I love Social Thinking and their materials, that’s no secret. So I’m pumped to share Social Fate/Social Fortune with you today! It is graphic novel type book geared towards middle school and high school students. This book is from the brilliant minds of Dr. Pamela Crooke and Michelle Garcia Winner. Even though I said that this book is geared towards middle school and high school students, it is great for upper elementary school students too! This books helps to really fill a gap when it come to this age range and materials. Too often do I find materials that are great but that my students would feel are to babyish for them.
This book has a really cool twist! One side of the book has characters make “unexpected” social choices. Then, they have to deal with how they make others feel since the outcome it usually a negative result. This is a great way to show how consequences can come about. The other side of the book has the same situations, but the characters react with the expected behaviors, and a more positive result. Having the two sides is a great way for students see perspective taking at work.
I loved how the situations were applicable for students, like participating in class, working in groups, and more. There are a total of 10:
1. Been there, know that: participating in the class discussion
2. Speaking nothing but the truth: someone you like does something different with their appearance
3. Bored outta my brain: being part of the learning group during the boring moment
4. It’s doomsday: time to finish homework
5. Clue me in! – figuring out what to say to others
6. Huh? –getting help in the classroom
7. You talkin’ to me? – classroom lesson when you know the answer
8. My way or the highway: working in a small group
9. Who changed the rules? – breaktime
10. Know when to take a detour: sharing ideas/opinions
The book has different ways for students to gage the magnitude of the situations. There are ‘Emotion Meters’ and ‘Problem Thermometers’. These are awesome visuals that are easy for students to follow. There are also lots of ‘Strategy Codes’. These are a play on ‘cheat codes’ that students who play video games will be familiar with. The Strategy Codes are different acronyms for your students to learn as the story progresses. My favorites were FOTO (Filter Thoughts and Opinions Often) and TAC ( Think About Choices ). There is also a hidden code hidden in the book. In each situation there is a hidden letter. When found in the text and put into the code, it helps to identify the “words of wisdom.”
This book is a fantastic addition to the Social Thinking Curriculum. It offers a necessary material to help continue the Social Thinking curriculum into the middle school and high school years. The graphic novel format of the book really captures kids’ attention and helps make them feel that its more age appropriate. The situations are applicable for them and offer lots of chances for open discussion. The ‘Strategy Codes’ are great quick reference tools. Keep in mind, that these strategies need review and repetition but seem easy for the students to grasp. You can add this book to your library by visiting the Social Thinking website. It is $24.00.
* This book was provided to complete the review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.