speech and language teaching concepts for Up in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses in speech therapy​ ​

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/b/ initial and final
/tr/ initial and medial
/s/ final

Themes:

fall
leaves
nonfiction
belonging

Book Details:

Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

Up in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses

By Shira Boss

A true story about Bob Redman, a New York City boy who built a series of intricate treehouses hidden in Central Park. This charming picture book tells the true story of Bob Redman, a child growing up in New York City. Tired of the noise, the people, and the rushing around, Bob took shelter in the natural beauty of Central Park—where he covertly built a series of amazing treehouses, starting with a simple platform and growing more and more elaborate over time. He played cat-and-mouse with the park workers, who kept tearing down his houses, until he was finally caught. But his story ends with a happy surprise . . .

This hopeful fall and leaves book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like finding your place in the world. It is also great for inferencing, predicting and for targeting figurative language as well as for character analysis! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Up in the Leaves: The True Story of the Central Park Treehouses in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

vocabulary​
theme/message​
character analysis​
inferencing​
figurative language​
social/emotional​
predicting​
adjectives
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)
text features

Vocabulary:

crowded, scavenged, scampered, whirr, pelted, platform, canopy, arborist, salvage 

Character Analysis:

Bob disliked the business of the city and found a home within the park. He used the skills he was good at to create a place that he could call home.

Social/Emotional:

Bob learned that there was a place for him in the world.

Figurative Language:

onomatopoeias (whoosh, tap etc.)
similes (
climbed like a squirrel, like a fluttering leaf)
metaphors (
he was a sailor on a ship at sea, he became an astronaut navigating the cosmos)  

Grammar:

adjectives
verbs (regular past tense)
verbs (irregular past tense)

Text Features:

italics
biography/epilogue

Inferencing:

How do you think it would feel to live in a big city?
Why do you think Bob didn’t like all of those people around?
Why do you think he snuck around and climbed up high?
How do you think he felt at school?
How did he feel at the park?
How do you think he felt as he was building his treehouse?
How do you think he felt when it disappeared?
Why do you think his mom wants him to go out into the world?
How did he feel when he built the biggest house?
How did people feel about him building treehouses in Central Park?
Why was this a perfect job for Bob?

Predicting:

What do you think happened to his treehouse?
What do you think he will do now?
What do you think will happen when the leaves fall down?
What do you think will happen as he gets older and the treehouse gets taken down time and time again?
What do you think the man will say to Bob?

If you are interested in seeing other leaves-themed books to use in therapy, then check out the Themed Narrative Key Teaching Points Book List for a printable copy.