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!











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: