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

/s/ initial (soup)
/skw/ initial (Squirrel)
/d/ initial
/k/ initial (Cat)
/k/ final (Duck)
/er/ medial


teamwork and fairness

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

Pumpkin Soup

By Helen Cooper

Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. The Cat slices up the pumpkin, the Squirrel stirs in the water, and the Duck tips in just enough salt. But one day the Duck wants to stir instead, and then there is a horrible squabble, and he leaves the cabin in a huff. It isn’t long before the Cat and the Squirrel start to worry about him and begin a search for their friend. Rendered in pictures richly evoking autumn, Helen Cooper’s delightful story will resonate with a child who has known the difficulties that come with friendship.

This delightful pumpkin-themed book can be used in speech therapy to address teamwork and friendships as well as grammar concepts; past tense and linguistic verbs. It is also great for illustration study and for targeting vocabulary! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Pumpkin Soup in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

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


order of how they made the soup
order of places Cat and Squirrel looked for Duck


embroidered, slurp, squabble, racket, scoffed, paced, sobbed, wandered, scrambled, steep, plodded

Character Analysis:

Cat and Squirrel assumed Duck would come back quickly and things would stay the same.
Duck staying gone for so long helped them realize his friendship was more important.


Cat and Squirrel realized that Duck’s friendship was more important than being in charge of soup-making.


verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (linguistic) – sighed, whispered, wailed, wept, shrieked

Text Features:



Why do you think Duck decided to come back?


Will Cat and Squirrel find Duck?
Where did Duck go?
Will Duck come back?

Problem Solving:

Duck, Cat, and Squirrel must put their friendship as a priority instead of who is in charge of making the soup.

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