speech and language teaching concepts for The Pirates Next Door in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/r/ medial (pirates, Jolly-Rogers)
/j/ initial and medial (Jolly-Rogers, Jim)



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

The Pirates Next Door

By Jonny Duddle

Meet the Jolley-Rogers — a pirate family who is moving to Dull-on-Sea, a quiet seaside town, while they fix up their ship. This unusual family soon has the whole neighborhood gossiping. Defying the grown-ups, Matilda becomes friends with young pirate Jim Lad. When the JolleyRogers return to sea, the town realizes that they were wrong to assume the worst when it is discovered that the pirates have buried treasure in everyone’s yard. The neighbors are thrilled, but Matilda is sad to have lost her new friend, until she discovers her own treasure — a pen pal!

This fun pirate-themed book can be used in speech therapy to compare and contrast a pirate’s life vs. Tilda’s life as well as the attitudes of the residents vs. the pirates’ attitudes. This book is also great for targeting rhyming and discussing text featuresDiscover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Pirates Next Door in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

illustration study
verbs (regular past tense)
text features
prepositional phrases
compare and contrast
phonological awareness
social/emotional concepts


order of all the things the pirates were blamed for


grog, seaside town, busy, gloomy, neat, dialogue, anchoring, captain, crew, shore, rascal, boring, impressed, sneer, lad, alarming, float


being friends with people who are different from you
being kind to others even if they are not kind to you
being annoyed or scared by someone who is different from you
having selfish feelings
spreading rumors


prepositional phrases
verbs (regular past tense)
“pirate talk” syntax

Text Features:

speech bubbles
font size
exclamation points

Phonological Awareness:



Why do you think the pirates moved next door?
Why do you think everyone is upset that the pirates moved into the neighborhood?
Why do you think Tilda’s parents would rather her befriend someone else?
Why do you think no one would sit by Jim Lad?
Why is the teacher concerned about what Jim is wearing?
Why do the pirates need suntan lotion?
Why should Tilda use something that floats?
How did the neighbors’ opinions change after they were given gold?
Do you think Tilda will get to travel with Jim?


Who do you think is going to move next door?
Why do you think the Jolly-Rodgers are digging?
What do you think are in the glass bottles?
What do you think the pirates will leave behind?
What do think the Xs are for?
Do you think Tilda will get a letter from Jim?

If you are interested in using The Pirates Next Door and other pirate-themed books in speech therapy, then check out these print-&-go cheat sheets. Perfect for when you don’t need a full book companion. 

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