from Veronika Kurucz, Sooke School District
Secret Pen Pals
Extend the “Friendship Files” strategy from Michelle Garcia Winner’s ‘Think Social’ curriculum by using Secret Pen Pals.
In order to help students from a social thinking group practice asking questions about topics that might interest a peer, have their classroom teachers identify a peer who would be interested in taking part. Then have the students in the ST group think of three questions to ask the peer. These questions are written down and placed in an envelope to be delivered to the peer. The peer responds in writing to the questions, asks three questions of their own and seals the envelope to be given to the group member. This is repeated three times over a period of a few weeks, slowing down the social interaction and giving time during group sessions for rehearsal of possible conversations.
The Social Thinking Group then plans a “Reveal Party” and invites their Secret Pen Pals to attend. The information from the questions asked and answered is written on the board to act as a visual cue for conversation topics. A good time is had by all.