using The Snail and the Whale in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/sn/ initial
/w/ initial
/l/ final

Themes:

summer
ocean
friendship
adventure
living a meaningful life
doing what makes you happy

Book Details:

Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood, Elementary

The Snail and the Whale

By Julia Donaldson

When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It's a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

This adventurous rhyming summer book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like making the most out of life, friendship, and doing what makes you happy. It is also great for character analysis, discussing character feelings, predicting, describing and for targeting /sn/, /w/ and /l/ sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Snail and the Whale in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode​

Narrative Concepts:

theme/message
vocabulary​
problem solving
predicting

character analysis
inferencing

sequencing
illustration study
social/emotional
adjectives
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (present progressive)
phonological awareness

Sequencing:

order of events that leads to snail and whale having a great tale to tell

Vocabulary:

snail, humpback whale, soot, gaze, long, flock, hitch, lift, icebergs, frolic, hideous, grin, vast, gaze, upset, shore, moaned, trail, fetch, dock, frail

Character Analysis:

Snail wants to see all that the world has to offer. When she meets whale, they go on an adventure together and become lifelong friends in the process and manage to “save” each other in the end.

Social/Emotional:

Snail is not happy with her life and feels like there is more she can be doing with it like sailing and seeing the sights and having different experiences. When whale decides to sail with snail, their friendship grows and when they come back to the dock and tell their stories, the other snails join in on the fun.

Grammar:

adjectives
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (present progressive)

Phonological Awareness:

rhyming

Inferencing:

How does the snail feel about sailing around the world?
How do you think the snail feels when he hears of whales stories?
How does snail feel when he is sailing with whale?
How do you think they feel when the sharks are circling and when it starts to storm?
Why do you think she feels so small?
How does snail feel when whale can’t get back in the water?
Why did the teacher turn pale when she saw the snail?
How do they feel when back in the water?
Why do you think all of the snails are crawling on him after they told their tale?

Predicting:

How do you think the snail will ask for a ride?
Who do you think will respond to the message?
What do you think the whale will tell the snail about the world?
What do you think they will see while sailing?
What do you think will happen when whale swims too close to shore?
What do you think will happen when the students go outside?
Where do you think they will go next?

Problem Solving:

First, snail comes up with a plan to get a ride across the world. Then, when whale can’t make it back into the water, snail takes action and comes up with a plan to save him.

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.