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What Is a Thought? (A Thought is a Lot!)

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Authors: Amy Kahofer,Jack Pransky

This poetic and engaging book introduces children (K-5th) to the amazing, creative power within us all: thought. It is not a book about changing thoughts or changing behaviors, but rather a story to help children (and adults!) see how their own thinking creates their lives, moment to moment, day to day.

Wonderfully illustrated, this children's book not only introduces young readers to the concept of thought but also the amazing power of their own thoughts. Authors Amy Kahofer and noted prevention specialist Jack Pransky tell a simple yet profound message: that our thinking creates our feelings and behavior, and when our minds are calm we have access to natural wisdom and healthy feelings.

Includes a Teaching CD

Lesson plans and activities on the enclosed CD transform a story into a teaching tool that can be used with regular and special education students alike to explore social thinking concepts such as perspective taking, abstract language, empathy and human relatedness.

The book introduces children to the amazing, creative power with-in us all, called thought. It is not a book about changing thoughts or changing behaviors, but rather a story to help children (and adults!) see how their own thinking creates their lives, moment to moment, day to day.

From Michelle Garcia Winner's Introduction

"What Is a Thought? is a charming children’s book with a two-fold purpose. First, it is an engaging story that introduces to the audience the concept of thought and the amazing power our thoughts have on our lives. As a read-aloud book it is perfect for parents to read with their children at home, and is a valuable and important book for all early elementary school teachers to share in their general education classes.

Second, the Lesson Plans and Activities section of the book (found on the accompanying CD) transforms a simple children's story into a teaching tool that explores perspective taking, abstract/inferential language, and introduces abstract visual images to its readers. Many of today’s students, especially those with autism spectrum disorders and nonverbal learning disorders which include social learning/social thinking challenges, struggle with interpreting language and communication that is abstract in nature. In varying degrees, these students lag behind their neurotypical peers for whom this type of social learning develops without direct teaching."


About the Authors

Amy Kahofer received her Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Vermont. She has been working with young children for more than 20 years as a special educator, preschool and kindergarten teacher, and currently is a first-grade teacher in a public school in Vermont.

Jack Pransky has worked in the field of prevention since 1968 in a variety of capacities and now provides consultation, coaching, training, and counseling nationally and internationally. He has published many books for adults, including Parenting from the Heart, Modello: A Story of Hope for the Inner City and Beyond, Prevention from the Inside-Out, Somebody Should Have Told Us!, and also a curriculum for middle-school students called Healthy Thinking/Feeling/Doing from the Inside Out.

Amy and Jack live along a river in Moretown, Vermont.

About the Illustrator

Tina DuSablon began drawing long ago, while sitting at the kitchen table listening to her grandmother describe her self-taught illustration techniques. She has continued to draw and paint, alongside getting married, raising three boys, and working directly with children with special needs in Vermont public schools. She also lives in Moretown, VT.

What People are Saying

  • Ginny Thompson - Founder, Teach Social First

    “As we teach children to regulate their behavior by considering the thoughts and feelings of others, we must start by helping them understand how their own thoughts work. This book is a wonderful way to teach students to be aware of their thoughts and show them that they have the ability to choose how they react to their thoughts. This awareness and understanding of one’s own thoughts is the first step in changing behavior."

  • Peter Anderson - Principal

    “As a primary headteacher (principal) for over 27 years, I have been searching for a simple way to help children realize their own well-being. What Is a Thought? is a must for every school and family. It points children toward the power of thought and that well-being lies not outside but within us all. Magic!”

  • Sunil Punjabi - Teacher

    “I absolutely loved your book What Is a Thought? (A Thought Is a Lot)! I loved the simplicity and yet the power that lies underneath the words. When I heard the book read on the radio, I was moved. It is an amazing book written for kids, but one adults could benefit from tremendously for themselves.”

  • Lori Carepnos

    “My 9-year-old niece, Laci, couldn’t wait to tell me that she got to the top of the climbing wall because she remembered what she learned in your book What Is a Thought?: That it was just her thoughts keeping her from reaching the top!”

Product Details

  • Profession

    Behaviorist, Mental Health (counselor, social worker, psych), Occupational Therapist (and PT), Parent, Speech Language Pathologist, Teacher (Sp.Ed. and Gen.Ed.)
  • Age

    Grades K-2, Grades 3-5
  • Diagnostic Label

    Attention Issues (ADD/ADHD), Anxiety, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Language or Learning Disability, Nonverbal Learning Disability, Social Communication Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, No Diagnosis, Other
  • Social Thinking & Social Skills

    Concepts & Frameworks, PBIS/RTI, Social Emotional & Mental Health, Social Problem Solving, Social Skill Strategies
  • Publishing Info

  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Think Social Publishing, Inc.
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 42
  • ISBN: 9781936943036

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  • All
  • Social Academic Connection & Goal Writing
  • Levels of the Social Mind & Treatment
  • Links to Common Core, State Standards & PBIS/RTI
  • The Heart of Social Thinking: Core Concepts, Frameworks & Vocabulary
  • Assessment Issues
  • Social Emotional & Mental Health
  • Social Skill Strategies Across the Ages & Related Treatment Options
  • Social Problem Solving & Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Self Regulation, Superflex & Executive Functioning
  • Transition to Adulthood, Adults & the Work World

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