Using Video Clips to Teach Social Skills

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Trying to teach social skill concepts in a fun and motivating way? Video
clips can be extremely useful! As you and your child watch, you can
pause along the way to discuss relevant topics.

“For The Birds” (Pixar)

Watch the video here

Summary: A flock of small birds perch on a telephone wire when along comes a large dopey bird that tries to join them. The birds of a feather can’t help but make fun of him—and their clique mentality proves embarrassing in the end.

Ideas for discussion:

  • Emotions
    • What are they feeling?
    • How do you know? (e.g. facial expressions, body language)
    • Why might they feel that way?
  • Personal space
  • Bullying
    • Why do you think the little birds acting like that?
    • What could you say to your friends if they acted like that?
    • What could the big bird say or do?
  • Conflict resolution
    • What could they have done instead?
  • If they could talk, what do you think they’d be saying?

“Lou” (Pixar)

Watch the video here

Summary: Lou, a creature made of “Lost and Found” items must
manage the unkind behavior of the schoolyard bully, J.J., who has not
yet learned that giving can be so much more fulfilling than taking away.

Ideas for discussion:

  • Bullying
    • What is J.J. doing? How does that make the other kids feel? What could the other kids say/do?
  • Conflict resolution
  • Giving/sharing vs. taking

“Oreo Commercial” (2009)

Watch the video here

Summary: A younger brother wants to be just like his older brother – which means he needs to figure out a way to dunk his cookie in milk too! The problem is… how do you dunk your cookie given a sippy cup?

Ideas for discussion:

  • “Thinking with your Eyes”
    • Where are his eyes looking? What does that mean he’s thinking about?
  • Problem-solving
    • What’s the problem? How does he try to solve it?
    • What do you think will happen next? What would you do?
  • Nonverbal communication
    • E.g. When the older brother scoots his milk away, what is he trying to say?
    • E.g. How is the younger brother feeling when __?

“Elf” (2003)

Clips available on YouTube, full film available on dvd/bluray & various streaming platforms

Summary: Almost any scene can be used from this hilarious movie about an elf who moves to NYC.

Ideas for discussion:

  • Expected vs. Unexpected Behaviors
    • What did Buddy do? Was it expected or unexpected? Why?
    • How did that make other people feel around him? (e.g. confused, upset, uncomfortable)

Ideas for scenes:

  • Mall scene – Buddy goes to the mall for the 1st time
    • Dinner scene – Buddy eats spaghetti with syrup for dinner… with his hands! Yuk!
  • Doctor scene – Buddy eats cotton balls and won’t sit still, which makes his dad and the doctor upset.

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This post written for you by Sarah Denman, M.A. CCC-SLP of Columbus Speech & Hearing Center