Using Books in Speech Therapy

books for speech therapy

The Surprising Benefits of Reading Language-Rich Books to Preschool Students

As educators, we know the importance of reading to young children. Not only does it help build their language skills, but it also fosters a love of learning. Did you know that the type of books you choose can have surprising benefits beyond these basics? Language-rich books can do wonders for preschool students, enhancing cognitive development, social-emotional growth, and sparking creativity. Let’s look at how language-rich books can help build children’s vocabulary and provide recommendations for great read-aloud books in early childhood speech therapy.

Boosting Vocabulary

Reading language-rich books to preschool students not only helps with cognitive and emotional development but also provides a significant boost to their vocabulary. These books are filled with rich and descriptive language, exposing children to new words and concepts. As they hear these words in context, they are more likely to remember them and incorporate them into their own vocabulary. Incorporating objects into story time also helps make connections for learning new words.

using books in speech therapy

Reading with children allows children to ask questions and learn about the world around them unlike a child passively watching a tablet. Children who are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary, combined with reciprocity, are better equipped to communicate effectively and express their thoughts and feelings. This is particularly important when a child starts school. They will need to be able to follow simple directions, voice their needs/wants, answer simple questions, and make simple sentences to describe their drawings or retell a story.

To maximize the benefits of language-rich books, it is important to choose books that are appropriate the your child’s age and attention level. This is another reason I use the four-step visual schedule in speech, to develop self-regulation skills,  attention to a book, and simple reciprocity for at least 10 minutes. Look for books with colorful illustrations, interesting storylines, and a rich variety of words.

By reading language-rich books to preschool students, we can help build a strong foundation for future academic success. Not only does it improve vocabulary skills, but it also promotes a lifelong love of learning and sets children on a path toward a love for learning.

Executive Function Skills

Reading language-rich books is not only beneficial for young children’s language and literacy skills, but it can also aid in the development of their executive functioning skills. This is an area that we see underdeveloped now more than ever as kids are starting school. Staying focused on tasks and regulating their emotions can be very difficult for young children away from their parents for the first time. This is another reason to use a multi-sensory approach to reading books while children are learning to attend and participate in shared reading activities.

The four-step visual schedule will help students organize their thoughts, anticipate what is going to happen next and regulate their emotions through the process. By fostering and developing executive function skills through shared reading of language-rich books, we are setting our preschoolers up for success not only in their academic pursuits but in their overall development.

Social-Emotional Growth

Reading language-rich books to preschool students does more than just enhance their language and literacy skills. It also plays a crucial role in their social-emotional growth. As young children are exposed to different stories and characters, they learn to identify and label their emotions, develop empathy, and understand the feelings of others. Reading books with themes of friendship, kindness, and acceptance can help children build positive relationships with their peers, family, and community.

Through reading, children also learn important life skills such as self-regulation and patience by following a storyline and waiting for the next plot twist. They also develop problem-solving skills by identifying different characters’ motivations and actions. By asking questions and engaging in discussions about the book, children learn to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively. All these skills are pivotal in developing children’s social-emotional intelligence, which is key to their academic and personal success.

As we have seen, reading language-rich books nurtures developmental growth. But it doesn’t stop there; it also encourages creativity.

Encouraging Creativity

When children are exposed to language-rich books, they are not only building their vocabulary and language skills, but they are also fostering creativity. Books with vivid language and descriptive imagery can inspire children to imagine new worlds, characters, and stories. Through reading, children are exposed to different perspectives and ideas, which can spark their own creativity and lead to new discoveries.

Children can also explore their own creativity by using books as a springboard for imaginative play and storytelling. After reading a book with a fantastical setting, for example, children may pretend to be characters in that world and create their own adventures. This type of play fosters creativity and helps children develop their social skills, learning to cooperate and collaborate with others.

By encouraging creativity through reading, children are developing important skills that will benefit them in all areas of their lives. Whether they become artists, writers, scientists, or business leaders, the ability to think creatively will be a valuable asset. With this in mind, let’s explore some recommended language-rich books to share with preschool students.,

Recommended Language-Rich Books

By sharing language-rich books with preschool students, parents and educators can help to foster language, social, and cognitive development. But with so many books out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some recommended titles that are sure to engage young readers and help them develop important skills:

  1. “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle – A great book to use to learn body parts, pronouns, and action words.
  2. “Clap Your Hands” by Lorinda Bryan Cauley – Another great book for actions and body parts, personal information like name and age, counting, facial expressions, early similies, and word associations.
  3. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle – This colorful book helps children learn the names of different foods, and the days of the week. Bonus! It also introduces them to the concept of metamorphosis.
  4. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” by Bill Martin and Eric Carle – A great repetitive book that teaches colors, pronouns, and animal names.
  5. “Froggy Gets Dressed: by Johnathan London – Teach the names of clothes as Froggy takes them off and on getting ready to go out into the snow.
  6. “Where’s Spot?” by Eric Hill – A great book to introduce spatial concepts and WH questions.

I have so many favorites, I can’t list them all. Check out this list in my Amazon favorites. I will keep adding to them as we go through the school year.

reading books in speech therapy

By sharing these and other language-rich books with preschool students, parents and educators can help to set them on a path to success. As these young readers grow and develop, the skills they learn through reading will stay with them and help them to become successful learners.

Incorporating language-rich books into preschool speech therapy sessions can have a multitude of benefits beyond just improving language skills. Through language-rich books, young students can boost their vocabulary, develop their cognitive abilities, promote social-emotional growth, and encourage creativity. These benefits can set children on a path to lifelong learning and a love of reading. As the great philosopher, Cicero, once said, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” So let’s fill our classrooms and homes with language-rich books and help our children thrive.

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