So you’re trying to implement literacy-based therapy… Where do you start?!

It makes sense to start with a book, right?

Here are my top three criteria when selecting books to use in therapy.

Criteria 1: Able to Read in 10 Minutes (Or Less)

In order to really dive into a book, we want to have enough time to, well…dive into the book! If we spend 30+ minutes reading the story, that gives us a lot less time to really dive into the text. This is part of what sets us apart from teachers or other specialists in the schools!

Bonus Tip: This can also apply to other types of literature (not just picture books!). I select articles, chapters, sections of textbooks, etc. based on this criteria.

Criteria 2: Multiple Demonstrations of Targets

If a student is working on irregular plural nouns, we want to make sure we have multiple exemplars in the book! The same goes for any other goal we might target–from grammar to vocabulary!

Part of being therapeutic in context involves giving students repeated opportunities to practice their targets (Ukrainetz, 2006). Selecting books while keeping targets in mind helps to set us up for success.

Yeah, I know. The elephant in the room…

I don’t have time to analyze all those books!

The SLP Now Membership includes book guides that pull out all of the targets for you.

Criteria 3: Align with the Curriculum

If you don’t already know, I love contextualized language intervention!

It can be overwhelming to think about tackling this with your caseload, but it can really be quite simple!

If your kindergartners are reading The Gingerbread Man in class, then it makes sense to use that book for your literacy-based therapy.

If your 2nd graders are learning about the solar system, then pick a book about space.

If your 7th graders are reading Walk Two Moons, then pull a passage from the book.

It’ll make our therapy that much more relevant, and it can help increase our students’ abilities to participate in the general education classroom. Win, win!

Want to hear more?

Check out this post to help you find books on a budget!

Check out all of our literacy-based posts for practical tips and strategies. More coming soon!

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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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