speech and language teaching concepts for An Otis Christmas in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/ch/ initial
/f/ final


helping others

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

An Otis Christmas

By Loren Long

It’s Christmas eve on the farm where Otis and all of his friends live. The farmer has given Otis his first real Christmas present–a shiny new horn! A tree has been decorated, a big snowstorm is on its way, and all of the animals are excited. Best of all, one of the horses on the farm is about to give birth to a foal! Yet in the middle of the night the horse begins neighing in pain and when the farmer says, “We’d better get Doc Baker out here or we’ll lose ’em both,” Otis knows the horse is in trouble. Snow has been falling hard for hours and the roads are unpassable. How will they got Doc? Otis to the rescue! He knows a shortcut through the woods and he arrives at the doc’s house flashing his headlights and revving his engine. When Doc fails to awake, Otis uses his new horn. Then, with Doc in tow, he races back to the farm just in time for a Christmas miracle . . . and the arrival of a new friend to play with. A warm, feel-good Christmas story featuring everyone’s favorite tractor, Otis, the friend you can always count on.

This sweet Christmas book can be used in speech therapy to address helping others and bravery. It is also great for targeting /f/ and /ch/ sounds, verbs, inferencing, and for targeting character analysis! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using An Otis Christmas in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complex episode

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
figurative language
verbs (regular past tense)



order of actions Otis takes to help Doc Baker and one of the horses


foal, lunged, treacherous, hollow, muster, spindly, straining, steep, fishtailed, snowdrift

Character Analysis:

Otis is worried about the foal and decides to be brave and help get the doctor in the snowstorm.


How do you think he felt when he decided to help get the doctor?
How do you think he felt at the end when he was waiting outside at the end?
How do you think he felt when he saw the baby foal in the middle of the barn at the end?

Figurative Language:

idioms (in the twinkle of an eye, wind whipped their faces, a warm glow poured outside, sent chills through his frame)


prepositional phrases
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (mental state)


What do you think Otis wants to do when he hears that they need the doctor? How do you know?
What is Otis thinking when he realized there’s no time to turn back?


When Otis wakes up and hears the troubled voices, what do you think could be wrong in the barn?
How will they get the doctor to the barn without a truck?
How do you think Otis will wake up Doc?

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