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Social Fortune or Social Fate: A Social Thinking Graphic Novel Map for Social Quest Seekers

Social Fortune or Social Fate: A Social Thinking Graphic Novel Map for Social Quest Seekers


Using manga-style illustrations to capture the attention of teens and tweens, we developed this award-winning book to teach the core concepts originally presented in Social Situation Mapping. Social Situation Maps teach that what we [all] do and say impact our own/others’ thoughts, actions, or reactions, which ultimately affects how we feel about ourselves. Social Fortune or Social Fate teaches the same concept in a graphic-style way.

Award-winning and kid-friendly, this graphic novel-style book uses comic strip scenarios to teach about common social and emotional chain reactions. Co-developed, critiqued, and inspired by Neurodivergent tweens and teens, this book represents the 10 social scenarios they most often encountered. The book is a comic-like visualization of how social situations can change quickly based on the choices one makes. Each scenario begins with a mini-story told through a series of illustrations that lead to a decision-making point. When reading the book from front to back, the scenarios represent expected choices for the situation. When flipping the book to read from front to back, the scenarios represent unexpected behaviors for that particular situation (note: unexpected behaviors within a situation are those that leave others confused).

Key concepts are explained in the teen-friendly opening pages of each side of the book, including the teaching principles supported through the behavior mapping. As students review the illustrated scenarios, they will find information that teaches about the scenario. Strategy codes such as TAC (i.e., think about choices) are taught to facilitate the decision making that lands the characters on the road to social fortune. Social autopsies are used to guide readers through a better understanding of the social fate scenarios.

Readers are also encouraged to explore their own problem solving scenarios and emotional reactions. A Problem Solving Thermometer is included to help demonstrate this concept.

Unique Layout and Format Encourages Interaction, Reinforcement

In short, when you open this book, you will think half the text is printed upside-down, but it’s not! The book has two covers; one appears to be right side up, and the other appears to be upside-down. One cover depicts the social fortune side of the book; when the reader reads through these pages, they will find information about pro-social choices to given social scenarios. Turning the book over, the reader will find the back cover appears upside down. This is the social fate side. Once rotated to appear right side up, the reader will see text in the appropriate direction. This is a cool teaching method for teens and a playful way to show two different points of view. We also have a hidden code in the book: embedded in each scenario is a hidden letter from the alphabet, which when located in the text and written into the code helps to identify the “words of wisdom.”

Ten Social Scenarios from Neurodivergent Students

  1. Been there, know that: Participating in the class discussion
  2. Speaking nothing but the truth: Someone you like does something different with their appearance
  3. Bored outta my brain: Being part of the learning group during the boring moment
  4. It’s doomsday: Time to finish homework
  5. Clue me in! Figuring out what to say to others
  6. Huh? Getting help in the classroom
  7. You talkin’ to me? Classroom lesson when you know the answer
  8. My way or the highway: Working in a small group
  9. Who changed the rules? Break time
  10. Know when to take a detour: Sharing ideas/opinions

Related Books

The focus of Social Fortune or Social Fate is to teach individuals about the social emotional responsibility we all have to those around us as we share space or interact with them. This requires individuals to have social awareness and the social emotional strategies to carry out that responsibility. Some of our teens may be academically smart and have excellent vocabularies yet struggle with making sense of the social world. We can’t expect them to understand how to be socially responsible without the foundational social concepts. This awareness develops over time and is not an instant “aha” revelation. Rather it’s a complex, synergistic social sense that we break down and teach in a more linear manner.

One of our recent curricula presents this information in a friendly, inviting, and motivating way and helps prime students with the knowledge they need to become more socially responsible. Social Thinking and Me (Winner and Murphy, 2016), written for students ages 9–12, is an excellent precursor to Social Fortune or Social Fate. It teaches core Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts and offers an array of tools and strategies to help students engage in social emotional learning in treatment groups, inclusion-based classrooms, and/or at home. The two-book set breaks down intangible social concepts into concrete terms to help our students become stronger social observers, study the perspectives of others, learn the ins and outs of group dynamics, and become aware of their own—and others’—thoughts, feelings, intentions, and social behaviors. Social Fortune or Social Fate dovetails well with our book Social Situation Mapping, which helps students more fully understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and reactions.

Authors: Pamela Crooke, PhD,Michelle Garcia Winner

  • Published: 2011
  • Ages: 10+
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 82
  • ISBN: 9780982523155


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