speech and language teaching concepts for First Day Jitters in speech therapy​

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/s/ initial
/h/ initial
/ar/ medial


back to school

Book Details:

Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

First Day Jitters

By Julie Danneberg

Sarah Jane Hartwell has that sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach–she's nervous and doesn't want to start a new school year. She doesn't know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With a little convincing from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly heads to class. Shy at first, she's quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton and reminded that everyone at school gets the jitters sometimes.

This clever back to school book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like acceptance and making new friends. It is also great for inferencing and for targeting character analysis as well as for /s/, /h/ and /ar/ sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using First Day Jitters in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

action sequence

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
illustration study
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (linguistic)
text features


shade, tunneled,  ​chuckled, lucky, stumble, fumble, moaned, trudged, clammy, slumped, gushed, nervous

Character Analysis:

Sarah is nervous about her first day at her new school and refuses to go at first. When she finally makes it to her classroom, she is a little more calm and can start to look on the bright side.


Sarah learns to overcome her first day jitters and the audience learns that even teachers can be nervous too.


verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (linguistic)

Text Features:



Why did Sarah pull the covers over her head?
How do you think she feels about her first day at her new school?
Why did he snap up the shade?
How can Sarah hate her new school without going there yet?
Why is making new friends hard?
Why would the other kids put up signs if she is missing?
Why is Sarah complaining?
Why are her hands clammy and breathe heavy?
Why did the man point out the principal?
Why did the principal gush over Sarah?
Why do you think the kids are looking at her like that?
How do you think she felt when she finally made it to her classroom?


What do you think he will do to get her out of bed?
What do you think he can say to make her feel better?
Who do you think the man is?
Who do you think she is?

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.