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

/g/ initial (garden)
/pl/ inital (plant)
/gr/ initial (grew/grow)
/ar/ medial (garden)
/w/ initial
/n/ initial
/v/ medial


Earth Day
helping others

Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood, Elementary, Late Elementary

Harlem Grown

By Tony Hillery

Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again.

This charming Spring-themed book can be used in speech therapy to target problem solving and predicting. It is also great for discussing the importance of kindness and helping others. Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Harlem Grown in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

problem solving
character analysis
illustration study
nouns (regular plural)


order of events that led Mr. Tony to help the children create a garden


neighborhood, haunted, busting, idea, fertilizer, seedlings, farm, wilted

Character Analysis:

Mr. Tony had an idea to change the neighborhood of Harlem by helping children create a garden. His idea made a big difference in their neighborhood.


verbs (action)
verbs (irregular and regular past tense)
nouns (regular plural)

Text Features:

repetitive text
colored font

Problem Solving:

Nevaeh sees a problem with the “haunted garden”. How will Mr. Tony help revive the garden?​

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

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