Receptive/Expressive Language Practice
Here are some ideas to work on language at home!
Here are some ideas to help improve your child's social language at home!
A great way to talk about appropriate social language is through discussions of the way characters behave in various movies and TV shows. Watch these with your child and discuss how the character(s) behaved in expected/unexpected ways. Talk about the consequences of these actions (i.e. someone was offended, people misunderstood, etc.) and discuss ways characters could have handled situations differently/better.
Some great examples are:
Movies / Video Clips:
Mr. Bean: The bizarre behaviors of Mr. Bean are caricatures of unexpected behaviors. Not only will the students be rolling in laughter at Mr. Bean's antics, but they will get an idea of how people react to his bizarre and unconventional behaviors. This helps start them thinking about how behaviors may be viewed by others and affect their desire to interact socially. Additionally, the fact that Mr. Bean rarely says anything, lots of emotion and intention are projected solely through the use of facial expressions and body language. Clips from Mr. Bean movies or episodes would also help with other aspects of the curriculum such as "using our eyes", "what's he looking at", "what's he thinking about", "making smart guesses", or "reading my plans".
Elf: Elf is a human raised in an Elf's world. He discovers he is not an elf and starts to realize why he has been different all of his life. When he travels to the human world, he lacks the appropriate social skills to fit in there as well. However, he begins to learn and adapt. Again he represents a caricature for these kids in that his behaviors are "way out there". Some great scenes are lighting all of the buttons on the elevator, pouring syrup on spaghetti, and decorating the store for Christmas.
Toy Story: Clips might include scenes such as Buzz when he thinks he is a real astronaut rather than realizing he is only a toy and Woody's reaction to him. Sid, the bad boy, mistreating his toys and causing the other toys to be afraid of him. As Michelle has stated in her works, the cartoon character's large eyes work well for learning to think with our eyes.
The Middle: This sitcom is full of examples of socially "off" behavior and misreading situations by the two younger children (Sue & Brick). It is also interesting to watch the older sibling, Axl who often goads his younger siblings. Watching Axl's expression can help hone a student's ability to recognize when others my be intentionally misleading them. In some episodes, Brick attends social skills classes. (This character may hit a bit closer to "home" for some of the children.) Having the students observe and identify his social difficulties may help them begin to recognize some of their own issues.
Wallace & Gromit: These claymation cartoons are mentioned in Winner's books, and I will occasionally use short video clips to teach thinking with our eyes and making smart guesses about plans and intentions. Wallace, the man, is a not a great social perspective taker but his dog, Gromit, is an excellent social perspective taker.