Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers: A Speech, Language and Literacy unit

Today I wanted to share how I used ONE book to work on MANY things over the course of a month of speech therapy sessions…January!
We used the book Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. (affiliate link)

Session #1: Read the book and make our penguins

We read the book first! It’s a precious story about a little boy who finds a penguin on his porch. He assumes the penguin is lost so he tries to find someone who knows where he came from. He then researches penguins and finds that they come from the South Pole. The boy and the penguin set off on a journey to the South Pole to return the penguin to his home. When they arrive there, the penguin is very sad. I”m going to leave the rest of the story for you to find out on your own because it is THAT GOOD!!!
To introduce the parts of the penguin (beak, wings, feet, tummy, eyes) during the first therapy session of our unit, we did the Roly Poly Penguin Craftivity pictured above. To my surprise, this activity told me a lot about each of my students fine motor capabilities. I was then able to talk to teachers regarding their cutting, writing and visual spatial performance. During this time I was also able to assess their ability to follow instructions and visual memory skills.

Session #2: Language activities.

I held open the book and had each student take turns retelling a page of the story. If they left out a portion of the story, I then asked them a “WH” question to gain more information.
We talked about the lost and found department. If I had more time, I wanted to take them to the school lost and found and dig through it, but we just imagined what would be there and talked about things that they had lost themselves. One kid had already lost TWO lunch boxes this year!
We then closed our eyes and imagined and drew what each of us would do if a penguin came to our door. Of course I would make penguin clothes for it! The students gave some very creative answers which ranged from:
“We would play sisters.”
“We would play police.”
“We would play xbox.”
“We would go swimming.”
Because my students made adorable penguins and drew extremely creative things that they would do with a penguin should they find one, I made my first display of artwork in the hallway outside my door.

Session #3: Sorting Activity.

During the sorting activity, we worked on sentence structure and negation as well as categorization by telling what would fit into a suitcase and what would not fit. I had the kids name the object in the card and say “_____ will fit in the suitcase” or “____will NOT fit in the suitcase.” Of course I shortened the sentence requirement depending on the student’s language abilities. This activity is found in my unit on TpT.

Session #4: Opposites!

This activity also doubled for practicing associations. “A marching band is LOUD, A library is QUIET” etc.

Session #5: Articulation

We used our articulation cards and found 10 words with each student’s speech sound on it. We then used the Penguin Worksheet from Simply Speech to record our words with the instructions to practice each one with a homework partner 5 times each.
Finally, it was time to take down our adorable bulletin board to get ready for February’s unit…which I am SO excited about!!!!!
I had the students go out into the hall and tell me WHERE I might find their penguin. We reviewed vocabulary words such as iceberg and south pole. They had to use UP, HIGH, BELOW, LOW, on the SIDE, etc. to tell me where their penguin was. They kept pointing and saying “THERE!” looking at me like I had NO sense at all. I just kept saying “Use words to tell me where?!?” and after some SERIOUS modeling and repetition, they told me where to find their penguin!!! YAY!!!

For more winter themed activities click here.






  1. Wow! This looks fabulous! My kiddos love penguins! This would be perfect for January or February! Let's face it… in Ohio, we could stretch it out until April!

  2. I have used shrinky dinks and traced the characters from a story or a clip art before and put in a rice bin. MyCuteGraphics.Com has some great clip art to trace onto shrinky dinks.

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