using Pocket Full of Colors in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/m/ initial
/k/ initial
/l/ medial


Women’s History Month

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

Pocket Full of Colors

By Amy Guglielmo

Mary Blair lived her life in color: vivid, wild color. From her imaginative childhood to her career as an illustrator, designer, and animator for Walt Disney Studios, Mary wouldn’t play by the rules. At a time when studios wanted to hire men and think in black and white, Mary painted twinkling emerald skies, peach giraffes with tangerine spots, and magenta horses that could fly.

This joyful Women’s History Month book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like persistence, not settling, and women in the workplace. It is also great for illustration study, describing, character analysis and for targeting figurative language as well as for sounds including: /m/ initial, /k/ initial, /l/ medial, /air/ and/er/! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Pocket Full of Colors in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode
expository text

Narrative Concepts:

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


order of events that led to Mary working on It’s a Small World


collected, hue, West, sun-bleached, russet, taupe, sienna, glimpsed, azure, grove, viridian, mauve, Great Depression, cerulean, celadon, cerise, vivid, rejected, emerald, capture, vibrant, scenery, fuchsia, indigo, concept, advertising, condition, sensation

Character Analysis:

Mary believed in her work and was not impacted by those who did not understand it. She took opportunities that would make her a better artist, left when it wasn’t what she thought it would be and found a place where she belonged in the end.


believing in yourself
never settling
relating feelings to colors
women in the workplace

Figurative Language:

idioms (black and white, close to her heart, let her colors wash over her)
metaphors (out of the blue, colors took her on a trip around the globe)


verbs (regular past tense)

Text Features:

large text
moving text


How do you think Mary collected colors of every shade and every hue?
How do you think Lee showed her rosy pink and blushing red?
What did it mean if she kept them close to her heart?
If no one was buying rainbows, how do you think life was around that time?
How did Mary feel when she got the job at Walt Disney Studios? How do you know?
How do you think the men worked if they were only interested in “black and white”?
Why do you think her work was rejected?
How did the men feel about her work?
What did they think about it?
How did Mary feel in South America?
What did the men think of her work after she returned from South America?
How did she feel leaving Walt Disney?
How do you think Mary felt working on her own?
What did Mary think about Walt calling her?
What did people think about the ride when it opened?
How did Mary and Walt feel about it?


What do you think she put in her pocket?
What do you think she saw that was russet, taupe, and sienna?
What do you think she saw when she arrived in California?
What do you think Mary will do with her talent?
What do you think Mary and Lee will do together?
Where do you think was “buying rainbow”?
Where do you think Mary could meet new colors in South America?
Where do you think she went after she left Walt Disney?
What do you think happened one day out of the blue?
What do you think Mary told Walt?