Social Fortune or Social Fate: A Social Thinking Manga-Style Map for Social Quest Seekers

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


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 Behavior Mapping. Social Behavior Maps teach how our behaviors—both expected and unexpected—impact how others feel about us and treat us, which ultimately affects how we feel about ourselves. Social Fortune or Social Fate teaches the same concept in a totally different way.

The book consists of 10 social scenarios, each one played out through the lens of social fortune or social fate, demonstrating visually how a situation can change quickly based on how someone reacts within it. Each scenario begins with a mini story told through a series of illustrations that lead to a decision-making point. If the decision leads to others feeling good, and ultimately to the character feeling good about him or herself, it is represented as social fortune. However, if the protagonist makes a decision that traps him/her and peers/adults in an uncomfortable or frustrating situation, this leads to social fate.

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) or MARP (i.e., minimize a reaction to a problem) 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 emotional reactions to problems they consider more intense. It is expected that the older student will demonstrate increasing emotional maturity by minimizing their emotional expression of perceived problems; an illustrated Problem Solving Thermometer helps to 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 Authors' Clinical Experiences

  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 abilities 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 know-how. This awareness develops over time and through targeted teaching of many social concepts. It’s not an instant “aha” revelation nor a single skill that results in students being socially responsible. Rather it’s a complex, synergistic social sense that we break down and teach in a more linear manner.

One of our recent books 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 in grades 4–7, 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 Behavior Mapping, which helps students more fully understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and reactions.

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