speech and language teaching concepts for Fireboat in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/f/ initial
/r/ vocalic (fireboat, repair, tower, terrible, award, ceremony, Harvey etc.)


community helpers
historical non-fiction
September 11

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


By Maira Kalman

The John J. Harvey fireboat was the largest, fastest, shiniest fireboat of its time, but by 1995, the city didn’t need old fireboats anymore. So the Harvey retired, until a group of friends decided to save it from the scrap heap. Then, one sunny September day in 2001, something so horrible happened that the whole world shook. And a call came from the fire department, asking if the Harvey could battle the roaring flames. In this inspiring true story, Maira Kalman brings a New York City icon to life and proves that old heroes never die.

This book about true life heroes can be used to address social/emotional issues such as helping others, as well as grammar concepts including: adjectives, verbs and complex sentence structures. It can also be used to target /f/ initial and /r/ vocalic. Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Fireboat in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complex episode

Narrative Concepts:

illustration study​
verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (present progressive)
complex sentence structures
text features​


suspended, elegant, hot-cha, fireboat, bustling, pier, celebration, repair, crew, levers, brave, piers, scrap, useless, etc.


This book targets social/emotional issues such as perseverance, heroism, helping others, and teamwork.


verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (present progressive)
complex sentence structures

Text Features:

bold text
moving text
change in text size

Phonological Awareness:


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