Using Books to Target Sequencing

I’m so excited to be starting this new series–Mixing Up Speech Therapy! I’ll be sharing a roundup of activities targeting a variety of skills using BOOKS. After all, we know the value of using books in therapy, but it can be challenging to come up with fun, engaging activities–especially when SLP overwhelm sets in. I’m hoping that this series will give you a few ideas for activities to use in your speech room right away! This week we’ll chat about using books to target sequencing and/or story retell.

If you have any ideas to share, please feel free to post a comment with some of your favorite activities!

NOTE: The links below are Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience, but I may receive compensation if you click through and purchase one of the books. *

Start with Visuals

If you know me, then you know I’m all about visuals. I find that it makes the teaching process so much easier, and it’s a great way to increase independence. We can start modeling a skill using a visual and then gradually fade our support so that the student is able to use the visual independently (in the speech room and in the classroom). There are so many different visuals we could use, so I’ll share a few. (Again, feel free to share your favorite ideas in the comments!)


I created these so that I would always have visuals handy. We can manipulate the strips (e.g., change the order, write on them using dry erase markers, etc.) for more interactive teaching and practice. You can find them on TPT or in the SLP Now Membership.

A photo posted by Marisha (SLP Now) (@slp_now) on


You can print up a fancy once, or you can create your own with the student. This really varies on the student’s level and goal type, but I like to try to use (and/or adapt) what the teacher is using in the classroom.


I made one for four-step sequencing, but you can easily cut up strips of paper and customize a strip to your liking. Using a paperclip, a clothespin, and/or a bead on a pipe cleaner are easy ways to add some kinesthetic support, too.

Prefer to have a visual to print? Click here to download the sequencing visual!


There are so many ways to incorporate pictures from the book to support our students. Here are a few ideas…

  • You can copy/scan pictures out of the book (for personal use).
  • I like to take pictures with my phone. I find it’s easier and faster, and students can be involved in the process, too.
  • You can use Google Images (for personal use).
  • Teachers Pay Teachers is also a great source of clip art, especially if you want to share your visuals with others.
  • The SLP Now Membership also includes visuals for themed books.
  • These No Print Book Companions include pictures basic sequencing, as well.

Sticky Notes

If you don’t have access to a printer, then sticky notes (or cut up pieces of paper) are an option, too. Students can identify the key events, draw a quick picture (and/or write a sentence) of each event, and then practice telling the story.

If you’re working on higher level sequencing, these sticky notes are awesome, too! Students love being able to make their own booklets with tabs.

Graphic Organizer Fill-In

This is a more traditional approach, but teachers use a lot of graphic organizers. I love giving students the opportunity to practice using a graphic organizer that he’ll also be able to use in class. You can make it “fun” by using sticky notes and/or using dry erase markers to fill in the organizer.

Comic Strips

This is a lot like using a graphic organizer, but kids get excited about making a comic strip. It’s as easy as folding a piece of paper into however many parts, and you’re ready to go!


Like I mentioned before, using the camera on your phone or tablet is a great way to get quick visual supports. Here are some of my favorite apps…

PicCollage (Free, with upgrades): You can use the pictures you took and have students put them in a collage. Super easy to print for homework and/or repeated practice.

VidStich (Free, with upgrades):  This is like PicCollage, but you can record videos! We take a video of the scene in the book and tell what is happening. This also works well if you choose to use other visuals (cutting out pictures for a “play,” sticky notes, etc.).

Puppet Pals HD (Free, with upgrades): A very fun way to “act out” their sequences! I find that this activity is most successful as “additional practice.” Students tend to benefit from a completed graphic organizer before diving into this task.

Puppet Pals 2 (Free, with upgrades): Similar to Puppet Pals HD, but with more options to customize with your own pictures/backgrounds.

Notability (Paid): This works well with groups, but you can draw and record audio at the same time! When you replay the audio, the drawings pop up in sequential order. Pretty cool!

Pictello (Paid): This is another fun app, and you have the option to share stories with teachers and/or parents.

And that’s a wrap! Feel free to share your own ideas for using books to target sequencing in the comments below!

* Marisha Mets is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or


Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

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  1. Hannah says

    These are great tips! I love love love using books in therapy! For quick sequencing on the iPad “Talking Train” by all4mychild is awesome! I think is $1.99 in the App Store and I use it all the time! You can take pictures from books (or draw your own), write and record the story! It also allows you to email the story to parents or yourself for later review 🙂

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