speech and language teaching concepts for The Recess Queen in speech therapy​ ​
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/j/ initial (Jean)
/k/ initial
/s/ initial


back to school

Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary

The Recess Queen

By Alexis O'neill

Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different. Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked. Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced. If kids ever crossed her, she’d push ’em and smoosh ’em, lollapaloosh ’em, hammer ’em, slammer ’emkitz and kajammer ’em. Until a new kid came to school! With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.

This rhyming back to school and kindness book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like bullying and friendship. It is also great for noticing character expressions and for targeting character analysis as well as for describing! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Recess Queen in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode​

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis​
illustration study
verbs (regular past tense)
text features​
phonological awareness​ 


mean, queen, until, growl, bully, snarl, dare, bossy, amused, gaped

Character Analysis:

Mean Jean is the biggest bully of all and wants everything done her way. The other students are scared of her, until one day a new student asks Mean Jean to play. Shocked, Mean Jean thinks for a moment and ends up becoming friends with her.


Mean Jean doesn’t have any friends so she bosses everyone around until one day a new student doesn’t fall for her cold exterior.


verbs (regular past tense)

Text Features:

enlarged text

Phonological Awareness:



How did the students feel about Mean Jean?
What did the students think about Katie Sue? What about Mean Jean?
What does Katie Sue think about Mean Jean?
Why did no one move or breathe when Katie Sue took the ball?
How do you think Mean Jean felt when Katie Sue asked her to jump rope?
How did Katie Sue change recess for the rest of the students?

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