Movie Time Social Learning - Autism Awareness
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Movie Time Social Learning

Movie Time Social Learning

Author: Anna Vagin, PhD
Publishing Info: Paperback 180 pages plus CD: Includes all handouts, Mac/PC compatible / 2012
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One of the greatest challenges in teaching social thinking is finding interesting, imaginative, and enjoyable ways for students of all ages to study complex social situations. Movie Time Social Learning takes an activity many students already love—watching movies—and uses it as a springboard to study the intricacies of social interaction, the depth and range of emotions we experience in our lives, and the social expression that drives our interactions. By hitting the pause button, we freeze social situations and give students the all-so-valuable extra time to read context, interpret thoughts, feelings and plans, make predictions about social behavior, and formulate narrative language to discuss social interactions.

Author Anna Vagin’s thirty years of experience and deep understanding of social learning shine through each page as she thoughtfully explains social concepts and provides detailed, fine-tuned lessons for seven different popular movies that students will recognize and love.

The book comes with a CD that includes all seven lesson plans as well as ready-to-print templates, handouts, and letters.

Helpful chapters include:

  • Places Everyone! Your Role as Mediator — working with a movie audience of students, including suggestions for helping students regulate before they watch, strategies for sessions, and when to take a break
  • Mark Up Those Cue Cards! Knowing How to Help Visually —visual tools, such as emotions strips and feeling lists, thought bubbles, and text-based organizers, that can support student work
  • First Lessons: Spy Eye Tasks — exploring context and the feelings, thoughts, and plans of movie characters
  • Practicing Empathy: Me Too! Tasks — activities that explore students’ empathy with movie characters
  • Off and Running: Generalizing What Students Have Learned —suggestions for applying knowledge learned to other contexts, including at home
  • And many more!

How It Works

Movie Time Social Learning incorporates the concepts, vocabulary, and strategies that are at the heart of Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking framework. At the start of the Movie Time Social Learning program, you place students in one of three categories of social learners, called Mindreaders. The specific movies students watch differ depending on their Mindreader group and are based on what’s developmentally appropriate for that group of social thinker. No matter which movie they view or which Mindreader group they’re in, students participate in three different types of social learning activities as they watch the movie. Each of these tasks addresses skills that are necessary in successful social interactions:

  • Spy Eye: Students think with their eyes to explore context and what each character is doing, thinking, and feeling within that context.
  • Detective Head: These activities involve perspective taking and promote the understanding of more complex social relationships and social subtleties, such as indirectness and politeness.
  • Me Too!: These tasks focus on students making connections between characters and themselves to explore the foundations of empathy.

Suitable for professionals mainly but parents can adapt for home use. Appropriate for: Higher functioning Preschool through High School students with social learning challenges (i.e., have verbal language, attention skills, and emerging perspective taking abilities)