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The Literacy-Based Speech Podcast
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The Literacy-Based Speech Podcast

Author: Ashley and Kalin, Literacy Based SLPs, Picture Books, Speech Language Pathologist

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Do you want to use picture books more in your speech therapy sessions, but have no idea where to start? OR are you already using books in therapy but find it time-consuming to find the RIGHT book and identify relevant speech and language concepts? You’re in the right place! The Literacy-Based Speech Podcast will help you feel confident in your book choices and instructional decisions. We’ll give you the tools you need to intentionally maximize your sessions!

Join co-hosts Ashley and Kalin from Sweet Southern Speech each week as they share evidence-based and SLP-approved strategies to use picture books more efficiently and effectively in your speech therapy sessions.

After listening, connect with us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy. You can check out the show notes for each episode at

22 Episodes
With Halloween just around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to highlight our favorite Halloween themed books to use in your speech therapy sessions. We review our process for selecting books and then discuss each of our favorite Halloween themed books in depth to give you the best idea on which ones to read with your students.Resources Mentioned:Free Halloween Book Notes1 Page Book Cheat Sheets - Fall and HalloweenHalloween Book CompanionsSpeech Therapy Book CompanionsSeasonal Narrative Key Teaching PointsHalloween Book SearchSee the full book list in the show notes:
We’ve focused a lot of this podcast on the best books to read with your students that help develop their speech language skills. By now you know we whole-heartedly believe in a literacy-based speech approach for your sessions which also means that we believe in narrative language assessments. When you assess narrative language with your students, it helps you identify academic successes and communication deficits, which we’re going to dive into during this episode.There’s an abundance of research that supports being able to assess narrative language in students. Not only does it clarify possible weaknesses in social pragmatic language, but it also bridges the gap between oral and written language. But more than just the research, we discuss the various aspects and components you’re looking for when you give this assessment, and then ultimately ways you would assess narrative language with your students. No matter if your assessments are provided by your district or yourself, make sure that narrative assessments are on your list! Resources Mentioned:Read and Review Picture Book Companions - Seasonal BundleBook Search - Wordless BooksEpisode 13, Our Favorite Books with Repetitive Texts for CASFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
Working with elementary students, you get an opportunity to read picture books in your sessions that have fun themes and engage students. In another round of our favorites episodes, we’ve selected a fun category of pirate themed books to use during your literacy-based speech therapy sessions. This entertaining theme has a lot of great books that we share to help work on literacy skills with your students.With so many pirate themed books, how do you choose which ones to use with your students? Well, we’ve done the work for you! We break down all of the literacy and speech language skills each book displays and how best to utilize them in your sessions. These 9 pirate themed picture books have unique components to them that help your students with their speech language goals in a fun way. Resources Mentioned:Top Pirate-Themed Notes Free DownloadHow to Be a Pirate by Sue FliessPirate’s Perfect Pet by Beth FerryThe Pirates Next Door by Jonny DuddleKlyde the Kraken Wants a Friend by Brooke HartmanPete the Cat and the Treasure Map by James DeanTen Little Pirates by Mike BrownlowThe Pirates are Coming! by John CondonHow I Became a Pirate by Melinda LongNarrative Notes BundlePirate Day Speech Therapy Book Companion for PK-2nd GradePirate Theme Book Search Follow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
If you’re looking for a picture book that has all the important literacy and language skills that also has a few challenging aspects for students, this is your book! Officer Buckle and Gloria is an engaging picture book to use during your literacy-based speech therapy sessions. With so many books to choose from, we often get asked why we choose certain books. If you have the same question, we’re doing a deep dive into Officer Buckle and Gloria to explain why it’s helpful for your students. When we do deep dive episodes, we like to share basic information about the picture book and the high frequency words and sounds your students can practice with. We really enjoy this book for the theme and message it displays, the use of practicing character analysis skills, and how the illustrations are a critical component to the story. Resources Mentioned:Free Deep Dive Notes: Office Buckle and GloriaOfficer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy RathmannThemed Picture Books List: Narrative Key Teaching PointsFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
When you finally choose a theme of books to use in your literacy-based speech therapy sessions, it can be difficult to narrow it down to the book that covers all learning concepts for your students. Since the process of picking a book can take some time, we’ve decided to do the work for you! With fall just around the corner, we’re doing another round of our this or that episode with the theme of leaves with the books Leaf Man and The Leaf Thief.  In our this or that episodes, we like to talk through our process for selecting books to use in our speech therapy sessions. We dive into all the different aspects of the books and ultimately make our decision on which book we’d focus on with our students. Leaf Man and The Leaf Thief each highlight major learning concepts, but one ultimately is the complete package that includes a complete episode. Find out which book is best to use with students in our this or that leaf themed episode!Resources Mentioned:This or That Notes FreebieThe Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming Leaf Man by Lois EhlertBook Search - LeavesNarrative Key Teaching Points - SeasonsNarrative Key Teaching Points - ThemesFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
With the season beginning to change to fall, it’s time to start adding some fall picture books to your speech therapy sessions. There are so many to choose from, so we’ve done the job for you! As you know, we love picture books that are complete episodes and can be used to practice and improve a variety of skills for students. We’re sharing our top 10 favorite fall picture books to use with your speech therapy students this fall!Our goal is to always give you an overview of each book, key concepts to teach with, which age level it’s best used for, and high frequency words and sounds. Another thing we love about all these books is the wonderful lessons and themes each book displays. These kid-friendly fall picture books are fun, engaging, and are sure to be a fun addition to your literacy-based speech therapy sessions! Resources Mentioned:Fall Favorite NotesFall Book Companions for Speech TherapySeasonal Picture Book List InventoryThe Golden Acorn by Katy HudsonSneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze by Maureen Wright  Those Darn Squirrels! by Adam RubinThe Scarecrow by Beth FerryScaredy Squirrel by Melanie WattPete the Cat: Falling for Autumn by James DeanFletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia RawlinsonThe Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard PakThe Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken BrownFollow us
With fall quickly approaching, adding some apple themed picture books into your therapy sessions helps everyone get excited for every fall-related activity. There are countless books with an apple theme, but which one fits the needs of the majority of your students? We’re diving into another edition of a this or that episode with apple themed picture books.During the episode, we’re sharing our process for selecting books and giving insight into what each book offers so you can best serve your students. What’s fun about this  particular this or that episode is that each apple themed picture book is completely different! They each have a wide range of skills to focus on but with varying key differences. While each book serves a different purpose and need for your students, we do select our favorite of the three. Listen to the episode to see which apple themed picture book we chose! Resources Mentioned:Apple-themed book search on our websiteThemed Narrative Key Teaching PointsFree Note Taking PageApples by Gail GibbonsApples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace Applesauce Day! by Lisa J. AmstutzFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
Part of the work as a speech language pathologist is collecting data and forming groups for your therapy sessions. But based on where you’re located and your own preferences, those two things can vary depending on the SLP and school. So what’s the best way to group students and collect data? We’re sharing our own tips and strategies for forming groups and ways to collect data that benefits your students and their goals.Even though we’re cognizant that each SLP’s situation is different, we believe forming groups by goals is the best way, if possible. If grouped by goals, we discuss ways that decision can make your preparation and therapy sessions easier for you as well as your students. Additionally, we share strategies for collecting data and why it’s effective to show your students their progress and data rather than keeping it from them. Forming groups and collecting data is a hot topic that we’re excited to dive into! Resources Mentioned:Articulation Bookmarks FreebieBook Search for Speech Therapy100 Trials Articulation & Apraxia - By Phonemic SoundMother Bruce by Ryan T. HigginsEpisode 3, How to Implement a Literacy-Based Speech Therapy ApproachFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
In preparation for back to school, creating lessons, and finding resources that align with your literacy-based speech approach, we thought we’d help provide you with a list of books to use in your sessions. Working with students who have childhood apraxia of speech, it’s essential to expose them to repetitive phrases in texts. So, in today’s episode, we’re sharing 25 books that have repetitive phrases and why we like to use them for childhood apraxia.Along with our list of books to use, we break down why these repetitive texts help with childhood apraxia by developing phonemic awareness and pre-reading skills. Additionally, we discuss 4 strategies to implement with your students during your sessions. Resources Mentioned:Favorites List of 25 books - free download!Amazon List: Repetitive Text (Apraxia)Books with Repetitive Text for Apraxia of Speech Blog PostEpisode 2, The Why Behind Literacy-Based Speech TherapyFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
With back to school season coming up, we want to make sure you’re starting your speech therapy sessions off with books that have positive and inclusive themes. One book that we think has good character growth and message is The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig. We’re doing a deep dive into this book to share our process when selecting books and how you can use this with your students during your own speech therapy sessions.To give you a better idea on how to effectively use this book, we outline all the different concepts and skills to work on with your students, which range from theme, high frequency sounds, and character analysis. A unique aspect of The Invisible Boy is the way the illustrations provide meaning alongside the text. Additionally, it provides excellent real life conversations that can be had with your students regarding inclusion and making friends. For more engaging strategies, join us on our deep dive through The Invisible Boy.Resources Mentioned:The Invisible Boy Narrative NotesThe Invisible Boy  free notes downloadThe Invisible Boy Blog PostThe Invisible Boy by Trudy LudwigFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
We’re back with another "this or that" episode! This time we’re comparing the books David Goes to School and Clark the Shark. With back to school season just around the corner, these books are popular to start with your speech therapy sessions for the year with. However, we believe that one book is more complete and a better message to use with your students. Tune in to hear our thoughts!Resources Mentioned:This or That Notes DownloadClark the Shark Blog PostNarrative Key Teaching PointsBack to School Books for Speech TherapyShop back to school books on Amazon Search more back to school books!Follow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
Although it’s still summer, some of you might be at the beginning stages of planning for the beginning of your school year. If that’s the case, we’ve got an episode for you! Heading back to school or transitioning to a new school can be intimidating or scary for some students, which is why we’ve compiled our favorite back to school books to use in speech therapy.Each of the 10 books we chose have common themes of acceptance, kindness, inclusion, and self-confidence that will help ease the minds of nervous elementary students. Additionally, we share a brief summary, skills to focus on, and high frequency sounds for your students. We also love how each book is a complete episode with a plan and actions to solve it. Bring some fun, laughter, and lessons in your speech therapy sessions with these back to school books! Resources Mentioned:Free notes download - includes a list of the books we mention!Back to School Books for Speech TherapyBack to School Speech Therapy Book CompanionsBack to School Book Companions for Speech Therapy BlogShop back to school books on Amazon Search more back to school books!Follow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
We get a lot of questions regarding how to set up a therapy session that has a literacy-based approach. It can be intimidating just starting out or wanting to transition to this kind of approach. One of the first things you’ll need to do is build up your personal library. Don’t worry, we’ll share tips for getting inexpensive or free picture books! Additionally, we talk about tips for setting the tone using picture books during your therapy sessions.It can take time to grow your personal library of picture books, so we’ve come up with creative ways to get you started. Whether these suggestions include your local library, using social media, various media sources, or the classic borrowing from a friend, it’s going to help get you comfortable using picture books in your sessions. If setting the tone using picture books is new to you, we also share how to make books a focus in your classroom, ways to make them interactive, and picking books they’re familiar with to engage them. These tips will for sure make your therapy sessions literacy-based in no time! Resources Mentioned:Half-Priced BooksThrift BooksDolly Parton’s Imagination Library - check availability in your zip code!Book Search LinkChalk, by Bill ThomsonFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapyWrite your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
In our speech therapy sessions, we like to choose books that help our students work toward their language goals. So we're continuing our "favorites" series with another round of picture books that helps with a popular articulation problem. With a lot of kids struggling with the R sound or R-blend words, we’ve compiled our favorite R picture books to share with you all!For each of the R picture books we chose, we include a brief summary, its targeted audience, literacy skills to practice with your students, and the many benefits it offers your students. Along with working on a student’s goals, all the R picture books we share have high-frequency words throughout the story to ensure that your students have multiple opportunities to practice these word sounds. Make sure to check out our list for an academic and engaging reading during your literacy-based speech therapy sessions! Resources Mentioned:Free notes download - includes a list of the books we mention!Book Search for Speech TherapyArticulation Road Map for R SoundsR Book List Articulation Therapy  Follow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
In our speech therapy sessions we have students of all ages, so when we use a literacy-based approach, our older students can sometimes feel like picture books are too babyish for them. However, we know that research supports using picture books for oral language skills, which is what our students are in our sessions for. That's why we’ve come up with some ways to get older students using picture books in their speech therapy sessions. Throughout the episode, we highlight a variety of things to consider on how to get older students using picture books plus some helpful tricks if pushback occurs. Regardless of your approach to getting older students using picture books, remember it’s about having and showing respect for your students!Resources Mentioned:Search for books for upper elementary or middle school studentsThemed Picture Books List Inventory for Speech Therapy Using Wordless Picture Books in Speech Therapy Speech Therapy Organization Book Bin LabelsEnemy Pie, by Derek MunsonThe Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson A Bad Case of Stripes, by David ShannonFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
If you’re new to incorporating a literacy-based approach in your speech sessions, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to use picture books effectively. To help get you started or give you ideas, we’re doing a deep dive on two of our favorite books, Ribbit! and Dude! By going page by page through each book, we show you the process we go through when using the books during our speech sessions. We provide sample questions to ask, discussions to have, when to pause and have students reflect, and more. Both books also have themes that are relatable to kids in the classroom, school setting, and friend groups. By taking a deep dive into Ribbit! and Dude! your literacy-based speech sessions will be engaging and informative.Resources Mentioned:Download the free Deep Dive Notes!Farm & Pond Narrative NotesNarrative Notes BundleRibbit! Blog PostGrab your copy of Ribbit!Dude! Blog PostGrab your copy of Dude!Follow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
When using picture books during a literacy-based speech therapy session, you want to make sure that the book you choose is impactful and helps reach the goals of each of your students. However, determining which books to use out of your long list can be overwhelming and difficult. To help you make the best decision, we’re doing a this or that episode that compares the books There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell and Sharing a Shell.Since we know that language goals can be solved through narratives, we want to make sure that the books we are choosing assist in that goal. We share a brief summary of each book, relatable concepts to discuss and activities to do during therapy sessions, and literacy skills you could potentially practice. Time is limited and you often work in groups during your sessions, so we want to find the right books that are most impactful for your students in our this or that episode. Resources Mentioned:Free Notes DownloadHow to use There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell in speech therapyHow to use Sharing a Shell in speech therapySummer Themed BooksBook Lists for Articulation: SH WordsSeasonal Narrative Key Teaching PointsBooks with the -SH soundFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
With summer quickly approaching, we’ve decided to combine our two favorite things in one episode: summer and picture books! Whether you’re gearing your students up for what’s to come during summer break or a parent who’s looking to keep literacy skills sharp while school’s not in session, we’ve compiled the perfect summer themed book list for you. In the first of our favorites series, we’re sharing our top 10 favorite summer books for speech therapy.Each of the books we share are a complete episode, meaning they have a plan that includes action steps, how to solve the problem, and a resolution. We’re providing various topics and themes that could be discussed, literacy skills to practice, the target audience, and social emotional components to work with your students or children on. We’ve also included ways to incorporate crafts for storytelling or parallel story ideas. These books are fun, quick, and engaging, just in time for summer! Resources Mentioned:Shop our Favorite Summer BooksHow to use A House for Hermit Crab in speech therapyJabari Jumps, Gaia CornwallFireflies!, Julie BrinckloeA Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, Chris Van DusenWhoosh!, Chris BartonPout Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark, Deborah DiesenThe Camping Trip, Jennifer K. MannShould I Share My Ice Cream?, Mo WillemsFree Notes DownloadSummer Book CompanionsBook Search LinkFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
You might know that you want to start incorporating literacy into your therapy sessions with students, but are struggling with what that would look like and how to do it effectively. We always want to give you the most accurate information and provide you with ways to best support your students through literacy. That’s why in today’s episode, we’re walking you through the steps we take on using a literacy-based speech therapy approach with one of our favorite books Doctor De Soto. To celebrate the launch of this podcast, we’re doing a giveaway! You can enter to win one of ten Amazon gift cards by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Before submitting your review, screenshot the episode and send it to us in a DM on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy or via email to The giveaway closes June 6, 2023.Resources Mentioned:Professional Development Book ListDoctor De SotoDoctor De Soto Book CompanionSeasonal Book CompanionsTeaching for breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge: Learning from explicit and implicit instruction and the storybook textsFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
Being in the educational field, we know that the use of books and reading to children is an important part of their language development. And while the role of SLPs vary by school, district, and state, many want to use a literacy-based approach with their students. However, they feel they need to defend their reasoning for using them. With this research heavy episode, we share how literacy is a natural context for targeting specific language skills, improves communication, and benefits all students with whom you work with. Plus, we’ll identify various books to use that help practice different skills with repetitive texts. To celebrate the launch of this podcast, we’re doing a giveaway! You can enter to win one of ten Amazon gift cards by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Before submitting your review, screenshot the episode and send it to us in a DM on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy or via email to The giveaway closes June 6, 2023.Resources Mentioned:School Age Language by UkrainetzList of great books with repetitive textsDoctor De Soto, by William SteigFollow us on Instagram @literacybasedspeechtherapy.Write your review on Apple Podcasts!Show Notes:
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