speech and language teaching concepts for the smallest girl in the smallest grade in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/s/ initial
/l/ medial
/sh/ initial and medial


making a difference

Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade

By Justin Roberts

Hardly anyone noticed young Sally McCabe. She was the smallest girl in the smallest grade. But Sally notices everything—from the twenty-seven keys on the janitor’s ring to the bullying happening on the playground. One day, Sally has had enough and decides to make herself heard. And when she takes a chance and stands up to the bullies, she finds that one small girl can make a big difference.

This great kindness-themed book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like standing up for what’s right and paying attention to the feelings of others. It is also great for inferencing, character analysis, and figurative language. Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode


Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
figurative language
illustration study
verbs (regular past tense)
phonological awareness
complex sentence structure
compare and contrast


wildflowers, noticed, attention, oncoming, “cold stares”, cower, discarded, debris, enough, transform

Character Analysis:

Sally was the smallest kid in the smallest grade, but she was also very observant. She observed how others were being treated and how others appeared to be feeling. Sally is brave and determined to make a difference as she confronts her classmates about how they are treating each other. Later she notices the difference she has made and how others are going out of their way to be kind to one another.


Notice the facial expressions and body language
Compare and contrast the illustrations (the kids holding the kite in the beginning vs. the end, the kids at recess in the beginning vs. the end)

What do you notice about how some of the kids are treating others?
Notice the kids pointing, laughing, scowling, and then notice the kid who is being pointed at, laughed at, and/or scowled at.
Have you ever been teased? How did it make you feel?
How do you think you can make a difference in your class?
What is something nice you can do for someone today?

Figurative Language:

similes (“…like a bulldozer crushing through fields of wildflowers…”, “…like waves rolling in…”)
metaphors (“…and it kept piling up, this discarded debris…”)


verbs (regular past tense)
complex sentence structures
compare and contrast

Phonological Awareness:



Why do you think no one noticed Sally?
How do you think the boy felt after he was tripped?
Why do you think Kevin was trying to hide his tears?
Why is it significant that Billy held the door open?
How do you think Molly made the others feel when she made room for them?
How do you think Sally feels, knowing that she made a difference in her school?


What do you think Sally is paying special extra attention to?
What do you think is so special about Howard setting down his tray?
Do you think the kids will listen to Sally and stop doing terrible stuff?

If you are interested in seeing other kindness books to use in therapy, then check out the Themed Key Teaching Points Book List for a printable copy.