Sunday, December 13, 2015

What do You Think of the Unexpected! Using Improv Everywhere Videos in Social Thinking Groups

A very popular website is Improv Everywhere.  I've been following them for years, and essentially, in NYC, people gang up and doing very unexpected things, garnering attention and laughter from those who are not part of the prank. 

Some of these are great for illustrating what 'unexpected' means, and then using screen shots of videos to capture people's reactions.   It's awesome for having kids try to determine both how the unsuspecting people are feeling, and then determining what they might be thinking.

Here are a couple of examples:


Year after year, the gang from Improv Everywhere invades a beach wearing formal clothing.

Ask your students what the man in the yellow trunks is thinking.  I'm sure there will be other discussion points made her, such as what were the unexpected behaviors on the beach.  Why do people react to these behaviors?


We use expected behaviors everywhere.  What happens when you see something wild at the usually boring crosswalk? 

 Take a look at the above screenshot.  Have your students determine how the ladies on the right are feeling.  What are they thinking when they see unexpected behavior? 
What are expected behaviors at a busy crosswalk? 
When people do expected behaviors there, how do others feel?

Of course, Improv Everywhere is all in fun.  Using expected behaviors in school, though, is serious. You will need to bring the discussion back to where you all are at the moment.
The next step is to apply this vocabulary (expected and unexpected) to different places in your school.  It's easy to make your own videos, and then talk about expected and unexpected behaviors.  Using the Social Thinking curriculum is awesome because you go a few steps further, mapping out social behaviors, determining how others feel when they see both positive and negative behaviors, and then bringing it back to the individual (consequences and how it affects his or her own feelings about himself). 

I'm sure I'll be posting more on this subject.  That's all for now, though. I hope everyone is having a nice December!  I love my job, but winter break is always a welcome perk.


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