Social skills activities, do you target them in isolation or incorporate them into every day speech and language activities?
Unless I need to target a specific skill (initiating conversation, emotions, body language, etc.) I prefer to incorporate models and strategies to encourage carryover!
Woah? How do I do that?! Below are my top three ways:
- Make students listen to each others' responses! Make them responsible for listening, asking and answering questions based on what they heard from their peers, and even rating each others' responses. Give each student a rubric and have them mark off if their peers' accomplished all required tasks in an activity. Have students be the “prompter” rather than you! My students love pointing to the visuals or giving cues to each other. What skills will they need to be successful (patience, listening to each other, eye contact, asking relevant questions, etc.)?
- Have them work together to complete a task! Use games that encourage strategies or have the students team up and against you! Whatever it is, encourage them to work together, give them the conversational scripts to do so. What will they need to do in accomplish this task? Do you need to assign them roles, should they pick a role out of a hat, or can they decide amongst themselves who is good at each skill (for example: reader, writer, speaker). Have them be one big team and work together to complete difficult tasks, what skills will they need to be successful (listen to each others' ideas, take turns sharing ideas, etc.)?
- Role playing! Have students act out a text read, have them put themselves in the role of a main character. How did that person act, how were they feeling, how did they behave based on where they were or who they were with? By discussing this information to recall significant details from a text, they will better comprehend the text and they will also get to comprehend the social cues and social behaviors related. Pretend play is also just a great skill! What skills will they need to be successful (understanding emotions, social inferencing, turn taking, listening to what their peers are saying, etc.)?
I recently did a poll on Twitter to see what your biggest challenge was in this area. Guess the results:
What is your biggest challenge when working on social skills?
— Miss Speechie (@speechtimefun) March 10, 2016
I was definitely not surprised by the results! You said it…carryover! I hope this list I have provided you in this blog post can help you ensure carryover. It is definitely a challenge but I find working on social skills indirectly has the best results!
View my Periscope on this topic by viewing the video below:
Do you want to read another blog post about carryover? I think you'll like this link-up!