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November 13, 2019


Setting & Sequencing with The Firefighters' Thanksgiving

Today, I came across a book with a Thanksgiving theme that I would like to share with you. Also, at the end of this blog, you will find a list of additional resources for Thanksgiving that may be of interest to you.

Firefighter’s Thanksgiving

The Firefighters’ Thanksgiving

Written by Maribeth Boelts
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Goodreads link


This book would be ideal to use with the setting icon as we follow the firefighters throughout their Thanksgiving Day.

…Just as those on call are planning a feast in the fire station to celebrate Thanksgiving, there are multiple emergencies that the firefighters must respond to. Ultimately, one of the firefighters is injured, but grateful neighbors come together to save the day and the Thanksgiving meal…

The book is presented in rhyme and the acrylic painting illustrations enhance the story of being thankful and joining together to show appreciation.


After reading the selection, I reviewed the firefighters' day with my small group of students with my magnetic whiteboard and Story Grammar Marker Icon Magnets. I used the setting icon to emphasize that a setting is not only a place, but also time as well as the action icons for the sequence of events. 

Setting whiteboard image

Additional Thanksgiving Day Resources:

Recipe imageHappy Thanksgiving from your Friends at MindWing Concepts!
List and Sequence a Recipe!

Tech Tuesday: Stories of Turkey Day
Tech Resources and Videos for Learning about Thanksgiving

Gobble! Gobble! Turkeys and Expository Text
Lesson Plan and Activity, All About Turkeys

Mollys Pilgrim imageDOWNLOAD
Molly’s Pilgrim” Analysis from “East Meets West”

(5) Episodes, Phonological Awareness, Story Sparkle, Text Features, Rare Words

Happy Thanksgiving from all of your friends at MindWing Concepts!
October 30, 2019


Tech Tuesday: More on Memes (Think Halloween!)

Meme 2 imageToday’s kids really like memes, digesting them from internet spaces we are too cool to inhabit! Therefore, they serve as a textual or language-infused genre that we can exploit for our students’ engagement. Often a meme suggests some element of a narrative that serves to facilitate a discussion or mapping of other elements. We can compare and contrast these narrative forms with exposition, or explaining ideas (see Thememaker®). When critiquing narrative works such as movies, it’s always felt to be a no-no to have too much exposition, or telling (not showing), such as when a character suddenly explains the mystery inherent to a plot...

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October 07, 2019


Character, Settings and Sequencing with Braidy®: Themed Lessons Using “There was an Old Lady…” Series

There Was An Old Lady... book coverOur talented colleague Danielle Cooper, M.S. CCC-SLP, of Baltimore City Schools gave us permission to share this wonderful lesson using the “There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A…” series. This series of books, written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee, shows a woman who swallows random items. Each story rhymes. At the end of each story, those objects are used to create a bigger product aligned with a particular theme. Some of the themes available for the books are Fall, Winter, Thanksgiving, Spring, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick's Day, Beach, Back to School, Birthdays, etc. Each book has the same format: introduction of the character with a sequence of events. These stories are useful for mini rhyming lessons and building thematic vocabulary. They are perfect for introducing the Braidy® Methodology and focusing on Character, Setting, and Sequence of Events (Action Sequence Stage of Narrative Development)...

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September 27, 2019


“Maui” of Disney’s Moana: Using Story Grammar Marker® with Legends

Hawaii sunset imageIn this blog post, we share with you a children’s book called Maui Hooks the Islands with a narrative analysis, a legend written in 1700 AD, a Disney Moana song, and lesson ideas that we showed at our workshop participants in Hawai'i. The first couple of weeks of September marked the third time that Maryellen and I have traveled to Hawai’i to provide professional development for Speech-Language Pathologists, pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade teachers and special educators in the Hawai'i State Department of Education. Through these experiences, we have grown to love the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, water and sunsets, and especially, the people of Hawai'i. My 5-year-old daughter Casey has made each trip to Hawai’i with us, and the first time we came, she was enthralled with Disney’s Moana (hoping to meet her in person!). In order to kick off our workshops, we wanted to learn more about the Polynesian culture that this movie depicts...

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August 21, 2019


When No One There Is Like You: Exploring Feelings & “Fitting In” with SGM

The Day You Begin cover imageThe Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael Lopez, is a beautiful, nonlinear story to share with children, especially at the beginning of the school year. It encourages children to think about their feelings when entering new situations and creates an opportunity for teachers to provide a discussion with and to show support of children in such situations. Before sharing the selection, take a look at the following links for background information. This book is actually a story of a girl named Angelina, included with examples and guiding suggestions for fitting in, with which all of us can identify. Included below is also a link to the illustrator’s website, Rafael Lopez, discussing the development of the artwork for this book, which older students would find interesting...

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July 25, 2019


Character Development, Six-Second-Stories™ and Jojo Siwa

Casey to camp imageThis past week my 5-year-old daughter Casey went to camp. On the first day, I suggested that she wear a T-shirt that depicts something she likes (LOL: Dolls, Unicorns, JoJo Siwa, Mermaids, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.) so that when she is meeting new friends, they can immediately know something she likes and ask her about it. She chose a T-shirt with a picture of “JoJo Siwa,” who is a young, popular performer. By wearing that, new friends will know a little about her as a “character” in a social setting. Upon arriving at camp, within 30 seconds, a Dad and daughter walked in and the Dad said, “You like Jojo Siwa? Avery and her mom saw Jojo Siwa in a concert this summer!”...

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July 23, 2019


A POPCORN Lesson: “CORNY” Humor, Facts and Perspective Taking with SGM® and ThemeMaker®

Popcorn cartoon 1 imageI saw this meme on Facebook recently and cracked up laughing at the “corny” humor! It just so happened that it was a 95-degree day here and I felt just like that popped stalk of popcorn—SO HOT! I am sure many of you can relate to the weather this summer. I actually Googled to see if that could actually happen—that popcorn would “pop” while still on the “ear.” First, I found a website Popcorn.org and realized there is WAY more to popcorn than I ever realized! Then, while using the Description Map from the ThemeMaker® Manual, I learned so much about popcorn. Popcorn is actually a member of the grass family—a specific kind of maize (corn)...

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