book!

image stating "LOOK", "LOOK at the train "GO"!, and "LOOK" they are riding bikes.

There are many opportunities to model the core word “LOOK” while reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image stating "WHERE", "WHERE" will the train go next? and "WHERE" would you "GO" on a train?

Don’t forget to ask questions while reading and modeling!

image stating "TURN", Let's "TURN" the page!, My "TURN", and Your "TURN"

“TURN” is easy to incorporate often while reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image stating "HELP", Do you need "HELP", and Uh oh, the train stopped. Can you "HELP" the train "GO"?

A great opportunity to practice asking for help!

image stating Bonus Prepositional Concepts throughout the text

There are lots of prepositional concepts throughout the book to chat about as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember…

Follow the lead of your students or whomever you are reading with, modeling various vocabulary as you go. The illustrations within the book are beautiful visual scenes filled with lots of different objects, actions and places to explore and chat about!

 

I can’t wait to incorporate literacy, AAC & play!

Ready to add this book or others from the Busy Book collection to your library? Check them out here: 

 

Remember – there is no right or wrong way to read a book – just keep reading!

Image stating There is no right or wrong way to read a book! Just keep reading!

Just keep reading!

 

One final note…

P.S. If you are a visual learner or just hang out on YouTube – you can watch this content come to life there: https://youtu.be/ScWO9dTYmfE

 

 

Storybook Sessions: “That’s Not My Snowman”

Storybook Sessions: “That’s Not My Snowman”

Storybook Sessions: “That’s Not My Snowman

In each Storybook Sessions post, I highlight a book that I have used, or plan to use in therapy as well as associated, extension activities that can be paired with the book to increase vocabulary comprehension, provide opportunities to express yourself verbally, written, creatively, etc., sensory exploration, fine motor practice, gross motor movements, etc. Some extension activities will focus on all of these components while others will focus more specifically on one area.

That’s Not My Snowman”
Author: Fiona Watt
Illustrator: Rachel Wells
cover of "That's Not My Snowman"

“That’s Not My Snowman”

This book, like the others in the wildly popular, That’s Not My… series, features various textures and sensory elements via touchy-feely patches on each page. The story line also features a simple, repetitive text: “That’s not my snowman, it’s ____ is too ____.” This repetitive line promotes basic, emergent literacy and language skills for readers, providing multiple opportunities to see and hear familiar words which will in turn, increase their comprehension and recognition of these repeated words. The various items that are featured and described in the repeated line are those that contain the different touchy-feely patches on each page (e.g., “…it’s hat  is too soft.”). Featuring and describing these items provides the reader with opportunities to increase their receptive vocabulary through identifying the labeled items (nouns) as well as describing how they feel (adjectives). 

As readers become more familiar with the text and associate the feel of the various sensory elements with the descriptive vocabulary provided, they will have the opportunity to use this vocabulary in their own expressive communication as they read the book and/or describe various items they interact with throughout their day. An added bonus for students who are emergent language and literacy learners, who may also be using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is that this book is full of core vocabulary that can be modeled on a communication device/system. Examples of core vocabulary within the book include: “that”, “not”, “my”, and “it” as well as the multiple opportunities to model “turn” for turning the page, “help”, “feel” for exploring the touchy-feely patches, “you” and “I” and so many more!

As you can see, there are so many reasons that this book is a no-brainer to use within my language therapy sessions but it’s a great book to read with any emergent reader and language learner to help build and refine their literacy and language skills. Reading books like this become even more fun when you pair reading with a fun, sensory based extension activity like these fun sensory snowmen.

Simple, cheap and fun = win, win, win!
Sensory Snowmen

All you need for this simple, fun, sensory extension activity is:

materials needed for making sensory snowmen activity

Materials needed for sensory snowmen extension activity.

Step 1: 
  • Remove the label on the resealable zipper storage bag(s) with nail polish remover. (This really works – promise! I was a skeptic too but was shocked at how easy it was to remove!) 
  • Dry nail polish remover residue from bag.
photo of nail polish remover and two resealable storage bags - one with label and one without

Nail polish remover removes labels from resealable storage bags

Step 2:
  • Draw a template of a snowman on a piece of cardboard using a permanent marker. 
picture of snowman template on cardboard with permanent marker and resealable storage bag

Draw a snowman template on piece of cardboard

Step 3:
  • Place resealable zipper storage bag on top of snowman template & trace onto bag with permanent marker.
  • You can also encourage kids to draw their own snowman on the bag – be creative! 
resealable storage bag over snowman template with permanent marker

Place resealable storage bag over snowman template.

traced snowman from template onto resealable storage bag and permanent marker

Trace snowman template onto resealable storage bag or let kids draw their own snowman.

Step 4: 
  • Place a few cotton balls inside of the bag (number of cotton balls will depend upon how full you want your bag to be as well as how big your bag is).
Step 5: 
  • Squeeze hair gel into the bag until cotton balls are able to be pushed around when in contact with the gel (again, the amount of gel needed will depend upon the size of the bag as well as how many cotton balls were used – not an exact measurement).
resealable storage bag with cotton balls and hair gel

Put cotton balls and hair gel into resealable storage bag.

Step 6: 
  • Seal bag and reinforce with duct tape (may need to reinforce on both sides of seal to ensure closure). 
sensory snowman bag sealed with duct tape and labeled with name

Reinforce seal of resealable storage bag with duct tape and label with name.

Step 7:
  • Use a permanent marker to label the bag with the name (of snowman or kiddo). 
  • Encourage kids to write their own name to practice emergent writing skills.
Step 8: 
  • Enjoy moving the cotton ball “snowballs” around within the bag to personalize the look of your snowman over and over again!
  • Re – read “That’s Not My Snowman”  again – while students play with the sensory snowman bags that they just created!

 

There are a lot of ways that you could personalize this activity even further, such as adding additional sensory elements to the bag such as sequins, small snowflake confetti, glitter, etc. – Have fun and be creative!

If you create Sensory Snowmen bags with your students, I’d love to see them! Share pictures in the comments here or tag me (@senseableliteracy) in your posts online!

Until next time – Happy Reading!