In my primary social skills groups, we are working on Social Thinking. Social Thinking is what we do when we share space with others. We use the situation, think about the people we are with, figure out their emotions and their plans. This helps us figure out how we will respond. When we react in an expected way, people have good feelings about us.
This term, our group is exploring the social thinking vocabulary, and as part of our session, we are using Youtube videos as a medium to discuss, analyse and deepen our understanding.
I thought I would share with you the videos we have found and how we have used them.
Thinking with your eyes
I think Thinking with your eyes is one of the most powerful skills we can learn. It’s a superpower. So many other skills stem from and rely on this ability. It is also one that needs a lot of practice in structured activities before transitioning to more functional tasks. Using videos is a great midpoint in this journey.
Ameriquest. Don’t judge too quickly – Fly 31 secs
The video starts in a hospital with a doctor and nurse reviewing the case of a sleeping man. A fly is buzzing around, and the nurse zaps the fly, killing him. The nurse comments that (the fly) is dead when the man’s wife and daughter walk in. They are unaware of the fly, so think he is talking about the man.
The Doctor’s voice is hard to hear. It is good to watch the advertisement and then rewatch to pick out all the points.
Discussion points –
- Discuss the clues everyone sees
- How we need to keep thinking and adjust our thoughts as necessary.
- Perspective taking
Cat Commercial for Ameriquest Mortgage – 31 sec
A man arrives at an apartment to cook dinner. There is a cat in the apartment. He starts preparing dinner and setting the table. Just before the lady walks in the cat knocks the saucepan off the stove. The man picks the cat up off the floor quickly while holding a knife.
Discussion points –
- Does this man live in this apartment? How do you know? What did he collect from the switchbox?
- Is it a special occasion? How do you know?
- Does the lady live in this apartment? How do you know?
- What does the lady think is on the floor?
- What is the lady thinking?
- Perspective taking
Ameriquest Brownie Ad – Don’t judge too quickly – 26 sec
A man is enjoying his lunch in the park while walking his dog. He packs up and starts to walk with his brownie. The dog pulls on the lead, and the man drops his brownie. As a grandmother and granddaughter walk into the park, they see him pick up and eat the brownie from behind the dog.
- What do they think he is eating?
- Does the man know what they are thinking? How can you tell?
- Have you ever been in a situation where the clues didn’t make sense?
Defective Detective – 3.35
Watch this video before showing it to your students. It may not be appropriate for everyone.
The detective feels frustrated that he hasn’t caught the Butcher. When he hears a commotion upstairs, he thinks that the Old lady is being murdered by the Butcher. He creeps, and as he looks through the window, a red liquid splashes on the window. Convinced that the woman is in trouble, he heads inside to gather clues. He smells cooking/death. He feels nervous but bursts into the kitchen with his gun drawn. He shoots with his eyes closed and shoots the saucepan. The lady is unharmed. They sit and eat soup. The Detective hears a commotion, but the lady tells him he is overreacting.
- How does the Detective feel about not finding the Butcher?
- What does he think the red blotch is on the newspaper?
- What does he think is happening upstairs?
- Who does he believe to be upstairs?
- How does the old lady feel about cleaning up the mess?
- What does he smell?
- How does he feel about going into the kitchen?
- Why does he shoot his gun with his eyes shut?
- What does the detective hear when he is eating the soup? What does he think it is?
- Why does the lady tell him to sit down? How does she tell him?
CGI Animated Short Film: VERSATAUBT 3:20sec
Verstaubt is a vacuum cleaner cleaning the family home. He stops to gaze at the family portrait but then knocks over a glass of red wine. It spills on the mat. Verstaubt tries to clean the rug to no avail, then he tries to suck out the stain. He sucks so hard that the rug blocks the hose and dirt flies all over the room. He puts the rug in the washing machine and then cleans up the place. When the washing machine is finished, he opens to find the rug is now red, due to a sock. He then makes everything red in the room.
- How does Verstaubt feel about the family? How do you know?
- What does the family show him through gesture?
- What is Verstaubt’s plan as he cleans up the rug? He has a few plans.
- Why is the mat red? How does Verstaubt feel about that?
- What is his new plan/idea?
Paleontological Debate 0.30 sec
Rex is talking on his topic of interest and doesn’t think with his eyes to see who is listening.
- Importance of thinking with your eyes when you are talking.
- What can happen if you don’t?
Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Beefaroni – 30ses
This video is quick, so will probably need to be viewed a couple of times. It has subtitles which you don’t want your students to read. I place the play bar over the writing. This add has no spoken words. The message is conveyed entirely through gesture. The clip provides heaps of opportunities to think with your eyes to interpret the meaning of their gesture.
- Thinking with your eyes.
Kiwi is a flightless bird who wants to fly. The clip starts with him dragging a rope. The view shows that he has hammered trees on the side of a cliff. He has hammered lots of trees to the side of the cliff. He jumps off the cliff. The view changes to look like the Kiwi is flying (he is falling). Kids will need some support with the necessary background information with the clip.
- Can you read the Kiwi’s plan?
- How does the Kiwi feel when he is flying?
Pigeon: Impossible 6.14
Pigeon and the Spy is a wordless clip. In this extended clip, there are heaps of opportunities to talk about thinking with your eyes, as well as reading the plan. I often use speech bubbles and thinking bubbles which I stick onto the paused clip screen.
A spy has an important briefcase. He is eating a doughnut/bagel, which the Pigeon wants. He doesn’t want a small piece but a big bit. The pigeon gets stuck in the case. The spy entices him out of the case with the doughnut/bagel, but the case is activated -sending a missile into the air. The spy, using the case, shoots that missile down.
- What is he looking at? What is he thinking about?
- What is the plan?.
- What does gesture mean?
CGI 3D animated shorts Gumball Wars 2.01
Two gumballs machines are having a fight. The blue gumball machine shoots all his gumballs out at the red gumball machine. He laughs. The red machine lets out one toy who shoots the blue machine. He then laughs
- How do you know that the machines are laughing?
- Read the plan?
Shaun the Sheep The Movie – Restaurant Clip
This delightful clip shows the sheep going out for dinner. They use their eyes to figure out what is expected and unexpected in the restaurant.
- How do they find out what is expected?
- Talk about when they get it wrong. What else do we need to use? (brain)?
- Read the plan
Have fun with learning about Thinking with your eyes – we have!