Have you considered using games to build social inferencing?!
Many students with language delays struggle to make inferences. That means they struggle to comprehend nonliteral language. They struggle with information not explicitly stated/told. They struggle to read between the lines.
What is social inferencing?
Many students that struggle with social situations have difficulties with social inferences in social situations. We are expected to read between the lines in social situations as well. We need to understand what isn't actually said by our communicative partners. Students might struggle with understanding the social situation to know how to act/react or understand body language to get clues about how someone is feeling when they aren't explicitly stating it.
How do we teach social inferencing?
We need to teach our students that they have to pay attention, recall what occurred, and make observations about what is not said. We need to explicitly teach them what to do look for. We can use pictures and videos to demonstrate different types of body language. We can role play various social situations and if someone reacts a certain way what it means. We also need to give our students conversational scripts on what to do if they notice there is a breakdown or a clue that a conversation/social situation isn't going well.
Why are games a fun way to practice social inferencing?
So many students struggle playing games! They need to understand to follow rules, that they can't always win, and know how to have social interactions during the game. I love using games that has a “judge” and each student gets a turn being the “judge” to pick a winner. Students always place their cards face down so the “judge” doesn't know whose is whose. These games are awesome because
- It isn't always US picking winners so it is fair
- They get to feel special and in charge
- Tons of opportunities for interactions
- Students can work on body language and knowing the perspectives of the “judge”
Which are my favorite games and why?
In no particular order…
This game is so much fun. Every student has several caption cards. You place a picture card in the middle and every player puts a caption that would go best with that picture. The judge gets to pick the caption that goes best. The winner gets to hold onto the picture. The player with the most pictures at the end is the winner!
Why do I love this game? The pictures and captions are funny and motivating. Students also get to work on vocabulary, slang, and figurative language as well.
This game is similar to Bubble Talk but the reverse. Students get picture cards and a caption is placed in the center. They must pick a picture that goes with the caption best!
Again, the captions and pictures are hysterical which keeps students motivated!
If you have students that are weak readers…I highly recommend this one even more! For this game, players get various “tools” and in the center is placed an obstacle (lava, storm, bees, etc.) and they must select a tool to use to help get through/by the obstacle.
This game is so much fun and like I said perfect for those students that struggle to read since there isn't any reading involved!
APPLES TO APPLES
This game is great for building vocabulary. Students are given “noun” cards and “adjective” cards are placed in the center. For each adjective, students must pick a noun in their hand that can be described by that noun best.
This game is great for building vocabulary as well as incorporating pop culture/historical figures and motivating topics. There is a Junior version as well. If you are like me with students that would struggle to read those vocabulary concepts or even know some of the pop culture and historical figures…I did create a modified version which you can CLICK HERE to check out!
As you can see…these games require students to put on a “poker face” and not give away which card was theirs. They also need to be able to predict what the judge would be into and pick as the winner. As the judge, you can read body language to try and guess whose card is whose. So many social language skills involved!!!
Feel free use the links below to check these games out on Amazon (Disclaimer: affiliate links included):