How to Use Adapted Books in the Classroom
how to use adapted books in the special needs classroom


Why should I use them?
 Adapted books have really changed how I deliver instruction for some of my groups.  Adapted books can be totally time-consuming to prep, but the benefits FAR outweigh the cons and they last a really long time.   I have been using them a lot in my classroom this year.  I have made some guided reading adapted book units and some specific content area adapted books that my kiddos have fallen in LOVE with! I have used some from other teacher-authors as well and they are just so easy and fun to use.   Adapted books promote independence, vocabulary development, pre-reading skills, and sight word recognition!
Most students on the Autism spectrum do not hear verbal directions and have a hard time following along to stories being read to them or even when they read the text themselves.  Providing them with interactive pieces allows the students to attend to the story in a way that they haven’t before.  The interactive pieces provide sensory input and allows them to follow along and feel successful.   These students are now sustaining enough attention that they are retaining the information that they read. They are discriminating between other pieces and making decisions on what interactive piece finishes the sentences.    I had a student in September, that was UNABLE to attend to anything, let alone a story, and adapted books have changed that for him.  He is now LOOKING at the story and is able to find a match.  This is HUGE progress for my little guy and his parents are super proud!

In my small group lessons, I often give my higher-functioning students a copy of the black-and-white version which is included in every adapted book unit that I have.  For my lower kiddos, they receive a copy of the adapted book for them to participate with.   This provides students with an inclusive opportunity that may not have been able to be offered before.  Students with disabilities are now able to join these groups and participate appropriately. 
Adapted books, can also be used in book boxes for students to read independently when they couldn’t do this before.  This provides students with an opportunity for independence in the classroom.  Students should learn when it’s time for independent reading, to go to their book boxes and grab these adapted books, all on their own.

having the matching pictures in a place that doesn't move or need to be hidden is key, students can see when they are finished.


If I am working with a student one on one, I may use adapted books to teach basic matching skills and receptive language or just attend to a story.   I also can use it to introduce or increase new vocabulary.   I also use adapted books for generalization.  Many students struggle with carrying skills over to new places and these books provide students with extra practice on a skill outside their typical teaching environment.   Most adapted books are repetitive which helps increase student participation and repetition helps with the retention of new information. 

And lastly, adapted books provide students with the ability to access the general curriculum using these interactive books.  Students with special needs want to feel included and want to learn what their peers are learning.  What better way to include them, making some adapted books?However, when looking for different types of adapted books, I was looking for more of a comprehensive unit to supplement whatever skills we were learning that day.  So I started making my own that included a variety of other different resources as well.  I needed something that was the same format so that my kiddos knew what to expect and could start doing the work more independently.  So here are some extras that my Adapted Book Units come with.

1. RUNNING RECORD: Each book comes with a running record with the text already written in.  This provided excellent data to be used in their IEPs or when admin asks you for it!

2. Graphic Organizers: Each book comes with 3 different versions of graphic organizers.  One with lines, one cut and paste with pictures, and one with a word bank. It also comes with a blank KWL chart, a cut and paste sorting mat, and a  First, next, Then, Last graphic organizer.  I find my kids work better with a place to organize their thoughts.  

3.  Writing Prompts:  This is writing prompt number one, Opinion Writing.  There are three different versions of this one!!  one with two choices, one with 8 choices, and one with a word bank at the bottom.  

This is writing prompt number 2, Narrative writing, with and without a word bank

This is writing prompt number 4, Informational Writing, 3 different versions, including a cut and paste.


4.  Vocabulary Cards:  each book comes with 2-3 different versions of vocabulary cards.  Most come with both a real photo and clip art version of the vocabulary.  They come in this square look or I have even added rectangular ones made just for hanging charts. 

5.  Comprehension Quiz:  Whether you have non-verbal students or not, you can test their comprehension skills after they read the stories.  I have included two different versions of the paper version; one with pictures and one without.  I also have included a 4 question quiz that is read by the assessor, and the child is given a field of three to four picture cards (also included in this unit)  Teacher records student answers on the paper.  This is GREAT information for the IEPs as well as for parental information.  I struggled for the looooongest time to figure out ways to test my non-verbal students and this WORKS!!

6.  A lesson Guideline:  I have included a guideline with all of my Adapted Book Units as an at-a-glance view of what the unit includes.

7.  Black and White copies of the books!   

8.  An Adapted Book This is the most important part!!!!!!


Grab it here!

Aghhhhhhhhh so that's it!    This is my LOVE for all things adapted.  My students love using adapted books because they feel independent and they are engaged.  Take a look at some awesome adapted books that I use all of the time. 

Currently, I have about 10 different books in my TpT shop and working on about 74,368 (hahaha)  Let me know in the comments what time of Adapted books you would like to see, and maybe I'll work on that next.  I am going to be working very hard this summer on an ADAPTED BOOK UNIT for FREE just for you guys!!!   

Here are a few of my best SELLERS!

That's all for now 🙂

Or you can pin this blog post for later here:

I am a High School, self-contained Autism teacher from Central New York, who is passionate about individualizing student learning. I am a mommy of three, lover of all things Disney, married to my best friend and addicted to chocolate!! I hope that you find great ideas and inspiration here, so welcome!!

REcent Posts


You Might Also Like...

One Response

Leave a Reply


Task Box Shop


Task Box Shop_Level

Shipping Note:

Physical boxes will be shipped out on the first week of each month.  If you purchase on the 2nd, your first box will not arrive until the next month.  I.e. If you start your subscription January 15, your first box will arrive in February.

All subscriptions will receive immediate access to digital files.  


Subscriptions are set to renew on the 1st of each month unless you opt for the annual plan.







Adapted Resources

Adapted Resources

Seasonal & Holiday

Life Skills

Life Skills