speech and language teaching concepts for Buzzing with Questions in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/ch/ initial
/ar/ medial
/z/ final
/sp/ initial
/st/ initial
/kw/ initial
/sh/ medial


Black History Month

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

Buzzing with Questions: the Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry

By Janice N. Harrington

The story of Charles Henry Turner, the first Black entomologist — a scientist who studies bugs — is told in this fascinating book for young readers.

Can spiders learn? How do ants find their way home? Can bugs see color? All of these questions buzzed endlessly in Charles Henry Turner’s mind. He was fascinated by plants and animals and bugs. And even when he faced racial prejudice, Turner did not stop wondering. He constantly read, researched, and experimented. This nonfiction picture book, highlights Turner’s unstoppable quest for knowledge and his passion for science.

This biographical bug book can be used in speech therapy to address rich vocabulary and STEM concepts. It is also great for describing character traits! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Buzzing with Questions in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complex episode

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
illustration study
figurative language
problem solving


biology, observation, swarmed, urge, magnetic, organs, microscopes, organisms, laboratory, spirited, delight, indefatigable, specimen, trudged, meadow, inspected, scout, linger, instinct, scummy, crustacean, abdomen, mark, obstacle, scurried, mindless, sense, scientifically prove, Pavlov, pioneer, prejudice, riot, despite, curiosity, devoted, scholar

Character Analysis:

Charles is described within the text from the book; therefore, students can pull this information to analyze his character. One word frequently used to describe Charles is indefatigable. He was also described as frequently asking questions, wanting to learn, and being curious.

Figurative Language:

simile (questions that itched like mosquito bites, tickled like spider webs, hopped like grasshoppers)
idiom (his brain buzzed, hummed with energy)

Text Features:

The extensive back matter includes an author’s note, time line, bibliography, source notes, and archival images.


Why do you think people thought it was impossible for Charles to go to college?
Why was Clarence worried about inviting Charles?
Why do you think Charles was fascinated with spiders and other organisms?
Why was there a division between people?
How did Charles think biology could help people?

Problem Solving:

Charles had many questions about how bugs live. He wanted to know if spiders could learn or if they were weaving machines. After all of his attempts, he discovers that they can learn. He made similar discoveries about bees, ants, roaches, and more.