speech and language teaching concepts for The Smart Cookie in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/k/ initial and medial
/sk/ initial


back to school

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

The Smart Cookie

By Jory John

This cookie has never felt like a smart cookie no matter how hard she tries, especially in comparison to all the clever cupcakes and brilliant rolls in the bakery. Will a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of confidence be enough to help her learn that perfect scores and having all the answers aren’t the only ingredients for intelligence?

This adorable back to school book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like not having all the right answers and feeling uncomfortable at school. It is also great for noticing character expressions and for targeting idioms as well as for describing! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Smart Cookie in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

problem solving

character analysis

illustration study         
figurative language
verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (mental state)
negatives (couldn’t, wasn’t, didn’t)
multi-meaning words

text features


bakery, community, supportive, journey, cakewalk, comfortable, confident, distracted, request, instructions, gulp, half-baked, mesmerizing, chaotic, crumby, accomplished, revealed, finale, animated, beaming, original, blur

Character Analysis:

The cookie feels like school is a place where she just doesn’t quite fit in and isn’t good at anything. She tries many different things, but when she is given an assignment where she gets to choose the end result, she blossoms and feels accomplished in the end.


The cookie learns to have confidence and that even if you don’t always have the right answers the important thing is to try. She also realizes that she is original and so is her work.

Figurative Language:

personification of the cookie and bakery
idioms (life is sweet, cakewalk, lost at sea, half-baked, butterflies in my stomach, fall into place)


verbs (action)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
verbs (mental state)
negatives (couldn’t, wasn’t, didn’t)
multi-meaning words

Text Features:

enlarged text
change in text color
exclamation marks


How can the bakery be a warm and supportive place?
Why do you think she didn’t always feel comfortable sharing her ideas or speaking up?
How do you think she felt about herself and about going to school?
How did she feel if she was lost at sea?
Why did Ms. Biscotti wink at her?
How did she feel about the assignment at first if she gulped?
Why do you think she decided to write a poem?
How did her feelings change from beginning to end of presenting the poem?
Why do you think the rest of the day was a blur?

Problem Solving:

The cookie feels lost at sea at school and tries to find something she is good at.

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