Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Social Thinking Curriculum and Comic Books
1. School vs. Social Smarts and Expected Behavior
2. Unexpected Behavior, and
3. How to Be a Social Detective
The authors recommend using this book as a springboard for discussion with kids and in my experience, I agree. The book covers several topics that need to be separated out. I think it would be overwhelming to teach all of the concepts in one sitting. I love how visual it is and it's not overly wordy. It teaches the concepts and skills in a clear and straightforward way. Also, in the text certain key words or concepts are in bold to help point out the most important information. This book is also intended to be read as a precursor to the Superflex Curriculum described below:
SUPERFLEX..A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum
also by Michelle Garcia Winner and Stephanie Madrigal is an
SUPERFLEX: Superflex takes on Rock Brain and the Team of Unthinkables written by Stephanie Madrigal is a cute comic book that can be purchased as part of the Social Thinking Curriculum package. It helps to introduce the characters and provides a fun way to frame social smarts through superheroes so that the children in the group do not feel like they are necessarily singled out. The premise of the comic is that The Team of Unthinkables are trying to take over Superflex and his town and through this story, kids learn specific strategies on how to overcome the "Team of Unthinkables." The book is a little busy , but I think it's a nice supplement to the Social Thinking Curriculum. Again, it's meant to be a part of the curriculum and not a book to buy by itself.
If parents familiarize themselves with the characters and terminology as well, it's really nice to use the lingo at home-- for example: "do you think you're being a Space Invader" (one of the "Unthinkables) or the "WasFunny Once" character for kids who seem get stuck on an inappropriate jokes/topics and repeat them over and over again, etc. In general this curriculum seems to be a nice, light way to talk about social skills in a kid-friendly way. Have fun with it and if your child or student has used this curriculum in some capacity, we'd love to hear what you think!