Predictable Books to Improve Speech Skills

One of the best ways to increase a child’s participation (without relying on his or her ability to demonstrate reading fluency and comprehension), is to select a book that has repetition and predictability.  Predictable books have been a hot topic with educators, librarians, and literacy coaches for many years, and for good reasons.

Predictable books make use of rhyme, repetition of words, phrases, sentences and refrains, and such patterns as cumulative structure, repeated scenes, familiar cultural sequences, interlocking structure and turn-around plots. These stories invite children to make predictions or guesses about words, phrases, sentences, events and characters that could come next in the story. — Mary Jett Simpson, in Reading Resource Book, 1986.
Predictable books allow early readers to predict what the sentences are going to say, thereby increasing enjoyment and helping to build vocabulary and memory skills.  Educational Oasis

Note that predictable books are more easy to distinguish with books for young children as older stories often include a variety of these elements.

Types of Predictable Books

There are eight different types of predictable books. We can use these eight groups to categorize the books we read and get a better understanding of what each book has to offer.   These predictable categories enable us to better define WHY our favorite books are successful, thus helping identify new titles for future sessions.  Click on the story type below to jump to an explanation and examples in English and Spanish.  Find them in your library or clicking on the image will take you to

Story Type




Chain or Circular Story

The plot is interlinked so that the ending leads back to the beginning.

Where the Wild Things AreBooks for Speech Therapy
Donde viven los monstruosBooks for Speech Therapy


Cumulative Story

Each time a new event occurs, all previous person, places, things, and events in the story are repeated.

The Gingerbread ManBooks for Speech Therapy
El hombre de pan de jengibreBooks for Speech Therapy


Familiar Sequence

Organized by a recognizable theme (days of the week, months of the year, numbers, etc.).

The Very Hungry CaterpillarBooks for Speech Therapy
La oruga muy hambrientaBooks for Speech Therapy


Pattern Stories

The scenes or events are repeated with some variation.

Froggy Gets DressedBooks for Speech Therapy
Froggy se visteBooks for Speech Therapy


Question and Answer

The same or similar questions are repeated throughout the story.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?Books for Speech Therapy
Oso pardo, Oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahi?Books for Speech Therapy


Repetition of Phrase

Word order in a phrase or sentence is repeated.

Goodnight MoonBooks for Speech Therapy
Buenas noches, lunaBooks for Speech Therapy



Rhyming words, refrains, or patterns are used throughout the story.

I Went WalkingBooks for Speech Therapy
Salí de paseoBooks for Speech Therapy



Familiar songs with predictable elements such as repetitive phrases, sentences, rhymes, or refrains.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the BedBooks for Speech Therapy
Cinco monitos brincando en la camaBooks for Speech Therapy

Great Resources for Predictable Books

What style of predictable book is your favorite?  

I don’t know about you, but reading this and understanding WHY I love the books that I love makes me REALLY excited! I immediately began to Google “Predictable Books” and found a ton of resources and book list upon book list.  Of course, all the book lists were books in English, so I “Googled” “Predictable Books Spanish”….  Crickets.

Books for Speech Therapy I found some links, but not anything like the lists of English predictable books.  Most of them were books that you can reduplicate and write in words, but not complete narrative structures and definitely nothing that fell into the eight types of Predictable Books.  So we decided to create our own!  Click below to check it out.

Best Books for Speech Therapy

Searching for Predictable Books

Addtionally, here are some awesome resources on predictable books with English suggestions  that you can use with your English-speaking kiddos.  Enjoy!




Scholastic This is a site focused on Predictable books.-Search for books by reading level, DRA, grade level equivalent, or Guided Reading level (A-Z-Includes type of Predictable Book-Tells genre of book-Book summaries-Short clip of text from book-Themes/Subjects in the book (cooking, seasons)-Free teaching resources to go along with the book-Includes info about the author English only-Scholastic has a great bilingual book list, but without all the information as the English books-No definition of types of predictable books
Kaplan Early Learning Company Provides a list of bilingual books-Provides the guided reading level Only 9 books are listed- Does not provide information on the type of book, theme or genre
Nellie Edge Provides a list of popular predictable books in English Does not provide information on the type of book, theme or genre
Education Oasis -Provides definition of predictable books-Provides a list of predictable books by type English only-Does not link to an option to purchase books
Charlotte Mason Approach with Penny Gardner Provides a list of predictable books English only- Does not provide information on the type of book, theme or genre-Includes some links to purchase books through Amazon
Educational Resource Center Provides definition of predictable books-Provides a list of books by author, including the type of predictable book English only-Difficult to navigate unless you know the exact author you are searching for
Good Reads Provides a list of predictable books English only- Does not provide information on the type of book, theme or genre
>University of Wisconsin Polk Library Provides a list of books by author, including the type of predictable book-Can get a Google “preview” of the inside of the book-After clicking through a few links, you can eventually get to a place to purchase a copy English only-Does not include reading level, concepts to target-Books link to the university library only; no option to purchase
Loudoun County Public Library Provides a list of predictable books by type English only- Books link to the library only; no option to purchase
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