Social Thinking Books & Products
Movie Time Social Learning
By Anna Vagin, PhD
In life there are no pause, rewind, or replay buttons.
In Movie Time Social Learning, there are!
One of the greatest challenges in teaching social thinking is finding interesting, imaginative, and enjoyable ways for students of all ages to study complex social situations. Movie Time Social Learning takes an activity many students already love—watching movies—and uses it as a springboard to study the intricacies of social interaction, the depth and range of emotions we experience in our lives, and the social expression that drives our interactions. By hitting the pause button, we freeze social situations and give students the all-so-valuable extra time to read context, interpret thoughts, feelings and plans, make predictions about social behavior, and formulate narrative language to discuss social interactions.
Author Anna Vagin’s thirty years of experience and deep understanding of social learning shine through each page as she thoughtfully explains social concepts and provides detailed, fine-tuned lessons for seven different popular movies that students will recognize and love.
About the book:
The Movie Time Social Learning method is explained via seven different easy-to-find movies (see list below) and their accompanying lessons. The movies range from short, simpler movies that can be used with children with more limited social thinking, to movies with more complex social interaction, better suited for individuals who are working on more advanced levels.
Each lesson plan identifies the clips used in the movie, and then for each clip, presents ideas and suggestions for teaching Spy Eye, Detective Head, and Me Too! tasks. These tasks help students develop their abilities to identify context, take perspective and make personal connections. The book comes with a CD that includes all seven lesson plans as well as ready-to-print templates, handouts, and letters.
Helpful chapters include:
- Places Everyone! Your Role as Mediator — working with a movie audience of students, including suggestions for helping students regulate before they watch, strategies for sessions, and when to take a break
- Mark Up Those Cue Cards! Knowing How to Help Visually —visual tools, such as emotions strips and feeling lists, thought bubbles, and text-based organizers, that can support student work
- First Lessons: Spy Eye Tasks — exploring context and the feelings, thoughts, and plans of movie characters
- Practicing Empathy: Me Too! Tasks — activities that explore students’ empathy with movie characters
- Off and Running: Generalizing What Students Have Learned —suggestions for applying knowledge learned to other contexts, including at home
- And many more!
The Social Thinking Connection
Movie Time Social Learning incorporates the concepts, vocabulary, and strategies that are at the heart of Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking framework. At the start of the Movie Time Social Learning program, you place students in one of three categories of social learners (aligned with the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile), called Mindreaders. The specific movies students watch differ depending on their Mindreader group and are based on what’s developmentally appropriate for that group of social thinker. No matter which movie they view or which Mindreader group they’re in, students participate in three different types of social learning activities as they watch the movie. Each of these tasks addresses skills that are necessary in successful social interactions:
- Spy Eye: Students think with their eyes to explore context and what each character is doing, thinking, and feeling within that context.
- Detective Head: These activities involve perspective taking and promote the understanding of more complex social relationships and social subtleties, such as indirectness and politeness.
- Me Too!: These tasks focus on students making connections between characters and themselves to explore the foundations of empathy.
The movies referred to in the book generally are easy to find; all were released between 2000 and 2009. Many are available at local libraries or video rental stores. Some can be viewed directly on YouTube or Netflix.
Movies for Junior Mindreaders (lessons for each on CD):
Movies for Moving Up Mindreaders (lessons for each on CD):
Movie for Varsity Mindreaders (lessons for each on CD):
Additional movies that can be used:
“Anna Vagin’s work focusing on the power of movies for intervention is wonderful. With its well-chosen movies and well-crafted activities, Movie Time Social Learning is a communication building tool for student, practitioner, and parent. I recommend it highly.”
-Maryellen Rooney Moreau, CCC-SLP
“…interesting, refreshing and ‘ecologically valid’ for the population we serve… increases social vocabulary without forcing social interaction…”
-Bryna Siegel, PhD
About the Author
Anna Vagin, PhD is a licensed speech and language pathologist. In private practice for over thirty years, her work focuses on social cognitive abilities of children from four months through high school. She frequently consults with schools and speaks to parent groups, private organizations, and national conferences on the social cognitive issues of children on the autism spectrum. She and her family live in Marin County, California. Learn more at www.socialtime.org.
- For: Professionals mainly but parents can adapt for home use
- Appropriate for: Higher functioning Preschool through High School students with social learning challenges (i.e., have verbal language, attention skills, and emerging perspective taking abilities)
- Published: 2012
- Publisher: Think Social Publishing
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 180
- CD: Includes 7 detailed lesson plans for 7 movies, all handouts, Mac/PC compatible
- ISBN-13: 978-0-9701320-9-3
- Retail Price: $29.95