The fall and celebrations within, like Halloween, provide fantastic ways to incorporate different ways to work on speech and language goals. Books about the holiday, growing pumpkins, and others can provide additional opportunities for children during sessions.
Halloween Tales a Plenty
New books are constantly being published about Halloween, pumpkins, ghosts, leaves, and beyond. Picture book walks are always a nice way to begin with reading or read them to introduce an extended project that you will be working on. Some picture books suggestions include:
- The Berenstain Bears – Trick or Treat by Stan & Jan Berenstain
- The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano
- Say Boo! by Lynda Graham-Barber
- Froggy’s Halloween by Jonathan London
- T-Rex Trick-or-Treat by Lois G. Gramling
Many of these books have great social stories that children may be able to identify with and talk about feelings. They will encourage children to explain the way they feel and how they celebrate this time of year at school and/or home.
Time to Sing Along and Puppet Play
Children love music, singing, and putting on shows. Why not combine them together with some books that you can sing and also act out together? There are a growing number of classic books and songs have been recreated into holiday versions. Several examples are:
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves! by Lucille Colandro
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro
- The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills
- 12 Haunted Rooms of Halloween by Macky Pamintua
All of these tunes should be familiar and are easy to sing in small groups. Consider making cards with objects to hold up when singing, create mini puppets on crafting sticks, or make felt board pieces. If you are going to use the There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat, you will need a bat, owl, cat, ghost, goblin, bones, and a wizard. Have fun talking about the song, practicing the words and vocabulary in it, and building confidence through music.
If you have extra copies of the books, think about sending them home for families to share together for a few nights. Ask them to share how you would sing the song in their language and whether or not there are special autumn or Halloween traditions that they would like to share from their multilingual background.