Monday, September 24, 2012

Book of the Week: Apple Trouble

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com for your convenience.

Most of the SLPs that I know use children's story books in therapy.  They're such a great tool for working on just about any goal!  I'd say it would be a rare week for me to not use at least one book in therapy.  So, I decided to share my Book of the Week!




This week, we are reading "Apple Trouble" by Ragnhild Scamell and Michael Terry.  In this story, a cute little hedgehog (have I mentioned that I have a strange affinity for hedgehogs?) has just finished building a nest under an apple tree when an apple falls on her back and gets lodged on her spines.  With the apple on her back, she can no longer fit in her new nest.  Hedgehog meets a few animals in her quest to remove the fruit and, in the process, ends up with all sorts of items stuck on her (a juicy red apple, three brown nuts, a small green pear, a crumpled brown leaf, a colorful piece of paper, a pink water lily, and four ripe blackberries).  In the end, she meets a goat who eats the items off her back (with the exception of the leaf) and she can finally return to her nest.




What I LOVE about this story
Well, really everything!  Did I mention my love of hedgehogs?  Also, the pictures are great (although most of my kids think the goat is a sheep).  The vocabulary:  "juicy" red apple, "crumpled" brown leaf, plus sentences like this:  "hedgehog pattered over to the pond and gazed at her reflection in the water."  There is a message of cooperation and helping others.  Best of all, it keeps the attention of the children and they all love the story!


How I use it in therapy:
This book really lends itself to my in-class groups, so I use it there.  I'm sure it would work well in small pull-out groups as well.  I have this cute little hedgehog stuffie I found last summer on vacation in New Hampshire.  I show it to the kids and ask if they know what kind of animal it is.  I usually get a very adamant, "Porcupine!"  When I tell them that it's not a porcupine, I get less sure answers:  "Skunk?" "Raccoon?" "Groundhog?"  Then repeats of the aforementioned animals until I tell them that it's a hedgehog.


We then talk about the differences between hedgehogs and porcupines.  I keep this basic because I'm typically dealing with preschoolers with this story.  Porcupines are big, hedgehogs are tiny.  Porcupines can shoot their quills to protect themselves, hedgehogs roll into a ball.  I show them photos of an actual hedgehog.  I have some from a birthday party I attended (thank you Alyssa and Aiden!), but you can probably find some decent ones online, like the ones below.  I like using pictures with a person's hand in it so the children can understand how big a hedgehog is.  If I show a hedgehog along without any contextual cues, kids think they are large animals.

Small hedgehog

Then I read the story (I know, this was probably implied!).  I drew a hedgehog on a large poster board and made the story props with a die-cut machine at my school.  As I read the story, I (or the kids, depending on the size of the group) add the objects to the hedgehog poster, then remove them as the goat eats them.



After the story is over, I ask comprehension questions and have the students retell the story with the props.

IEP Objectives Targeted:
Vocabulary (animals, adjectives, synonyms, categories)
Sequencing (order of items that fall on hedgehog)
Retelling a story in sequence
Answering comprehension questions about a story
Exclusion (goat eats all items except the leaf)
Increasing MLU
Articulation:  I have a few students working on /l/, so we worked on:  apple, leaf, lily, silly, etc.


Do you use this book as well?  What other activities do you do with it?

Update:  I love this book so much that I created a book companion, which is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

11 comments :

  1. GREAT post, Carrie! I've never heard of that book, but it sounds adorable! (obviously, since it has a hedgehog in it!) I can think of a few ways to use this with my younger kiddo's. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! It really is a cute book and the kids like it a lot. Definitely worth it for the little ones! (And I think it was a $1 Scholastic book last year!)

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  2. So cute! You make me want a hedgehog! I love using books in therapy. They can be used to draw so many connections.

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    1. Aren't they cute! My husband thinks I'm nuts, but if I ever get another pet (we have a dog now), it will be a hedgehog!

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  3. I want a hedgehog! I just got interested and stumbled here, looking for photographs to put as my Facebook Profile picture! Did you know that porcupines don't get effected by snake's poison? AH! They eat snakes that's why! They're the most adorable little creatures!

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    1. I did not know that! Thanks for sharing...you really DO learn something new every day! PS, They really are too adorable! :)

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  4. I love this book also! I have used it with ages 5 though 8, changing the types of questions and activities I do. I love your ideas. I haven't used a poster, but I can see that the younger crowd would love this. I also talk about the various emotions the hedgehog has throughout the story. (Good for kids on the spectrum or with social/pragmatic issues.) She's happy after she builds her nest. Then startled as the apple falls on her. Then sad. Scared of the piece of paper falling. Eventually she gets mad when the other animals think she looks funny. And at the end - happy, or even "content." :-)

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  5. I love this book also! I have used it with ages 5 though 8, changing the types of questions and activities I do. I love your ideas. I haven't used a poster, but I can see that the younger crowd would love this. I also talk about the various emotions the hedgehog has throughout the story. (Good for kids on the spectrum or with social/pragmatic issues.) She's happy after she builds her nest. Then startled as the apple falls on her. Then sad. Scared of the piece of paper falling. Eventually she gets mad when the other animals think she looks funny. And at the end - happy, or even "content." :-)

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    1. Great idea! The hedgehog does show a wide array of emotions! I never thought of using that aspect with the ASD/Pragmatic populations! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Cute!! Would you be willing to post a pdf of your hedgehog drawing (the one you used on poster paper with the die-cuts)?

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    1. It's too big for me to scan. You could try this one: http://www.sweetclipart.com/cute-hedgehog-line-art-715

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