speech and language teaching concepts for Strega Nona's Harvest in speech therapy​ ​

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/j/ (vegetables)
/str/ initial
/g/ medial


helping others

Book Details:

Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

Strega Nona’s Harvest

By Tomie dePaola

With beautiful illustrations reminiscent of the artwork that won Tomie dePaola the Caldecott Honor for the original Strega Nona, this celebration of harvest and gardening will make the perfect addition to any Strega Nona collection. In the spring, Strega Nona precisely prepares her garden and plants her seeds. Her helper, Big Anthony, thinks she is too strict and plants his garden less precisely. When they harvest their vegetables, they have TOO MUCH so they share it with the townspeople.

This funny yet thoughtful fall book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like doing things your own way and helping others. It is also great for noticing character expressions and illustrations as well as for /j/, /str/ and /g/ sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Strega Nona's Harvest in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

illustration study


mi caro (my dear), la luna, garden book, compost, manure, Maggio, ingredientes segreto, insalata, harvest, root cellar, rafters, bounty


When Big Anthony is criticized by the way he plants the seeds, he decides to plant his own garden out of spite. When his garden comes up messy and full, he is slightly embarrassed and decides to secretly give Strega Nona some crops each morning. When Strega Nona keeps finding them, she decides to share her wealth his the others who did not have a great harvest.


How does she feel when she finds the seeds?
Why do you think the seeds need to be in the dark?
Why do you think she keeps track of what she plants?
Why do you think Big Anthony put a clothespin on his nose?
How does Bambolona feel about Big Anthony’s lines?
Why do you think she blew three kisses to the moon?
Why does Big Anthony think he has something to prove?
What does he think they will say when they see his garden?
How did he feel about his garden?
Why do you think it was messy?
What do you think Strega Nona thought about the mystery vegetables?
How did the townspeople feel about Strega Nona?

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