speech and language teaching concepts for the ugly pumpkin in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/p/ initial (pumpkin)
/gl/ medial (ugly)



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

The Ugly Pumpkin

By Greg Paprocki

The Ugly Pumpkin has waited all through October for someone to take him home, but no one wants him. He doesn’t look like other pumpkins. So the lonely Ugly Pumpkin leaves the patch in search of a place where he’ll fit in. By the time Thanksgiving arrives, he discovers the truth about who he is–but it’s not what he expected!

This pumpkins themed book transitions from the Halloween season to Thanksgiving! You can use it in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like acceptance and bullying. It is also great for noticing rhyming! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Ugly Pumpkin in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

text features
illustration study
compare and contrast
phonological awareness


tricked, crispy, roots, cruel, shelter, overrun, squash, odd, feast


The ugly pumpkin has a sad face. Why do you think he is sad?
The ugly pumpkin looks hopeful. Why do you think he looks hopeful?
How does the ugly pumpkin seem to feel once he realizes that he is actually a squash?

Discuss teasing and bullying.
Discuss idea of belonging.



Text Features:

large font
change in font color
animated text

Phonological Awareness:



Why do you think no one picked the ugly pumpkin?
Why do you think the ugly pumpkin wanted to be picked?
How do we know that the ugly pumpkin is a squash?


Do you think someone will pick the ugly pumpkin?
Do you think the skeleton will take the ugly pumpkin too?
Do you think the trees will let the ugly pumpkin stay awhile? (Look at the tree’s facial expression).
What do you think he noticed while in the garden?

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