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Exploring the Use of Social Stories Worksheets

In the realm of special education, social stories have emerged as a game-changer for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) seeking to navigate the complexities of interactions with others. Created by Carol Gray in the 1990s, these narrative interventions provide a structured and effective way to comprehend various situations, develop coping strategies, and foster appropriate behavior.

What are Social Stories?

They are carefully crafted narratives designed to help individuals, particularly kids with autism, grasp the intricacies of various social situations. Usually consisting of photos or illustrations and text, they consist of several key components, including:

  • Descriptive Sentences: Concise, descriptive language that lays out the details of the situation.

  • Perspective Sentences: Insights into how others might perceive the situation and what they may be feeling.

  • Directive Sentences: Clear instructions about how to respond appropriately.

  • Control Sentences: Empowering individuals with a sense of control over their actions.

  • Affirmative Sentences: Reassurance and positive reinforcement for practicing the desired behaviors.

Tailoring Social Stories to Individuals

The magic lies in their personalization. By crafting templates to match the needs, preferences, and challenges of each child, these narratives become powerful tools for imparting crucial life skills. These templates can cover an array of topics, from daily routines and school interactions to managing emotions and coping strategies.

Their can be witnessed in countless examples of improved skills and behaviors. However, it's essential to acknowledge the variability among individuals. While some may respond positively, others might require different approaches. For educators or a parent seeking resources and ideas, there is a wealth of free social stories templates, images, and tips available online.

Creating and Implementing Social Stories

Collaboration between teachers, parents, and caregivers is key when it comes to teaching the value of and developing impactful stories. With readily accessible templates and social stories maker tools available online, creating your own social story becomes a collaborative and creative endeavor. These tools provide a valuable resource that simplifies the process of crafting narratives and social scripts tailored to a child's specific needs. Incorporating descriptive sentences and integrating own pictures within the social narrative further enhances the engagement and comprehension of young learners. This visual element is especially significant when striving to help children visualize and understand the scenarios depicted in the stories.

Furthermore, the role of social stories examples should not be overlooked. They serve as a source of inspiration and guidance, demonstrating effective storytelling techniques and the integration of essential elements for a child to use as a guide. Teachers are well-equipped to guide students through the complexities of various situations by utilizing these examples as valuable teaching tools. By choosing the right language and structuring the social narrative appropriately, educators can skillfully navigate students through the intricacies of human interactions, contributing to their emotional development.

Activity Ideas

Elementary School Level: Art and Language Arts

In this suggested classroom activity, begin by having kids choose a worksheet designed specifically for children. Encourage them to explore various options until they find a story that resonates with them or a situation that they may struggle with. Once they've made their selection, guide them to unleash their creativity by crafting their own imaginative illustrations or by finding images that align with the story's theme. Through this artistic endeavor, students not only delve into the world of social stories for kids, but they also tap into their visual expression skills. During the process, foster a discussion about the powerful role of visuals in enhancing the understanding of complex social situations and emotions—a skill vital for a person of any age. As a final step, provide an opportunity for students to proudly present to the class.

Middle School Level: Health Education

Activity: Writing Personal Social Stories

Provide students with free social story templates related to common challenges adolescents face. Explain that they are to prepare their own social narrative using the templates, focusing on coping strategies and appropriate behavior. Have kids share in pairs or small groups, discussing how they would apply these strategies in real life.

High School Level: Psychology

Activity: Social Stories Workshop

Divide the class into pairs or small groups. Assign each group a different social situation or scenario relevant to high school life. Instruct them to create a social story for that scenario, incorporating elements like descriptive sentences and perspective. Each group presents their story to the class, followed by a discussion on the strategies and skills highlighted in the story.

Special Education Class: Life Skills

Activity: Creating Personalized Social Narratives

Work with students individually or in small groups. Focus on their specific social skills and life skills goals. Use blank templates to create personalized stories that address their unique challenges and objectives. Incorporate their own pictures to make the stories relatable and engaging.

Language Arts: Writing Workshop

Activity: Writing Social Stories

Discuss the purpose and their impact on teaching emotional intelligence and communication. Have kids choose a common social situation or emotional challenge. Instruct them to write a social story from the perspective of someone facing that challenge. Children will then share their stories and provide feedback to improve empathy and understanding.

School Counseling: Social Skills Group

Activity: Role-Playing with Social Stories

Select a few relevant situations or create new ones based on the group's needs. Read through as a group, discussing the key takeaways. Engage students in role-playing activities where they act out the scenarios from the stories. Guide them to practice appropriate behaviors, apply coping strategies, and understand different perspectives.

These activity suggestions integrate the provided keywords and phrases to engage students in dynamic and interactive ways while enhancing their understanding, coping strategies, and appropriate behaviors.

Tips for Creating a Social Stories Template

  1. Select a Relevant Topic: Choose a specific social situation or scenario that you want to address in your social stories template. Consider the needs and interests of the individual for whom you're creating the story.
  2. Identify Key Elements: Break down the situation into its essential components. Consider the emotions involved, possible reactions, and the desired behavior you want to emphasize.
  3. Write Descriptive Sentences: Craft clear and concise sentences that describe the situation in a factual manner. Use language that the individual can easily understand.
  4. Incorporate Perspective: Include sentences that offer insights into the feelings and perspectives of the people involved. This helps the individual understand others' points of view.
  5. Provide Directives: Offer guidance on how to respond appropriately in the given situation. Outline specific actions or behaviors you want the individual to learn.
  6. Add Control Sentences: Include sentences that empower the individual by suggesting ways they can exert control over the situation or their reactions.
  7. Include Affirmative Statements: Integrate positive and reassuring statements to boost the individual's confidence and encourage practice of the desired behavior.
  8. Utilize Visuals: If creating a worksheet, incorporate relevant images or drawings that depict the scenario. Visuals enhance understanding, especially for visual learners.
  9. Personalize: Tailor the template to the individual's preferences, language abilities, and unique needs. This customization enhances engagement and comprehension.

More Storyboardthat Resources and Free Printables

Teachers can use printable social stories worksheets as interactive resources to engage students in understanding complex social interactions and developing essential life skills. Storyboardthat offers an opportunity to create and use your own templates.

How to Make a Social Stories Template


Choose One of the Premade Templates

We have lots of templates to choose from. Take a look at our example for inspiration!


Click on “Copy Template”

Once you do this, you will be directed to the storyboard creator.


Give Your Worksheet a Name!

Be sure to call it something related to the topic so that you can easily find it in the future.


Edit Your Worksheet

This is where you will include directions, specific images, and make any aesthetic changes that you would like. The options are endless!


Click "Save and Exit"

When you are finished, click this button in the lower right hand corner to exit your storyboard.


Next Steps

From here you can print, download as a PDF, attach it to an assignment and use it digitally, and more!

Happy Creating!

Frequently Asked Questions About Social Stories

How do social stories work?

They work by breaking down complex social scenarios into clear and concise narratives. They provide individuals with a better understanding of what to expect, appropriate behaviors, and potential outcomes, thereby improving social skills and reducing anxiety.

Can I create my own social stories?

With the availability of social story templates and ample resources, you can create personalized social stories tailored to specific situations and individuals.

How often should social stories be used?

The frequency of use depends on the individual's needs. Some individuals benefit from regular exposure to reinforce learning, while others may require them less frequently.

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