speech and language teaching concepts for The Sand Castle Contest in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/s/ initial and medial



Book Details:

Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary

The Sand Castle Contest

By Robert Munsch

While on vacation. Matthew is excited to take part in the local sandcastle contest. The winner gets a bathtub filled with ice cream! But Matthew is just too good at building sand castles. The judges all think the house he builds, complete with sand chairs, a sand refrigerator, and sand food is real! He has to prove that it's all just a big pile of sand so he can win that ice cream!

This silly summer and ocean book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional topics like exploring imagination, competition, and kindness.  It is also great for focusing on inferencing and describing.  Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Sand Castle Contest in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
illustration study
verbs (action)
verbs (present tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (regular past tense)


sandbox, drove, camp, sand castle, beach, contest, judge, enormous

Character Analysis:

Matthew learns how fun sand is and make believe play can be with the help of a little girl. He finds joy in his imagination.




verbs (action)
verbs (present tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (regular past tense)


Why is the dad calling out things from a list?
Where do you think Matthew’s family is going?
How do you know that Matthew is excited about the sand contest?
Why do the judges laugh when Matthew shows him the house?
How do Matthew and the girl feel when he wins the contest?
How does Matthew feel when he learns to make a sand dog?
How does his family feel when he shows them his sand dog?

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.