Thursday, April 28, 2011

Social Skills Activities

Our students brainstormed expected versus unexpected behaviors, and
how others think of us when we engage in unexpected behaviors.

This past school year, I've been using the Superflex Comic Book curriculum by Michelle Garcia Winner to focus on social skills topics with my students with autism and pragmatic language deficits.  The students have increased in confidence in their ability to monitor and modulate their emotions and energy level, to begin and maintain conversations, to participate in classroom discussions and collaborative projects, and to use appropriate body language and facial expressions in conversations with peers and adults.  I've had such fun with this curriculum, and I'm grateful to the Public School Foundation (who provided us with a grant to purchase these materials) for their generous support in helping the idea come to fruition.

The Unthinkables are "bad guys" who send our brain the ideas to behave in "unexpected" ways.  

Our students read about how the hero, "Superflex," uses strategies such as positive self-talk, calming deep breaths, thinking about what others are thinking about, and matching our reaction to the size of the problem, to defeat the Unthinkables.

Our students learned about each bad guy "Unthinkable," along with ways to defeat them.  They used calming strategies to reduce their emotion levels on the emotions thermometer from angry/exploding down to calm/cool. 

Our students figured out which calming strategies worked best for them when they were frustrated. 

Our students played egg-hunt games in which they used strategies to defeat the Unthinkables in each egg given a variety of situations.

Who has helped you meet your goals?


  1. Hi--Thanks for posting this, and thanks for being interviewed about this!

  2. And thank YOU for taking the initiative to write the grant!

  3. Where can I find a copy of that emotions thermometer?