speech and language teaching concepts for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble in speech therapy​
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/s/ initial
/v/ medial
/st/ medial
/er/ final
/r/ initial



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

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

By William Steig

Sylvester can’t believe his luck when he finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion jumps out at him on his way home, Sylvester is shocked into making a wish that has unexpected consequences. After overcoming a series of obstacles, Sylvester is eventually reunited with his loving family.

This magic and inferencing filled book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues fighting with your family and telling each other how much you mean to one another. It is also great for targeting rich vocabulary and complex sentence structure as well as for /s/, /v/, /st/, /er/ and /r/ sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Sylvester and the Magic Pebble in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

verbs (mental state)
complex sentence structure
problem solving


order of events that leads Sylvester back to his family after being turned into a rock


hobbies, unusual, extraordinary, marble, remarkable, gradually, usually, ceased, vanished, gratified, magic, eager, panic, muttered, unable, realize, scold, inquire, conclude, dreadful, usual, hopeless, imagine, scene, exclamations


After turning into a rock, Sylvester tries to cope with never seeing his family again. When Sylvester doesn’t return home, his family thinks that he is mad at them for yelling at him. In the end, they all wish to be reunited.

Figurative Language:

idioms (clear as day, struck him)


verbs (mental state)
complex sentence structure


How do you think the rain stopped?
Why did Sylvester think magic was at work?
Why did Sylvester wish for it to start raining again?
How does Sylvester feel when it does?
What was he thinking on his way home?
Why did Sylvester think his family wouldn’t believe him?
How did he feel when he saw the lion?
Why did he make himself into a rock?
How will he turn back?
What is he thinking once night falls?
How do you think his parents feel at home?
Why did they think he didn’t come home?
Why did the dad notice the pebble and pick it up?
What is the dad thinking about when he sees it?
Why did they put the pebble in a safe place?


What do you think Sylvester will do?
Will the dogs smell Sylvester? Why or why not?
What do you think will happen when they sit on the rock?
Do you think they will notice the pebble?
What do you think will happen when the dad goes to pick it up?
What do you think will happen when Sylvester hears how much they miss him?

Problem Solving:

Sylvester accidently turns into a rock after seeing a lion and tries to think of a way to turn himself back.