using Mae Among the Stars in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/m/ initial
/dr/ initial
/st/ medial
/r/ medial


Black History Month
Women’s History Month

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

Mae Among the Stars

By Roda Ahmed

When Little Mae was a child, she dreamed of dancing in space. She imagined herself surrounded by billions of stars, floating, gliding, and discovering. She wanted to be an astronaut. Her mom told her, “If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.” Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space. This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination.

This empowering Black History and Women’s History Month book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like believing in yourself even when society doesn’t. It is also great for predicting, figurative language and for targeting mental state verbs as well as for targeting a variety of sounds including: /m/ initial, /st/ medial, /r/ medial and /dr/ initial! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Mae Among the Stars in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode
expository text

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
figurative language
verbs (mental state)
repetitive text


order of events that led to Mae becoming an astronaut as evidenced by the story and the biographical information provided


astronaut, dream, belief, encourage, engineering, mission

Character Analysis:

Mae believed in herself despite what other people said about her dream to become an astronaut.


believing in yourself
African Americans and women in the workplace

Figurative Language:

simile (like a shining crystal ball)
metaphors (her eyes lit up, her world turned blue and cold)


verbs (mental state)

Text Features:

repetitive text


What do people typically think about daydreamers?
What did Mae’s parents think about her becoming an astronaut?
How did she feel about becoming an astronaut?
What did Mrs. Bell think about her dream?
How did her teacher and the other students make Mae feel about her dream?
Why did Mrs. Bell think nursing was a good profession for someone like her?
How do you think the encouragement from Mae’s parents helped her?


What do you think Mae’s mother will tell her when she asks if it’s possible?
What do you think Mae’s father will tell her when she says it seems impossible?
What do you think when it’s Mae’s turn to say what she wants to do when she grows up?
What do you think the kids will say to Mae about her dream?
What do you think her mom will say when Mae gets home?
What do you think happened to Mae?