Ugly Sweaters and Inferences.


Earlier this year, I posted about using T-shirt slogans for inferences.  Tis the season for ugly sweater parties, so why not extend this concept to the holidays too? I found this great freebie on TPT from LittleRed when you follow her store (you will get a pass code to download the clipart) with a variety of clip art holiday sweaters like the one in the picture above!. You can make your own slogan/picture activities for your late elementary through high school students to figure out the meaning  or guess who might wear these holiday sweaters.  If you don’t want to make your own, the internet is FULL of great examples. Preview first my friends, preview first, I saw a LOT of inappropriate sweaters (don’t use them, but they are sure to give you a laugh). On a related note, I also found a cool website, Stereotype Design, that gives a few sentences on a T shirt and you have to guess the movie ( well, hello figuring out the big picture from details!).

You can create a whole Pinterest board of ugly holiday sweaters/t-shirts to work on these skills as well (or just click for my board here; it’s a growing work in progress, just like me).  Walk them through a few examples to practice together, then see how they do!

The questions you can pose with the ugly sweaters could include:

What do you think the message or picture means (intent)?  

Is this literal or sarcastic?   If it’s humorous, what makes it funny?

Who might wear this?  Who would NEVER wear this?

What do you think other people might think or feel when they see this sweater?  

Where would it be okay to wear this sweater?  Where would it NOT be okay to wear this sweater? 

What first impression do you have of someone wearing this sweater?  

What background knowledge might you need to understand the slogan or picture?

Would you wear this sweater?  Why or why not?

If you disagree or are upset with a sweater picture or slogan, should you say something?  Why or why not?

*Ask your students to take pictures of any other interesting holiday sweaters that they see to extend this activity.  You can call it “operation sweater sleuth”! I would clearly state the rule that the slogan/pictures can’t have any profanity or inappropriate content, especially with your middle schoolers on up.

Any good, kid friendly holiday sweater slogans or pictures that you have seen recently?  Share here!


Gobble, Gobble, Gross!

8x8 cover gobble gobble gross revised

The holidays are just around the corner, although if you have been in the stores lately, you would assume it’s Christmas right now!  I have always loved this time of year, but all the change and excitement can be a little rough on our friends with social language impairments.  Travel, being out of routine and the constant flow of conversation with different people can overstimulate even the most calm of kids.  As a mom, I know I was guilty at times of setting a pretty high bar of behavior over the holidays for my boys, and then being surprised when someone melted down!

The holiday dinner table, either at Grandma’s house or a fancy restaurant for a family gathering, can be fraught with social peril!  Maybe I overstated that just a bit, but it is a setting that has a lot of moving pieces when it comes to predictable and unpredictable behaviors. I created a game “Gobble, Gobble, Gross!” to work on these behaviors at the holiday table including choosing appropriate topics for discussion and making appropriate choices such as using a napkin (not your sleeve) and chewing with your mouth closed.   The game also addresses identifying and avoiding unexpected behaviors such as nose picking, burping, or taking food off of other people’s plates.  There’s a blank template included for your students to brainstorm their own set of predictable and unpredictable behaviors at the holiday table too and a set of blank cards to add your own specific scenarios to the game!GGG picture

The goal of the game is to collect as many turkeys as you can for identifying expected holiday behaviors, but look out for the GROSS cards!  If someone can identify the unexpected behavior and change it to an expected behavior, they can take your turkeys!  It’s all in good fun (and a lesson in winning, losing and playing games with peers is automatically embedded).

How do you work on these holiday skills with your students?  Share here!

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!

holiday plan

Well Halloween has come and gone, and the stores are filled with Christmas trees and winter holiday paraphernalia galore!  It gives me some anxiety frankly to feel the holidays breathing down my neck (and I know, it comes the same time each year).  It got me thinking about how my students feel during the holidays and that what is supposed to be a fun and memorable time, can be filled with dread and worry over the changes that accompany the season.  A speechie friend of mine just returned from a Tony Attwood conference and she explained that he focused a lot on the anxiety that people with ASD feel and how to manage it.  So after mulling over the concerns some of my students have shared about travel, relatives and schedule changes, I created this one page holiday planner here .  The planner divides questions into four sections: places, people, schedules and strategies.  It also includes a short social story at the top of the page to go along with the questions.  It can’t guarantee a fabulous holiday experience, but it may be helpful in reducing anxiety for the student and their family. That may be one of the best presents of all!