speech and language teaching concepts for Tacky and the Winter Games in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/th/ initial
/l/ blends
/l/ initial and medial
/p/ initial



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

Tacky and the Winter Games

By Helen Lester

A-huff-and-a-puff-and-a-huff-and-a-puff-and-a-huff-and-a-puff” “WHAT’S HAPPENING?” Tacky the penguin wants to know. The Winter Games, that’s what’s happening. And Tacky and his fellow penguins Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, and Perfect have to work hard to get in shape so they can represent Team Nice Icy Land in the athletic competitions. After rigorous training, they’re ready – but are the games ready for Tacky? Will his antics keep Team Nice Icy Land from winning a medal? From bobsledless racing and ski jumping to speed skating, Tacky lends his unique, exuberant style to each competition. In laugh-out-loud scenes of Tacky and his fellow penguins’ athletic debacles, Tacky reminds readers of the underlying joy and enthusiasm that propells athletes to greatness. So get ready to cheer for Team Nice Icy Land and let the games begin!

This funny winter and sports-themed book can be used in speech therapy to address character analysis and compare and contrasting. It is also great for noticing adjectives and linguistic verbs! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Tacky and the Winter Games in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

verbs (linguistic)
compare and contrast
illustration study
text features
figurative language
character analysis


order of training events
order of winter events


training, athletes, steep, fittest, strict, meals, events, waddle, stadium, lighting, torch, medals, eager, teammates, surprised, illegal, equipment, toasting, thawed, relay race, tacky

Character Analysis:

Tacky is an odd bird. He always did things his own unique way and has fun. He might do things the way his fellow penguins want him to or expect him to do, but they appreciate having him around.

Figurative Language:



verbs (linguistic)
compare and contrast- Tacky vs. his companions

Text Features:

animated text
exclamation points
question marks
music staff with lyrics

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