Using Picture Books to Teach Social Skills (Includes a Freebie)

Even though I teach reading,  I always incorporate a social skill learning target into our lesson.  My school has all small groups incorporating a social skill into the learning target (just like classroom teachers).

Some of my groups are a little challenging in terms of behaviors.  I have found that choosing the right social skill based on needs of the group has greatly helped my sanity.  Sometimes we stay on the same learning target for longer than a week.  We also revisit the learning targets, if needed.  For example, one of groups was on, "I will ask before I take something that doesn't belong to me" for a month!  Possibly the closeness of a small group made things more challenging, but this group couldn't keep their hands off of other student's supplies (and mine).  I cannot tell you how many times I said, "What's our learning target?" and  "What do we do when we want to use someone's supplies?"  I probably said this 100 times in a week (not exaggerating).

Some of the learning targets have been:
I will use my words when someone makes me mad.
I will use my manners.
I will keep my hands to myself.
I will ask permission before I take something that doesn't belong to me.
I will count to five and take a deep breath before I respond.

Last week, my principal did a walkthrough during this group.  I was so proud of them.  She couldn't believe how focused and on-task they were.  I realize that it is the end of the year, but they have come such a long way!!!  Incorporating social skills learning targets made a difference.  Even though I wanted to give up after the first week, I'm glad I persevered!

My two favorite author's for teaching about social skills in the classroom are Mo Willems and Julia Cook.  They are great at making social skills concepts enjoyable for students.  I love how Mo Williems' books subliminally spread a message of good manners and being a good friend!  Julia Cook has a book for every social skill needed :)

Download my Learning Target signs for free!! There are two files included and you can edit one of them!

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