• As a result of SAIL, 93% of parents reported their child showed improved social skills. “My child is more confident and socially more comfortable.”–SAIL Parent 2016

Social Awareness – Marisa Leaders

Social awareness means understanding how to respond to social situations. In this course, students will learn how to regulate their interactions so that they can get along with other people in school, at home, and in the community for the best possible results.

Topics to be addressed include:  taking turns, sharing materials, self-control, self-esteem, participating equally, working with each other, and being part of a team, saying and doing kind things, using people’s names, complimenting and praising others, celebrating success, asking permission, disagreeing appropriately, giving constructive criticism and accepting criticism, taking “no” for an answer, helping others, resolving conflicts, accepting differences, communicating clearly, listening actively, using appropriate voice tone, dealing with bullying, resisting peer pressure, minding one’s business, asking questions for which an answer is needed, asking clearly for help/what one wants, using appropriate means to gain attention, managing anger, recognizing and dealing with feelings, and problem solving.

The aforementioned will be accomplished by reading stories and following up with relevant activities, playing games, doing team building activities, and undertaking a group community project.  Examples include:

  • Activities:  Team building activities like the red solo cup stack challenge in which students are grouped and must build a pyramid-type structure while meeting certain challenging criteria.

The marshmallow challenge, in which teams are given minimal supplies (uncooked spaghetti, marshmallows, etc.) in order to compete in constructing the tallest possible free-standing structure.

A cooking project which relies on everyone’s participation in order to produce satisfactory results (e.g., non-bake energy bars and a smoothie).

  • Stories:  Have You Filled a Bucket Today?  After teacher reads the book, students will differentiate between bucket fillers and bucket dippers, and determine why and how they should be bucket dippers.  Students will then fill each others’ buckets.

Teacher will read A Bad Case of Stripes.  As the story is read, class discusses the thoughts and feelings of the characters.  Students reflect on their feelings about the first day of SAIL camp, then complete a template representing themselves.  The class discusses how everyone differs from each other physically and in other ways.

Teacher will read The Ugly Duckling and class will identify elements of the story and character traits.  Students will discuss how words affect people, and find ways to be nice to others.  The class will cut out life-sized paper faces, listen to the story once more, then crumple them whenever they hear characters using words that hurt.  Teacher asks if the damage done to their faces can really be undone or if it’s permanent, and asks if this is similar to what goes on inside people when others say unkind things.

  • Games:  Students sharpen their listening and conversing skills by playing “Would you rather….?” by drawing cards (or spinning a fidget on a card) and asking classmates which of two things they would prefer and why.

Little problems/big problems—Class will recognize the different intensity levels of problems (e.g., little problems—no big deal. I can ignore these; medium-sized problems—I can tell someone to stop or try to solve the problem in other ways; and big problems—emergency!  I need to tell an adult right away).  Students write examples of all three problems on post-it notes, place the notes under appropriately-labeled flaps on a poster, and the class discusses the results.

Fix the problem—students play a social skills game in which they try to come up with solutions to problem scenarios.

  • Community service project:  TBD.  Students produce thoughtful/useful items which will be delivered by teacher to a designated establishment in the community.


Social Awareness – Ondrea Clark

The significance of this course is to educate students on various life strategies and skills that can be translated in their everyday lives to participate in social situations.  Students will receive direct modeling on specific skills in which they will have various opportunities to practice the skills through group discussions, partner work, and role- play situations.

Each week the course will focus on mastering the specific skills by practicing them daily.  Below are the specific skills and topics that will be covered in the course this summer:

Week 1: Verbal Communication

  • Introducing Yourself
  • Finding Similarities/Differences
  • Giving/Accepting Compliments

Week 2: Nonverbal Communication

  • Facial Expressions
  • Eye Contact
  • Tone of Voice

Week 3: Being Part of a Group

  • How to Join a Group
  • Asking Questions
  • Sharing
  • Being a Good Sport

Week 4: Expressing your Feelings

  • Identifying feelings,
  • Talking about Feelings
  • I statements
  • Self-Control

Week 5: Problem Solving

  • Identify Problem Behavior
  • Alternative Solutions
  • Thinking Before Acting

Week 6: Listening

  • Hearing versus Listening
  • Listening for Information
  • Following Instructions


Social Awareness – Rachel Dentinger

This summer in social awareness class, students will develop and improve their social skills in a variety of ways tailored to their age and interests. This will be done through role-play, cooperative games, discussion, read alouds, hands-on activities, and video clips. Throughout the course of the six weeks, the students will make connections to the skills that we are learning and they will practice those skills in various ways daily. Each day, we will begin with a few minutes of quiet meditation to refocus the students and help them to practice releasing anxiety and stress. Then, we will go through several age-appropriate activities to reinforce the new skill of the day, which will tie in back to the main topic of the week. We will end each class with some kid yoga and repeating positive affirmations (ex. “I am going to have a great day!”).

Week 1 – Verbal Communication: Introducing yourself, finding similarities/differences, sharing things in common, giving compliments.

Week 2 – Nonverbal Communication: Facial expressions, tone and volume of voice, eye contact, gestures and postures, personal space.

Week 3 – Being Part of a Group: How to join a group, sharing and cooperating, following group rules, being a good sport.

Week 4 – Expressing Your Feelings: Identifying feelings, talking about our feelings, I-messages, self-control, dealing with our emotions.

Week 5 – Problem Solving: Identifying problem behavior, brainstorming solutions, learning from mistakes, thinking before acting, accepting consequences.

Week 6 – Listening: Hearing versus listening, listening for information, following instructions, reflective listening, positive feedback.