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Story Activities and Visuals for

Martha Speaks

by Susan Meddaugh

What would happen if your dog started speaking? Martha Speaks tells about a humorous dog, Martha, who ate a bowl of alphabet soup and started talking! And boy oh boy, she did have a lot to say! In the end, she learns what to say (be polite) and when to say it (not interrupting). 

There are many good lessons within this fun story. Here are some activities and visuals to use with this book. 



Susan Meddaugh uses rich vocabulary in her story. Pick a few words to preteach and display for reading and writing activities. 


Play with story vocabulary in a game. 




As you read or following the story, check comprehension with simple question cards. Ask the question and show multiple choice to students who need more support. Discuss and verify answers in the book. 




Talk about the characters in the story. How do they change and grow? Role play with puppets or acting out the story. 



Alphabet letters make words that we use to communicate. (But can you learn letters by eating them?) Play with letters by rolling playdough, tracing, or cutting out pictures that start with the letter. 

Go on a letters scavenger hunt.

Use letters or letter magnets to build words. 




Susan Meddaugh portrays deeper feelings beyond happy and sad, such as annoyance, surprise, embarrassment, and being "crushed". 

Show emoji trading cards while expressing feelings at different times of the day. Or, print 2 compies for a game of memory or Go Fish. 

Play charades bingo using feelings. Studentss can tell a story or act out a feeling and then mark on their board to win Bingo. 


Social Skills

When Martha learns to talk, she doesn't really know how to say nice things. She also says things that you really shouldn't say (he's fat) or are embarrassing.

Talk about kind words during a bingo game. 

Write some rules for Martha to help her better talk with people. 

Here are some social narratives that may help Martha (and others) learn what to say and how to say it. 




Martha is a good family pet. Students can write about their pet or a pet they would like. 


Other pet activities...



Speech Bubbles

What would they say? Have students cut out speech bubbles and attach to popsicle sticks. They can place them by objects or plants. 


Speech bubbles show things people (or animals) say. What would these people say? Make a class book. 


Look at a any character in a situation. Compare what they could be thinking vs saying. 


Have fun reading and learning together!