speech and language teaching concepts for Thunder Cake in speech therapy

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/th/ initial
/k/ final
/gr/ initial



Book Details:

Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary

Thunder Cake

By Patricia Polacco

A loud clap of thunder booms, and rattles the windows of Grandma's old farmhouse. “This is Thunder Cake baking weather,” calls Grandma, as she and her granddaughter hurry to gather the ingredients around the farm. A real Thunder Cake must reach the oven before the storm arrives. But the list of ingredients is long and not easy to find . . . and the storm is coming closer all the time! Reaching once again into her rich childhood experience, Patricia Polacco tells the memorable story of how her grandma–her Babushka–helped her overcome her fear of thunder when she was a little girl. Ms. Polacco's vivid memories of her grandmother's endearing answer to a child's fear, accompanied by her bright folk-art illustrations, turn a frightening thunderstorm into an adventure and ultimately . . . a celebration!

This classic summer and weather book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like bravery and family traditions. It is also great for problem solving and sequencing, as well as for targeting character analysis, figurative language and describing ! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Thunder Cake in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

problem solving         ​
character analysis​
figurative language
verbs (action)
verbs (present progressive)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (linguistic)


order of events that leads to them making the cake and not being scared of the thunder


sultry, damp, drift, shudder, Babushka, fear, overcome, horizon, cooed, stammer, surveyed, strode, crowed, exclaimed, scurried, croaked, bellowed, trellis, luscious, growled, churn

Character Analysis:

The young girl learns to overcome her fears while spending time with her grandma.


The young girl possesses bravery with the help of her grandma and learns the value of family traditions.

Figurative Language:

personification (thunder bellowed, growled, roared etc.)


verbs (action)
verbs (present progressive)
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (linguistic)


How does she feel about thunderstorms?
How do you think baking this cake will help them?
Why is she scurrying to get the ingredients?
How does she feel when gathering the ingredients?
What do you think she says to herself in her head when gathering each ingredient?
How do they feel when they are making the cake as the thunder is approaching?
What do you think she thinks about herself after finishing the cake and not being under the bed?

Problem Solving:

The young girl has to overcome her fear of thunder while trying to out beat it to make the cake.

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