Understanding social context clues is challenging for many of our students with social cognitive struggles. Teaching social inference skills can also be challenging, especially because many of the clues are subtle and context driven. I’m sure you agree it is extremely important for our students to learn to take into consideration the many variables of a social situation in order to understand the hidden (and obvious!) rules of that situation. I’ve spent many years trying to help my students learn how to make social inferences, and love using the “detective” analogy. My students enjoy and benefit from this concrete image.
My students also benefit from understanding the types of social context clues they should focus on in order to make social inferences: people, place, face expressions, body language, and tone of voice. My latest resource, “Social Context Detective” helps develop the ability to analyze these clues in order to make “smart guesses” about what might happen next (social inferences).
This visual chart is included, which I find very helpful. Students are far more successful when they know the clues to look for:
Students are presented with a social scenario (there are 10 in the packet). I’ve included black and white versions that students can take home. There are also larger color versions of each scenario. I like to download these to my iPad and use for presentation purposes–having this no-print option allows me to “zoom in” on the depicted facial expressions and body language.
When analyzing the scenario, we go through the 5 social context clues needed to make social inferences. I find highlighting each in different colors to be helpful.
The information is recorded in their individual Social Context Detective Notebook. As you can see, I’ve included choices for some clues. For example, tone of voice is described in each scenario but many students have trouble connecting this to mood/emotion. I’ve provided a few simple emoji choices and enough space to add more information.
Of course, this type of activity needs repetition in order to learn the skill. To avoid hearing “we did this last time”, I’ve included a motivational chart. I have a feeling I’ll be handing out a few magnifying glasses and rubber brains as well!
This social inference skill activity is quickly becoming a favorite in my speech room! I hope you check it out in my TpT store!