Many of the students I work with in social cognition groups struggle with displaying curiosity in the interests of their peers. Most of us learn about our friends through a combination of observation and asking questions. It’s important that we store this information so that we can remember what we know about our friends. This shows that we are interested in others–a skill that is important in all relationships!
In order to remember information about our peers, my students created trading cards. Similar to baseball trading cards (the boys had no idea what these were–I managed to bring in samples from my husband’s collection), the cards have their picture on the front and information on likes/dislikes on the back.
Our first step was to gather information about peers in our group. To help my students, I turned question asking into a fun target game. Working in teams,they took turns throwing a Velcro ball at a target. The numbers on the target corresponded to common questions used to find out more information about people (our group generated most in a prior session). I posted the questions on the wall next to the targets. The question list can be found here.
Answers were recorded on separate sheets of paper. The recording sheets can be found here.
Once the group gathered information about their peers, we began making our trading cards. Pictures we had taken were glued to index cards. “Stats” were glued to the back. Here’s the template.
After the cards were decorated, they were laminated and distributed among the group. Each child now has a card on each member of the group.
Our first activity was to recognize what we had “in common” (this concept was demonstrated through role-play with Miss Michelle–“I like to read books, Miss Michelle likes to read books. We both like to read books, that’s something we have in common”).
Each session one of the boys reads aloud his”stats”. The goal of the others in the group is to listen for something they have in common with the reader by raising their hand. This targets numerous auditory and language processing skills!
The boys will be referring to their cards to remember information about each other. When they do, star stickers will be awarded and affixed to cards in their set. The information remembered will serve as a springboard to practice conversation skills.
Let me know if you try this activity with your students. Do you have any other ideas to help them remember information about each other?