I wanted to share my impressions of the book from a Speech and Language Pathologist’s perspective.
There are so many wonderful things to say about the Rugby Jones book that it is difficult to narrow it down.
This year I shared the book with a group of fourth grade children who have social/pragmatic, expressive and receptive language impairments. A couple of the students have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. I co-treated in therapy with our school Occupational therapist. We Incorporated the following activities to meet goals listed in the IEP’s:
Social skills: making social inferences and predictions, identifying and labeling character feeling/emotional states, identifying causes/effect of actions on the emotions of the characters in the book, generating examples from each student’s experiential base, social problem solving and reasoning and many more. A few of the emotions identified: love, fear, curiosity, envy/jealousy, guilt, sadness, being cautious, empathy, kindness etc.
Receptive language and verbal and written expression: graphic organizers, story maps, sequencing of events, new vocabulary words, drawing, writing sentences/descriptions of chapters in the book.
Sensory integration: “How does your engine run?” incorporated in the lessons.
Figurative/non-literal language was included in the book, thus gave us the opportunity to expand in this area.
Lessons learned: don’t tease others about their appearance, different kinds of friendships, accidents happen, being brave, trying new things, not giving up and overcoming obstacles.
There are so many ways to use this book, it is fabulous. The children loved the book!!!
I would highly recommend this book for school age children, neurotypical and children with learning disabilities. Animals seem to really engage children.
Edie Sullivan M.S., CCC-SLP