Search form

Using Social Stories is Beneficial for All Students

Have you experienced the impact of social stories in a class setting? Countless teachers have discovered that compelling social stories work with simple language, concepts, and pictorial illustrations.

Seasoned educators know that a social story is simple; it describes a situation in a social setting and defines how people can react appropriately. Educators use such stories to teach kids the details of specific events or impart selected skills.

Interestingly, many teachers have discovered something else: You can use social stories to help kids of all ages. Social stories teach kids what to expect in specific scenarios and prepare them to face a specific situation. Let's explore how using social stories is beneficial for all students.

Social Stories Benefit Kids of All Ages

We know how adults learn—when we want to master something new or grasp a new concept, we often start with a manual or a model. A manual is a set of instructions that describe the steps to follow, teaches the reader what to remember, and outlines the learning process.

Social stories are like miniature manuals for kids. Skilled teachers can present social stories and use storytelling to drive the points home. Educators already use narrative techniques to teach kids specific behavioral norms, expectations, and routines; they do this in a relatable and engaging way. These techniques work for younger and older kids.

Here are some advantages of using social stories for kids of all ages:

Enhances Clear Communication 

When you give your students specific instructions using a social story, they'll likely understand your expectations and respond accordingly. You prepare the kids to learn certain strategies and norms they can follow. In turn, the kids learn the impact and value of clear communication.

Teaches the Value of Concrete Instruction

When educators create a social story for their students, they create a golden opportunity to connect with their personal experiences and build upon the kids' current understanding of concrete instruction. Ultimately, since they can relate to these experiences, the kids are likely to learn more from the literature's strategies and the value of concrete instruction.

Develops Memory

Read and re-read several stories to your students. Incorporate a series of events, as it improves the students' memory skills and bolsters predictive instincts.

Teaches Empathy

Social stories reveal the feelings and opinions of characters. This means you can present several points of view in class. When you expose your students to others' perspectives, you're likely to encourage them to develop empathy and train them to understand how their actions impact and affect others.

Literacy Skills 

Grab any opportunity to build your students' literacy skills using various social stories. No matter their age, kids will always benefit from reading.

Use Social Stories to Improve the Kids' Behavior and Understanding

Teachers can use social stories to boost children's understanding; social stories can impact the kids' behavior and personality in ways we couldn't imagine.

Here are some suggestions on how teachers can use compelling stories for behavioral therapy:

  • Teaching Self-Regulation Skills: Teachers understand that kids' potential to manage their behavior and emotions primarily rests on higher resilience, fewer behavioral challenges, and a stronger academic background. Social stories impart all such skills to learners.
  • Developing Theory of Mind: Use social stories to teach your children the theory of mind; teach them to take a literary character's point of view in a class discussion.
  • Teaching Social-Emotional Skills: Select social stories that openly discuss how others' emotions can help the kids understand how their actions impact others.
  • Clear Expectations: Use straightforward explanations with clear pictures in your social stories. This strategy can improve the students' cooperation with any task you assign.
  • Teaching Sequencing: Many educators note that hearing specific words (like 'first' and 'last') and putting illustrated scenes in order helps children learn to sequence events.

Final Thoughts 

Undoubtedly, social stories can positively impact your students' natural responses to daily interactions and events. Countless educators have successfully employed social stories to help students understand behavioral expectations, new concepts, and how to prepare for transitions. Further, many teachers have used well-crafted social stories to help their charges grasp crucial life skills.

You must be creative and employ narrative techniques to make your stories enjoyable. Use images to make your stories vivid; try to impart positive life values to the kids. Teach the kids the priceless values of clear communication, positive interaction, and logical expectations in day-to-day life. Use social stories to benefit kids of all ages—it's a win-win situation.

Written by John O. Ndar
Education World Contributor
Copyright© 2022 Education World