Tuesday, June 25, 2013

{Review} "You Are a Social Detective!"

Although I love teaching social skills, I often find them one of the most difficult skills to target, which is why I am so excited to share an awesome resource with you called, You Are a Social Detective!, by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke.

This book explains how everyone is a social detective, which means that we use our senses (eyes and ears), as well as our brains to determine what someone is doing now, what they might do in the future, and what they mean by their words and actions.

The book includes a letter to parents and professionals that describes the book, stating that it is broken down into "school smarts/social smarts & expected behavior", "unexpected behavior", and "being a social detective".

One of my favorite features about this book is that it uses COMICS!  Talk about the developers knowing their audience!  On one of the first pages of the book, you'll find a page that explains that everyone has different types of "smarts", and gives a few examples, such as music smarts, math smarts, sports smarts, etc.  This page sets such a positive tone for the rest of the book and explains everything in "kid friendly" terms.

Next, the book goes into detail about school and social smarts, as well as expected behavior.  It discusses multiple situations and what expected behavior looks like in each situation (e.g. classroom, playground, sports, home, etc).  Each comic explains social behavior in a very logical way.  For example, the page below states that "when people have good thoughts about us, we feel good and others feel good about us too".

However, when people do something that is unexpected, that can make others uncomfortable.  Below, the same "scene" as above is presented, except for the fact that the child is doing something this is not expected. The book also includes many other unexpected behaviors such as not being part of a group, not using their eyes to think about what the speaker is saying, talking too close, not taking turns, etc.  The situations depicted in the comics could easily come up in the "real world", and they definitely encourage conversation.

The book also includes a few pages on social thinking vocabulary definitions.  If students forget what the terms mean throughout the book, they can flip to the back of the book to remind themselves of what the words mean.

Last, but not least, this resource includes three social thinking lessons.  Each lesson includes "critical vocabulary", "tools and materials needed", and 8-10 suggestions for use in the "what to do" section.

What I love about this book:
- EVERYTHING!  (Ok, maybe I should break it down a little bit more...)
- This book uses comics, which really appeals to children.
- The introduction breaks down being a social detective for kids in an easy to understand fashion.
- Both expected and unexpected behaviors are explained in great detail and real-life examples are provided.
- The same type of situations are used in both the expected and unexpected behavior portions of the book; therefore, students can compare and contrast the behaviors.
- The book contains a glossary of terms for students to refer to if needed.
- The social thinking lessons at the end of the book allow students to put their newly learned detective skills into practice.

You can find this fantastic resource for social thinking for $20.00 HERE!

Want to learn more about social thinking?  Check out their website or facebook page!

Disclaimer:  This product was given to me for review.  No other forms of compensation were provided.

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