Learning Units

Social Skills Lessons Year 1- Based on peer-reviewed research strategies and curriculums such as STEP UP! from the C.A.T.S. Life Skills program in association with the University of Arizona, Social Thinking Curriculum, Simmons Foundation: Autism Research Initiative (Sfari), and others.

**Every unit listed below includes role playing opportunities, perspective taking questions, coaching feedback, and handouts for generalization of skills across times and settings. **


Unit 1: About Me- This unit aims to increase self-awareness and to improve self-esteem. 
1. My qualities and strengths
2. The way I look
3. Things I like
4. Things I do not like
5. The way I feel

Unit 2: Organizing My Binder, Locker, and Life at School- This unit aims to teach students an organizational system that will work for them at school. 
1. Agenda- What Is an Agenda and Why Should I Care?
2. Organizing My Binder
3. Organizing My Locker
4. Setting My Daily Routine
5. How to React to Disruptions of My Routine

Unit 3: Non-Verbal Communication- The unit aims to increase skills in body language recognition and expression. 
1. Body Language
2. Facial Expressions
3. Eye Contact
4. Posture
5. Gestures
6. Distance/ Personal Space
7. Touch
8. Waiting
9. Listening Process

Unit 4: Verbal Communication- This unit aims to improve paralinguistic skills and conversational skills. 
1. Talk about talking
2. Listening
3. Our Voices
4. Conversation Starters
5. Taking Turns
6. Questions
7. Ending a Conversation

Unit 5: Communicating Beyond Yourself- This unit aims to increase awareness of how each student is perceived when using communication skills. 
1. Using Social Thinking to Figure Out What People Are Communicating
2. Thinking with Your Eyes
3. Flexible Thinking 
4. Keeping My Body, Eyes, Ears, and Brain in the Group
5. Thinking About Hidden Rules and Expected Behavior
6. Making Smart Guesses

Unit 6: Friendship- This unit aims to improve friendship skills and boost working together. 
1. Introducing Friends
2. Trust and Responsibility
3. Valuing Others
4. Being Nice
5. Thinking of Others vs Just Me
6. Empathy
7. Doing an Activity or Just Hanging Out?
8. Working in Groups
9. We All Have Feelings
10. Friendship and Allies

Unit 7: Dealing with Conflict- This unit aims to have students consider several sides of a situation and learn how to deal with arguments in a respectful manner. 
1. Considering Perspectives
2. Disagreeing Respectfully 
3. When Friendships Go Wrong
4. Arguments
5. Peer Pressure 
6. Bullying
7. Bystanders

Unit 8: Assertiveness- This unit aims to improve assertiveness skills.
1. Understanding Assertiveness
2. Expressing Feelings in a Respectful Way
3. Making Suggestions
4. Refusing
5. Apologizing 

Unit 9: Emotion Management- This unit aims to increase emotional awareness and learn techniques to restore emotional control. 
1. Emotions- Brain and Body
2. How Big Is My Problem?
3. Thinking About My Reaction Size
4. Calming Down Strategies and Routines
5. Using Action Steps
6. Making a Plan

Optional Units Include:
Unit 10: Impulse Control- This unit aims to increase self-awareness of impulsive actions and decisions and learn how to think about them differently so that control can be exhibited. 
1. What is impulsiveness And How to Deal with It
2. Positive Behavior Interventions
3. Reminder Cards
4. Cognitive Scripts
5. Metacognitive Problem Solving

Unit 11: Goal Setting- This unit aims to teach students how to set goals and monitor their own progress towards those goals. 
1. Identifying Hopes and Plans
2. Making a Commitment
3. SMART Goals
4. Tracking Goals
5. Rewarding Yourself

Unit 12: Planning and Organization- This unit aims to teach students how to plan and organize in various aspects of their lives. 
1. What Is Planning/ Organization?
2. Video Modeling
3. Contingency Mapping
4. Project Mapping
5. Work Systems/ Task Analysis

 

Social Skills Lessons Year 2- Based on peer-reviewed research strategy from UCLA PEERS Curriculum.

**Every unit listed below includes video modeling, role playing opportunities, perspective taking questions, coaching feedback, and homework assignments for generalization of skills across times and settings. **

Unit 1: Introduction to Middle School and Social Skills Curriculum- This unit aims to set the expectations for middle school as well as the ACE class setting.

  1. Expectations for Middle School
  2. Introducing Yourself
  3. Trading Information
  4. Set Up Rules for Class
  5. Characteristics of Good Relationships/Friendships

Unit 2: Two-Way Conversation Skills- This unit aims to improve communications skills and build upon the skills learned in year 1.

  1. Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
  2. Learning to Ask the Right Questions
  3. Rules for Conversations

Unit 3: Electronic Communication Skills- This unit aims to teach the nuances of verbal communication when non-verbal cues are not available such as in phone calls and email exchanges.

  1. Making Successful Phone Calls to Friends
  2. Exchanging Contact Information
  3. Leaving a Voicemail Message
  4. Email Etiquette
  5. Staying Safe Online

Unit 4: Choosing Appropriate Friends- This unit aims to increase awareness of identifying 4 types of friends and build upon the Friendship skills learned in year 1.

  1. Identifying Social Groups
  2. Importance of Having a Social Group
  3. Identifying Common Interests and Extracurricular Activities
  4. Finding Your Social Group
  5. Assessing Peer Acceptance or Rejection

Unit 5: Appropriate Use of Humor- This unit aims to teach the nuances of humor, how to recognize it, and how to respond to it.

  1. Rules for Humor and Jokes
  2. Humor Feedback Signs- Reading the Non-Verbal Cues
  3. Identifying Joke Tellers and Joke Receivers
  4. Paying Attention to Humor

Unit 6: Starting and Joining Conversations- This unit aims to build upon the conversation skills learned in year 1 and teaches the details of individual vs group conversations.

  1. Rules for Starting Individual Conversations
  2. Rules for Joining Group Conversations

Unit 7: Exiting Conversations- This unit aims to build upon the conversation skills learned in year 1 and teaches the nuances of different conversations and how to exit them.

  1. Reasons for Being Turned Down in Conversations
  2. Rules for Exiting Conversations when Never Accepted
  3. Rules for Exiting Conversations when Initially Accepted and then Excluded
  4. Rules for Exiting Conversations when Fully Accepted

Unit 8: Good Sportsmanship- This unit aims to identify the skills needed to practice good sportsmanship and the importance of it.

  1. Rules for Good Sportsmanship
  2. Practicing the Rules of Good Sportsmanship

Unit 9: Get Togethers- This unit aims to identify the hidden rules of get togethers for teens and how to navigate these situations.

  1. Preparation for Get Togethers
  2. Rules for Beginning a Get Together
  3. Rules for During a Get Together
  4. Rules for Ending a Get Together
  5. Common Activity Based Get Togethers

Unit 10: Handling Arguments- This unit aims to build upon the lessons learned in year 1 as well as explain in further detail the rules for handling arguments with peers and adults.

  1. Rules for Handling Arguments
  2. Role Play Argumentative Situations

Unit 11: Changing Reputations- This unit aims to help students recognize the importance of reputation and teachers the steps of how to establish good reputations.

  1. Explaining Good Reputation vs Bad Reputation
  2. Rules for Changing Reputation

Unit 12: Handling Teasing and Embarrassing Feedback- This unit aims to help students recognize the difference between teasing and embarrassment, as well as how to handle those difficult situations.

  1. Rules for Handling Teasing
  2. Rules for Handling Embarrassing Feedback

Unit 13: Handling Physical Bullying- This unit aims to build upon the lesson from year 1 as well as add critical details that are specific to physical bullying situations.

  1. Rules for Handling Physical Bullying
  2. Role Play

Unit 14: Handling Cyber Bullying- This unit aims to build upon the lesson from year 1 as well as add critical details that are specific to cyber bullying situations.

  1. Identifying 6 Types of Cyber Bullying
  2. Rules for Handling Cyber Bullying

Unit 15: Minimizing Rumors and Gossip- This unit aims to help students recognize the nuances of rumors and gossip and how to avoid them.

  1. Identify Common Reasons Why Rumors and Gossip Occur
  2. How to Avoid Being the Target of Gossip
  3. How to Avoid Spreading Gossip

Unit 16: Where do I go from here?- This unit aims to review every previous lesson in a concise way.

  1. Final Review of All Lessons
  2. Identify Next Action Steps for Students to Take

 

Behavioral Skills Lessons- Based on research strategies from the Josephson Institute of Ethics and in association with the Character Counts! Coalition.

 **Every lesson listed below includes video modeling, role playing opportunities, perspective taking questions, coaching feedback, and handouts for generalization of skills across times and settings. **

Lesson 1: Trust
Lesson 2: Respect
Lesson 3: Responsibility
Lesson 4: Fairness
Lesson 5: Kindness, Caring, and Empathy
Lesson 6: Citizenship
Lesson 7: Courage
Lesson 8: Diligence
Lesson 9: Honesty
Lesson 10: Integrity
Lesson 11: Managing Anger and Emotions
Lesson 12: Resolving Conflicts
Lesson 13: Dealing with Pressure
Lesson 14: Dealing with Disappointment
Lesson 15: Handling Harassment
Lesson 16: Perseverance
Lesson 17: Enhancing Self-Esteem
Lesson 18: Asking for Help

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