Learning and Sharing

Book Chat without a Book!

on December 9, 2013


On Friday, I decided to ask the students in Book Chat to read a one page social story about the “Feelings of Others”.  During the holidays it is important to do your best to figure out how others are feeling so that we know how to react with words and actions that will help.  We also want to consider how the words we say can make others feel.  So, first, we reviewed




These terrific visuals are free downloads from  They are designed to help students understand the social consequences of their words and actions.  We discussed that when they say “Hi” to me first, it is like “music to my ears”.   If someone gave them a gift and they said “I don’t want that” it would hurt the giver of the gift just like getting his/her toe stomped on.

Keeping the above visuals handy, we moved on to silently read the social story about the “feelings of others” and complete the worksheet as a group.


This activity is from the Holiday Social Skills packet from and available for purchase at  After completing the worksheet, the group selected cards with descriptions of how other kids might be feeling under certain circumstances.  The group also read descriptions of holiday social scenarios and then decided what would be the best thing to say.  These cards came from the Christmas Social Skills packet from and available for purchase at

I think everyone loved this activity!

Book Chat is a co-taught reading comprehension class.  I want to share the Social Learning Tree visual (based on the work of Michelle Garcia Winner) from as a reminder to teachers and parents that students must have a strong root system of joint attention, executive functioning and sensory integration.  A strong root system supports the trunk which includes “thinking with your eyes”, abstracting and inferences and understanding perspective.  Without strong roots and trunk,  reading comprehension skills, written expression or working in a group, which are the branches, cannot be sustained.  Without strong roots and trunk, the leaves, which include understanding a characters motives,  cooperation with peers and being friendly, are unsustainable.


Visit the Social Thinking® website for more information:

My Best,


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