Book in a Bag: Blending Social Skills and Academics

By Marchant, Michelle; Womack, Sue | Teaching Exceptional Children, March/April 2010 | Go to article overview

Book in a Bag: Blending Social Skills and Academics


Marchant, Michelle, Womack, Sue, Teaching Exceptional Children


Seth could feel the color rise in his cheeks. His mind was racing. His hands tightened into a fist. "It's not FAIR!" he thought. "He can't get away with that!" Samuel, his teammate, had jumped in front of Seth and "stolen" the basketball during their recess pick-up game.

There are two possible endings to this scenario. Seth can follow through with words and fists to his perceived injustices, or with self-control taught and practiced. Seth can appropriately, even calmly, manage the situation. Situations such as Seth 's are commonly seen in classrooms, on playgrounds, in hallways, and in other places throughout schools. When students show they are missing academic skills through inadequate performance, they are taught. When students show they are missing behavioral skills through inadequate performance, are they likewise taught? Even with the best of academic instruction, if students do not know how to appropriately behave, they will not be able to perform to expectations. According to Zins, Blood worth, Weissberg, and Walberg (2007), "Addressing students' social and emotional development is not an additional duty charged to schools along with academic instruction, but rather is an integral and necessary aspect to help all students succeed" (p. 193). We believe that positive social-emotional development is critical for students to maximize their academic success, and therefore we looked for ways of integrating social and emotional learning into a typical school day. This article presents Book in a Bag, a model for infusing social-emotional development into academic scheduling.

The Book in a Bog Model

Book in a Bag (BIB) was conceived to address the needs of educators and students with a holistic approach. Specifically, developers streamlined the content through integration to more easily accommodate the competing goals and pressures educators face in addressing students' social and emotional as well as academic needs (Barth, 1993; Zins et al., 2007). Using an engaging piece of children's literature during a typically scheduled 20minute read-aloud session, teachers can fold in literacy, social studies, and social skills instruction using BIB. In the current No Child Left Behind climate in public education, "basic" subjects have become the focus of instructional time. Literacy and numeracy predominate students' daily school schedule in the elementary grades. Social studies is generally only cursorily addressed, and direct teaching of social skills is often seen as extra, if considered at all. BIB was designed to serve the literacy focus of educators, at the same time integrating social studies and social skills instruction. Its focus on core curriculum from local and state standards allows teachers to meet academic demands and address students' social and emotional needs.

Although the integration of the subject areas is not seamless in BIB, it centers instruction on a piece of children's literature. Each bag includes a children's book, a comprehensive lesson plan for literacy, another lesson plan for social studies, and a third plan for social skills instruction. All materials that are needed to carry out the three lesson plans are included in the bag.

The literacy lesson draws out specific literacy skills, running the gamut from comprehension to word study, as well as providing opportunity to revisit the social skill. Social studies concepts are developed in the story context and related to both the student and the characters in the story. Again the social skill being targeted is reviewed. The literature piece also forms the backdrop against which prosocial behaviors and skills may be explored, explicitly taught, and practiced. The social skills lesson draws on the characters and the plot to provide an anchor point for students, to give them concrete examples that are analogous to incidents in their own lives. This identification with characters and exploration of prosocial behaviors has its roots in bibliotherapy (Elksnin & Elksnin, 1995; Porgan, 2002). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Book in a Bag: Blending Social Skills and Academics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.