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Here's a Fun, Low-Prep Way to Address Tons of Language Goals for Speech Therapy

Updated: May 4

After nearly 20 years of being a school-based SLP, I finally found a tool that makes it easy to stay on top of my students' language goals for speech therapy.

*Free download below*

As the saying goes, necessity was the mother of invention.

As an elementary school SLP, I had students with a lot of different language goals that I needed to address. These students were in different grades and classes, and were often only seen in pull-out groups with other students who also had their own unique set of language goals.

Factor in absences, school trips, and students being in different therapy groups on different days, and the session planning I had to do to stay on top of each child's unique goals was taking over my life. No one should have to work this much!

If you're an elementary school SLP, your students' language goals for speech therapy typically encompass:

  • vocabulary

  • utterance length/syntax

  • story sequencing and retelling

  • inferencing

  • social/pragmatic language comprehension

  • figurative language

  • listening comprehension

  • morphology

  • comparing and contrasting

  • identifying and explaining problems and solutions

  • categorizing

  • main idea and details

Am I right?

Several summers ago, while I actually had some downtime to reflect, I landed on a solution that would help me to target all of these goal areas with my students in a fun, systematic, and engaging way. I spent the following couple of school years developing it, testing it, and refining it.

My solution has worked like a charm; my planning time decreased significantly, my students have seemed more engaged and challenged during our sessions, and I have felt like I'm providing meaningful therapy that is effectively and systematically addressing all of my students' language goals.

In fact, my solution has worked so well that I feel compelled to share it with other SLPs, so that it can help make their lives easier too!


My solution was book companions. I know book companions are not a new thing. But I created StoryWhys book companions to be different (and better!); they go beyond the basics like WH questions and story grammar elements, which even my language-impaired students in mid-to-upper elementary grades could do with their eyes closed.

StoryWhys is a one-of-a-kind, literature-based system that combines high-quality storybooks with book companions that contain a set of clear and consistent visual/graphic supports, and that targets the following skill areas:

  • comprehension and use of tier 2 vocabulary

  • critical thinking and higher-level comprehension (categories, cause & effect, compare/contrast, main idea & details, problems & solutions)

  • perspective-taking/social inferencing with specific feelings/emotion vocabulary

  • comprehension of figurative language

  • morphological knowledge

  • complex/compound sentence building

  • sequencing and formulation of organized narratives

Check out the different areas that StoryWhys book companions target:

And, the best part is, the more I've used StoryWhys, the better it has worked; kids get used to the graphic organizers, and this can help guide their thinking and organize their language for a multitude of language tasks, even outside of the therapy room.

Each book companion also contains a list of supporting research, so you can be confident that you are providing high-quality therapy, and teaching skills that really carry over.

Want to try a StoryWhys book companion for free? Get your FREE, 71-page book companion for speech therapy on the free download page.

And explore all of the StoryWhys book companions for speech therapy in my store. You'll find comprehensive book companions that target many different language skills (there are now over 15 of them!) or Spotlight Series book companions that focus on one type of skill, all using high-quality, beloved storybooks that you can find in your school library!


Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe below to get the latest blog posts, which feature lots of speech therapy ideas for busy SLPs who want to provide fun, impactful, and meaningful speech-language therapy.

Have you heard? StoryWhys now offers the Speech and Spell series of resources. I am always trying to tie articulation work and spelling together in my therapy and I've never found any good resources out there to help me do this. So I made my own! Many more speech sounds and spelling rules to come. They'll be 50% off for 48 hours when new resources are added to the StoryWhys store. Find them here.


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