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

/er/ final
/ar/ medial
/f/ initial and final
/k/ initial


helping others

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


By Loren Long

Otis is a special tractor. He loves his farm and farmer. He particularly loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor. The two become great friends, romping in the fields, leaping bales of hay, and playing ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond. But when the big yellow tractor comes to the farm and replaces Otis, he is cast away behind the barn. . . until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond. Then there is only one tractor—and it’s not big or yellow—who saves the day. It’s little Otis!

This sweet farm-themed book can be used in speech therapy to address sequencing. It is also great for character analysis and for targeting a variety of grammar concepts, including prepositional phrases. Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Otis in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complex episode

Narrative Concepts:

compare and contrast (Otis and the yellow tractor)
social/emotional concepts
character analysis
prepositional phrases
complex sentence structure
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (action)
phonological awareness
problem solving


order of what Otis does after he is finished working
order of how they tried to rescue the little calf


unwind, skirt, bales, steady, stall, bawled, drifted, rumbling, weeds, poster, waded, farmhands, tugged, nearby, gather, startled, perked, crowd, faint, amazement, grip, loosened, stumble, gentle

Character Analysis:

Otis is described as friendly. He makes soft and comforting sounds. Otis loved working on the farm and he loved playing with the farm animals. He overcomes his sadness when he realizes that his friend, the little calf, needs help.


Discuss how Otis is gentle and comforting to be around.
Discuss the different facial expressions and body language.
Discuss the different feelings that the little calf felt.

How is Otis friendly?
How does Otis help his animal friends on the farm?
How was the little calf a good friend to Otis?
What made the little calf and Otis special friends?

Figurative Language:

onomatopoeias (putt puff puttedy chuff, putt puffed)
idiom (fit to be tied)


prepositional phrases
complex sentence structure
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (action)

Text Features:

change in font size
question mark

Phonological Awareness:



How do you think Otis feels when he sees the yellow tractor?
Why do you think the farmer got a new tractor?
Why did Otis have weeds all over him?
How do you think it made Otis feel when the little calf sat next to him all day?
Why do you think Otis didn’t play with the little calf anymore?
Why do you think Otis is circling the pond?
Why do you think everyone threw flowers?


How do you think the little calf will feel at night with the yellow tractor parked right next to her stall?
What do you think the farmer will do when he finds that the little calf is stuck?
How do you think they will rescue the little calf?
Who do you think is coming to help the little calf?
Do you think Otis will go back to just sitting outside of the barn?
How do you think the farmer will use Otis?

Problem Solving:

The little calf was stuck in the Muddy Pond. The farmer tried different ways to rescue the little calf, but nothing worked. Finally, Otis comes to the rescue and helps free the little calf.

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