using Chrysanthemum for speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/kr/ initial
/s/ medial
/th/ initial and medial
/fl/ initial
/l/ initial and medial
/er/ final


back to school

Book Details:

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


By Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You're named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let's smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again? This popular picture book has sold more than a million copies and was named a Notable Book for Children by the American Library Association.

This back-to-school and kindness book addresses social/emotional concepts such as, how to treat classmates with tolerance, kindness, and compassion. This book is also filled with great examples of imagery and personification. Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Chrysanthemum in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis​
figurative language​
verbs (action)
prepositional phrases
complex sentence structure
text features​
phonological awareness


perfect, dreadful, wilted, jealous, blushed, wonder, etc.

Character Analysis:

Chrysanthemum was embarrassed by her name because she was teased, but she overcame her insecurity with the help of a teacher.


facial expressions
body language

Figurative Language:

personification of her name
imagery of her name


verbs (action)
prepositional phrases
complex sentence structure

Text Features:

repetitive text
changes in text size
italics and exclamation points to show emphasis

Phonological Awareness:

multisyllabic words


How did Chrysanthemum feel?
Why did she feel this way?
What changed the way she felt?
Why did she finally believe that her name was perfect?

If you are interested in using Chrysanthemum in speech therapy, then check out the book companion with the full lesson plans and activities.

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