speech and language teaching concepts for Blueberries for Sal in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/s/ initial
/l/ initial and final
/bl/ initial
/r/ medial
/z/ final
/air/ medial



Book Details:

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

Blueberries for Sal

By Robert McCloskey

Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter.  Meanwhile Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one?

This sweet summer book can be used in speech therapy to focus on predicting and describing. It is also great for targeting various sounds: /s/, /l/, /bl/, /r/, /z/, /air/. Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Blueberries for Sal in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
illustration study
figurative language
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (action)
text features


order of events during the blueberry picking and events that led to Sal finding her mom after wandering off


pail, pick, blueberries, struggled, bushes, handful, hunt

Character Analysis:

Little Sal learns that she loves blueberries and tries to keep up with her mother while they pick. She realizes that they are not the only ones that are storing up for the winter. She learns that she was following another mother that was picking blueberries too.


Little Sal gets “lost in the moment” of enjoying the blueberries that she loses her mother.

family relationships – mother and child

Figurative Language:

onomatopoeias (kuplunk)


verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (action)

Text Features:



Where will they pick the blueberries?
Will there be any blueberries left in Sal’s bucket?
Who else is picking berries?
What will the other animals do to the berries?
Will the “children” realize that they are not following their mother any longer?
What will happen when they find out who is following them?
What will they do with the blueberries?

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