​ speech and language teaching concepts for A House for Hermit Crab in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/er/ medial
/kr/ initial
/sh/ initial
/m/ medial
/t/ final
/h/ initial
/l/ final



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood, Elementary

A House for Hermit Crab

By Eric Carle

In this classic story from Eric Carle, Hermit Crab grows out of one house after another as he searches for the perfect home. Children who must change schools, move to a new town, or even graduate to a new grade in school will relate to Hermit Crab’s situation and take heart as they see that growing up isn’t really so scary after all. Filled with whimsy and wisdom—and based on the true behaviors of the hermit crab—this modern classic features Eric Carle’s trademark vibrant collage illustrations and lively text that has been adapted into a Level 2 Ready-to-Read edition, making it ideal for newly independent readers.

This sweet and creative summer and ocean themed book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like learning to cope with changes of growing. It is also great for targeting describing, inferencing, sequencing, and predicting.  Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using A House for Hermit Crab in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complex episode

Narrative Concepts:

problem solving
character analysis
illustration study
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (mental state)


order of creatures the crab encounters that help him


shell, plain, anemones, claw, flock, starfish, decorate, discovered, coral, debris, tidy, urchins, fierce, protect, gloomy, sturdy, promise, possibilities

Character Analysis:

The hermit crab learns how transitions/growing really aren’t as scary as they seems to be. He meets new friends along the way that encourage and help him through the process.


The hermit crab experiences the challenges of growth and change. He learns that friendship and kindness can make the transition less scary.


verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (mental state)


Why does hermit crab need a new house?
How do you think hermit crab felt when he realized he needed a new house?
How did hermit crab feel when each sea creature agreed to help him decorate his house?
How did hermit crab feel in the end when his shell was beautifully decorated by his new friends?
Why did hermit crab give his shell to the smaller crab in the end?


Will hermit crab find a shell that fits him?
How will he make his shell less plain?
Will each sea creature help him to make his house beautiful?
What will happen when he outgrows his shell?
Will he find a new one in the end?

Problem Solving:

Hermit crab has to find a new house because he has outgrown his current house.

If you are interested in using A House for Hermit Crab in speech therapy, then check out the book companion with the full lesson plans and activities.

Check out our 26 minute podcast episode, Our Favorite Summer-Themed Picture Books in Speech Therapy for more ideas on A House for Hermit Crab and other summer-themed books!