speech and language teaching concepts for When Lola Visits in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/l/ initial and medial
/s/ initial
/er/ final
/sm/ initial



Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary

When Lola Visits

By Michelle Sterling

For one young girl, summer is the season of no school, of days spent at the pool, and of picking golden limes off the trees. But summer doesn’t start until her lola—her grandmother from the Philippines—comes for her annual visit. Summer is special. For her lola fills the house with the aroma of mango jam, funny stories of baking mishaps, and her quiet sweet singing in Tagalog. And in turn, her granddaughter brings Lola to the beach, to view fireworks at the park, and to catch fish at their lake. When Lola visits, the whole family gathers to cook and eat and share in their happiness of another season spent together. Yet as summer transitions to fall, her lola must return home—but not without a surprise for her granddaughter to preserve their special summer a bit longer.

This sensory language filled summer book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like traditions and making memories with family. It is also great for noticing character expressions and illustrations and for targeting different cultural traditions as well as for describing! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using When Lola Visits in speech therapy below:

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

descriptive sequence​

Narrative Concepts:

illustration study​
figurative language


summer, ripe, jasmine, bloom, mango, sampaguita soup, cassava cake, custard, suman, merienda, kalamansi pie, lumpia, banana leaves, Kamayan, kalamansi, indigo


Once summer arrives, the memories, nostalgia, and traditions bring joy, especially when Lola arrives. Once summer comes to an end and Lola goes back home, there is sadness and longing for summer days.

Figurative Language:

similes (summer smells like)
metaphors (our house is a little grayer without her)
sensory language


How do you think she knows that summer is here?
Why do you think trouble brews on days with nothing to do?
What does she think about when she knows summer is coming?
How does she feel about traditions with Lola and her family?
How does she feel about the memory of the first time she made cassava cake with her mom?
How do you think traditions impact her summer?
How does she feel when Lola goes back home?
How does summer smell like a letter to Lola?
Why does she have a butterflying stomach?
How does her view of summer change towards the end?

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.