Cue the smell of hot chocolate, burning wood, and apple pie. Winter is coming! And with the start of a new season comes the start of a whole new onslaught of books and therapy materials. In a school with a high Asian population, I’ve had to be mindful of all the Santa-based and Christmas themed books and stories out there. My speech kids don’t find Santa or Christmas relatable or relevant. In fact, I’ve had kindergarteners proudly state “Santa ISN’T EVEN REAL, my mom told me so!”.
In my yearly attempt to prevent any Santa conversations from starting among my kids, I’ve found the best way to keep these tough conversations at bay is to simply avoid all Christmas-related materials. And because of that, I have found the sweetest Winter stories to use across all kinds of different speech goals. These stories are too good to keep to myself- so I hope you all can enjoy the winter magic they bring into your therapy room.
Some popular stories include:
The Snowy Day by Lois Ehlert – This cute story can be used for all kinds of language targets and goals. But my favorite way to use this story is to open science discussions and ‘why’ questions about animal tracks and why things melt.
The Stranger in the Woods by Carl Sams & Jean Stoick – I know what you’re thinking… This sounds like a fantastic thriller/horror story. However, this kind story opens amazing discussions for compassion and kindness.
Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell – My older students LOVE wordless picture books, and this one does not disappoint. The beauty of a wordless picture book is that the children get to tell the story (hello, articulation and language!). And the best part for me? The story is never the same.
Claudia & Moth by Jennifer Hansen Rolli – A sweet story about perspective taking and outlooks.
Before Morning by Joyce Sidman – A beautifully illustrated story with pictures all can appreciate. Younger students can describe the pictures and make connections, while older students can work hard to unpack the sparse but powerful lines of text.
Books have long since been my go-to therapy tool, and these winter books are no exception. Beautifully crafted, well thought-out, and inspiring, these books will become your favorite winter classics.
Author: Rachel Steinberg, M.Ed., CCC-SLP