Our Favorite Cumulative Stories for Speech Therapy


Here is a list of some of our other favorite Cumulative Stories. Some can only be found in English at this time, but are books that we commonly translate into Spanish and have basic enough vocabulary that it is easy to do on the fly.    We included Amazon links so that you can easily find the books and read more.  We would love to hear from you on how YOU use these books in therapy!



Description of Story

The Gingerbread Man

Books for Speech Therapy

El Hombre de Pan de Jengibre

Books for Speech Therapy

A lovely old couple make a child out of gingerbread. He comes to life and escapes them. Animals chase him, trying to eat him. He outsmarts everyone except the fox.

Why we like it: Kids will enjoy seeing how the gingerbread man outsmarts the fox, and chant along to the rhythm of the story.  Great story for working on action words, describing, sentence building, and /r/ in English and Spanish (along with /rr/ in ‘corre’).

The Gigantic Turnip

Books for Speech Therapy

El Nabo Gigante

Books for Speech Therapy

Plot: A farmer and his wife find a giant turnip in their garden that requires cooperation from all the animals on the farm to unroot.

Why we like it: Great story for working on wh- questions, /r/ clusters (Spanish), seasons and vegetable/planting vocabulary.

Go Away Big Green Monster!

Books for Speech Therapy

Fuera de Aqui, Monstruo Verde!

Books for Speech Therapy

Plot: While turning the pages of this die-cut book, a big green monster grows then disappears.

Why we like it: On each page a new body part is introduced and described. This also a good book for /r/ in English and Spanish. It is best used for ages  3-5 years.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

old lady who swallowed a fly

Although not available in Spanish, this story is often translated, and as it makes use of repetitious description, it’s an easy one to do so with.

Plot: This is a well-known story of an old lady who swallows one animal after another to catch the preceding one.

Why we like it: Children enjoy guessing what the old lady will need to swallow next to catch each animal, and the die-cut illustrations make this fun.  This is a good story for targeting animal vocabulary, colors, sequencing, and /s/ and /l/ clusters (English) and /r/ clusters (Spanish).

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything

La Viejecita Que No le Tenia Miedo a Nada

Plot: The story of a little old lady who never gets scared, until one night while walking through the woods she is followed by haunted clothes that form the parts of a scarecrow.

Why we like it: The story has a definitive rhythm, and kids will be chanting along with you during the “chorus” of the story.  This is great for working on /s/ and /r/ clusters in Spanish, plurals in both Spanish and English, along with clothing and Halloween vocabulary.

The Mixed Up Chameleon

mixed up chameleon


Also not available in Spanish, however, this could be easily translated, as the vocabulary is simple and the story has wonderful visuals.

Plot: When a chameleon realizes its own power to change, it decides to add a favorite body part and color from many animals at once.

Why we like it: Great for 3-5 year olds to work on body parts, colors, shapes and comparing and contrasting.

The Cazuela the Farm Maiden Stirred

speech therapy blog

No Spanish version, however the English version incorporates Spanish vocabulary

Plot: The story of how a farm maiden and the farm animals work together to make the rice pudding for the fiesta.

Why we like it: Similarly structured to “The House that Jack Built”, this story is good for sequencing, teaching animal names/categories, and has beautiful illustrations for describing.  The story is told in English with Spanish words incorporated, so may be best for children who have at least some English, or could also be translated.




Plot: When a little boy tries to rescue his kite from a tree, he throws item upon item trying to get it down, only resulting in everything getting stuck!

 Why we like it: Whimsical and amusing, kids will laugh out loud.  Great for teaching predictions, sequencing, /r/ clusters in English, and teaching expectations.

The Rooster Who Went to His Uncle’s Wedding

El Gallo Que Fue a La Boda de Su Tio

Plot: A cumulative Cuban folktale about a rooster who is trying to get clean on the way to his uncle’s wedding and encounters humorous setbacks.

Why we like it: This story is appropriate for children aged 5-7 and can easily be used to teach animals, compare and contrast, teach ‘if’…’then’ and consequences of actions in a light and fun way.


The Christmas Tree/El Arbol De Navidad


Plot: Everyone in the family comes together to make a contribution while decorating the Christmas tree.

Why we like it: Told in English and Spanish side by side, it has beautiful illustrations and provides opportunities for teaching winter vocabulary, family members, and describing.  It is also great for targeting many Wh- questions (Who, What, Where, Why) in both English and Spanish.

Literacy-Based Speech and Language Therapy Activities

Content for this essay adapted from Literacy-Based Speech and Language Activities. Use it to learn how to create powerful language therapy using predictable books.

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