Social skills are those skills that you learn and employ to make others feel comfortable with you. The skills themselves are generally classified into four areas: interpersonal, self-managing, conflict resolution, and social skills development. Each social skill has its own specific uses in day-to-day living and is practiced differently. However, all social skills share some common elements. For instance, all social skills require that one establish a sense of self, both as an individual and as a member of a social group. In addition, all social skills require that you learn how to handle conflict effectively so that the group as a whole does not lose focus or take sides.
One way to help students improve their social skills in the classroom is for teachers to use topical lessons in the lesson plan to help students develop these skills. Some topical examples include observing how people respond to certain topics, such as various holiday decorations or how some people are more comfortable dealing with loud noises than others. Or, for a more direct example, teachers may use topical information from the news to teach students about how the news makes them feel. The topical teaching techniques described above are very effective, but teachers also need to have a strategy in place for when they decide it is time to switch the topical examples out for new topical situations. This would entail discussing the new situations with the students and drawing their attention to the info that is new. Then, briefly describing how each situation could be handled in the future using the old techniques.
Another way to help students improve their social skills stories in the classroom is to use simple stories. One simple story is a popular choice for helping to develop social skills in children of all ages because it involves social interaction skills. Two children sit on the couch and play a game like hide and seek. In this simple story, one child hides while the other tries to find him by calling out specific items.
These types of simple stories are great for teaching social skills because they use a 'narrative' to share information. In addition, there are many tools that can be used to create narrative titles and developing a plot. Students can use a notebook to write down ideas as they pertain to solving the problem or finding the item. Teachers can then bring these story topics to class and read them out loud to the class. It is important to remember that if a story is worked up to full potential, students will be able to identify significant elements of the story and connect the dots between characters, locations and events in the story.
When using simple stories to teach social skills, it is important not to overdo the telling of the storyline. Instead, simply choose a few social skills stories based on age, grade level or other criteria. Then, casually tell the stories to the class. In addition, ask the students to think about how they can relate the story to their own lives. For example, if you are talking about how the teacher asked the child to sit on the left and not on the right, this can be a social skills story about a child who has been told that they must sit in the left corner all the time.
Teaching social skills with stories is an effective way to reinforce learning for students. The stories can be short, like those found in books, or can span days, weeks or months. In addition, teachers should make sure that the stories do not focus on love getting or being lost. This type of story is useful when introducing preschoolers to social skills concepts such as sharing, empathy, and cooperation. With the proper structure and the right storytelling technique, social skills stories for readers and nonreaders can make learning social skills fun.