Five Reasons SLPs Love Brown Bear!

By AASLJune 25, 2019

Five Reasons Speech-language pathologist Love Brown Bear!

If you have a child in speech therapy, then I am more than sure you are familiar with this book!  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle is a timeless classic and a treasure trove for targeting language. These are just a few of the reasons we speechies here at AASL love it so much.

1. Vocabulary

Brown Bear has a plethora of vocabulary including animals, colors, verbs, and personal pronouns! To take it a step further, you can target more complex body parts of animals as well. The last page of the book provides a lovely illustration of all the animals together. This last page could be used to work on naming animals, counting, and identifying/pointing to the different animals. The repetitive use of “I” and “me” is excellent for auditory bombardment (exposing someone to the same sound or word many times).

2. Sentences

The repetitive nature of Brown Bear is also great for introducing and reinforcing carrier phrases. A carrier phrase is a simple sentence used to increase a child’s sentence length. This is extremely helpful for increasing sentence length in general as well as teaching them new sentence forms. The book primarily uses the sentences “I see a horse” and “What do you see?”. You can also incorporate your own phrases not in the book such as “I like bears” or “Duck says quack”. Use of descriptive terms is there, too! An example would be “BROWNbear”, “RED bird”, and etcetera.

3. Pre-Literacy Skills

I can’t begin to stress how essential shared reading is to every child (that’s for another blog). One of the many wonderful benefits of shared reading with little ones is exposure to those pre-literacy skills. Turning pages even counts as a skill! Visual exposure to the words is a wonderful support for literacy. Additionally, this book can be easily memorized. Have you ever seen a child “read” a book (AKA recite the book from memory)? this is an early sign of a reader!

4. Articulation

Although this is a short book, it is filled with speech sounds. Shared reading is an excellent avenue for indirect articulation practice. Shared reading allows for repeated exposure and repeated opportunities for practicing these targets. A general rule of thumb for optimum success is to attempt a target sound AT LEAST 100 times daily. See below for the number of times common sounds occur within this story (Keep in mind this book can be read at an average rate in under five minutes).

Bilabial sounds /p, b, m/- 46

Palatal souds /ch, sh/- 15

Alveolar sounds /d/- 34, /t/- 36, /s/- 27, /l/- 32

Velar sounds /k, g/- 50

5. Sequencing

This is a real hidden gem! Sequencing is _________. Following directions, predicting, and even completion of tasks all require sequencing abilities. Almost any type of book allows the opportunity to use sequential terminology (i.e., first, next, last). Being able to recall order of events is a crucial skill for academia and activities of daily living (for all my OT’s out there!)

So as you can see, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a book that remains near and dear to our hearts here at AASL, and for good reason. And if Brown Bear, Brown Bear has already made the rounds in your home, don’t fret! There are hundreds of children’s books that target all these early language concepts too. What are some of your favorite childhood books? Are there any undiscovered language goldmines on your shelf? Be sure to ask your SLP for some of their favorites!

DISCLAIMER: Information published about one particular disorder does not necessarily apply to every individual who has the disorder discussed in this article. Treatments and therapies are highly individual and must be customized to the needs of each person to be effective. Do not make changes to your/your child’s treatment plan as a result of what you read in this article (or any content published by AASL) without consulting your/your child’s physicians and therapists. This content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of All About Speech and Language or its therapists. To understand the opinions and recommendations of your/your child’s AASL therapist, schedule an appointment with your therapist to discuss your concerns.

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