using The Girl With a Mind For Math in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/r/ initial
/th/ final
/ear/ (engineer)


Black History Month
Women’s History Month
Veterans Day

Book Details:

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

The Girl With a Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague

By Julia Finley Mosca

Meet Raye Montague―the hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy! After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted―finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you'll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Montague herself!

This inspiring Black History and Women's History Month book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like perseverance. It is also great for character analysis, idioms and for targeting a variety of verbs as well as for predicting and targeting /r/ initial, /ear/ and /th/ final sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Girl With a Mind For Math in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode
expository text

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
figurative language
verbs (linguistic)
verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)
text features
phonological awareness
illustration study


order of events that led to Raye becoming an engineer


succeed, engineer, headstrong, potential, cherish, insult, segregated, dismal, grit, unjust, fate, Navy, promoted, swell, command, sublime, constructed, stunned, unveiled, deplorable, maid, humor, wit, feat

Character Analysis:

Raye is persistent and becomes a black female engineer during a time when this was very rare.


believing in yourself
treatment of blacks vs. whites
treatment of women in the workplace

Figurative Language:

idioms (faint of heart, stand out from the crows, over her head, heart hit the floor, fame picked up steam, rock the boat)


verbs (linguistic)
verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)

Text Features:


Phonological Awareness:



How did she feel about seeing the submarine?
Why did the man tell her she didn’t need to know about the submarine and the engineers?
Why did most people laugh when she told them her plan?
How did Raye’s mom feel about her wanting to become an engineer?
How did Raye feel when she had to take business instead?
What did Raye think when she got the job at the Navy?
What did her boss and the other engineers think about her?
How did they feel about her?
How did they feel about her after she saved the day?
How did she feel when she finally became an engineer?


What do you think Raye will do with her mom’s encouragement?
Where will Raye go after graduation?
What do you think Raye will do when they get the command from the White House?
How long do you think the computer took to design the ship?