Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mooseltoe!!! (A Literature-Based Activity Pack and a *FREE* Therapy Idea)

Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m a literature junky – always have been, always will be. Not surprisingly, books tend to make their way into my therapy sessions on a pretty frequent basis and when I can find a book that I can use for both language AND speech goals, I’m one happy SLP! Introducing…. "Mooseltoe" by Margie Palatini.

If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s about an adorable little moose who spends his time decorating his house for the holidays, but forgets one thing – the tree! After discovering that there are no more trees to be sold, he decides to make himself into a tree and lets his family decorate him with lights, ornaments, candy canes, and even a star.

My “Mooseltoe Activity Pack” has all you’ll need for young students as well as your older ones. The pack includes: 16 regular past tense verb cards, 32 rhyming words, 16 idioms/proverbs cards, 32 synonym cards, 12 tier 2 vocabulary cards, 1 story map sheet, and 1 character description worksheet!!!

Regular Past Tense Verbs: To play/use these cards, pass out all regular past tense verb cards to your students and begin to read the story. When a student hears the word on their card, they make a sentence about something that has happened in the story using their regular past tense verb. (I often make the kids do something silly when they hear their word – put their finger on their nose, do a little jig, etc. For some reason, this improves their listening skills… Huh… weird!)

Rhyming Words: To play/use these cards, present the student with two cards and either say the words to the child or have the child read the words. Students then determine if the words rhyme or not. To make the activity tied to the book, talk about how each word relates to the story.

Idioms/Proverbs: To play/use, divide the cards into one stack of idioms/proverbs and one stack of idiom/proverb definitions. Lay the idiom/proverb definition cards out on the table and present a student with one idiom/proverb card. Students must scan through the definitions to find a meaning that is appropriate for the idiom/proverb that they have. I always like to relate figurative language back to real life so that students can understand how these phrases are used. Challenge your students to think of a situation where their idiom/proverb would be applicable.

Synonyms: Two ways to play, 1) Present the student with two cards and ask if they have the same meaning. If the cards have the same meaning, the student must make a sentence with one of the words and then switch out the synonym word for the other word in the pair. I’ve found that this can be really useful to check if the words they chose are actually synonyms or not. 2) Played just like memory, cards are placed face-down on the table. Students take turns picking two cards until they find a match of cards that have the same meaning.

Tier 2 Vocabulary: To play/use, pass out all vocabulary cards to students and begin to read the story. When a student hears the word on their card, they raise their hand and read the sentence on their card. Using context clues and three multiple choice options, students choose the correct definition. They can then make their own sentence about the word once they understand the definition.

Story and Character Maps: To play/use, story map - students draw pictures of the beginning, middle, and end of the book following a discussion of the story. Character Map – students write characteristics of the moose in the bubbles.

You can grab this all-in-one pack here!!

As mentioned before, this book is not just for language! We also used it to work on artic too (any sound, in any level, in any position!!!!) Our occupational therapist’s son is an amazing artist and he made a great replica on poster board of the front of the book. I attached my “mooseltoe” to a tissue box and off we went decorating! The kids first got to add a few beaded necklaces that I had found at the dollar store and then off we went to decorate our “mooseltoe” so that he looked just like the character in the book. We created artic ornaments and stars to hook on his antlers.

Every time we saw the moose (which just happened to be every page – what a coincidence!) we said our word/phrase/sentence, etc and put an ornament onto our moose. He was a gawdy mess when we were done, but so incredibly cute! The picture is a little blurry, but I hope you get the idea!

Hope this fun little idea might just find its way into your therapy room! Thanks for reading!


  1. Love it! That story is so cute. My kids love it!

  2. adorable! I have never heard of this book, will have to check it out!

  3. I just put your packet on my wish list and I think your moose is adorable! Thanks for the idea.

    1. Great to hear! Thanks! Just a head's up, I'll be starting a Christmas sale on TpT next week so keep an eye out if you'd like to snatch up the activity pack. :) Thanks for your kind comments!