using The Relatives Came in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/r/ initial
/l/ medial
/t/ medial
/v/ initial and medial
/er/ medial
/j/ medial (Virginia)
/y/ medial (Virginia)


helping each other

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

The Relatives Came

By Cynthia Rylant

In a rainbow-colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars.
When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.

This sweet summer book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like missing family, road trips and helping others. It is also great for inferencing, describing with adjectives and a variety of verbs, and targeting /r/, /l/, /t/, /v/, /er/, /j/ and /y/ sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Relatives Came in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

action sequence

Narrative Concepts:

illustration study
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)


relatives, grapes, station wagon, Virginia, tend, labor


The relatives travel to see their long lost family. The relatives may not have a lot of money but they are people you can count on to help and have lots of love to give.


verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)


Why do you think the relatives came up from Virginia?
What do you think the author is trying to tell us about how their lifestyles?
Why do you think they are waiting for the grapes?
How did they feel when they finally got to their house?
Why do you think they kept hugging?
How do you think the relatives felt that they were able to sleepover?
How do you think it felt with all those people sleeping in there?
Why do you think none of them thought about Virginia as much as the relatives did?
How did the house feel without the relatives?
How did the relatives feel when they finally got home?

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