Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Social Thinking---Back to the Basics

I have a delightful group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who are working on pragmatic language and social skills.  Since I just added a new student, I feel the need to return to the basics presented in "You are a Social Detective" by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke.  This book is perfect for the kids--written in easy to understand language with a cartoon format.  We just worked on the first concept this week which is understanding that different people have different strengths.

I picked up the idea from this lesson both from the book itself, but also from a explanation with illustrations from Speech Room News---a terrific blog by Jenna Rayburn.  You should take the time to read her description of the book.

The first page simply shows a kid which explains how there are all types of 'smarts'.

Following the lead presented by Speech Room News, I found a drawing of the brain here on Enchanted Learning which even had lines for the kids to write their own 'smarts'.

I modeled this activity for them, but had to send my model home for a kid who was absent (before I took this picture).  All of my students demonstrated the ability to reflect on their individual strengths ranging from Lego building to sports to dancing.  The next step in the curriculum is to identify their Social Smarts which we haven't done yet.  More on that after Thanksgiving!  Returning to the basics with this group is nice for them in reinforcing skills that have been introduced but still need refinement.

At ASHA, I attended several sessions where Michelle Garcia Winner spoke.  The curriculum is phenomenal, and I truly see improvements in the children when we teach the concepts in Social Thinking. 

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