Social Narratives

Social Scripts

A social narrative is a story that helps the student to know what to do during different events and circumstances at school or other environments. Sometimes, the social narratives include stories about novel events, non-preferred activities or internal states such as emotional experiences or responses. Social narratives help the student to make different choices about behavior or ways of dealing with circumstances that may be frustrating or challenging. Social narratives may help the student overcome both internal and external barriers in completing a task or successfully approaching a situation.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Social-Emotional Learning Tool

“Following Rules” Social Narrative Book

A Social Narrative booklet on following rules. Read regularly with students who experience behavioral challenges as a way to model and help support them to make positive behavior choices.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 · Behavior & SEL · 4 pages

Social-Emotional Learning Tool

Fill-in the-Blank Social Narrative Book Template

A fill-in-the-blank Social Narrative tool to support students in making positive behavior choices. Teachers can create an individualized social narrative or students can participate in creating their own narrative by filling in the blanks. Use the included pictures or insert your own.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 · Behavior & SEL · 4 pages

Social-Emotional Learning Tool

Social Narrative Paragraph Example

An example Social Narrative paragraph that can be used as a template for teachers seeking to write individualized social stories. This example features a story about playing with friends that can be modified for use with students who struggle to engage in activities chosen by others.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 · Behavior & SEL · 1 pages

Implementation Tips

Guidelines for Writing Social Scripts
There are many approaches and formats to writing social scripts. For more concrete examples for how to write a social script, check out the [[ | Kansas Technical Assistance Network (TASN) ]].
Selecting Content
When creating a social narrative for a student, think about the uniqueness of your student and what he or she might need to have success with the situations that he is encountering. Within the social narrative, adapt the suggested strategies within the story to meet the specific needs and interests of the student.
Additional Writing Tips
Whenever possible, state the story in the positive and affirm what the student is already able to do within the given situation. The social narrative is typically written in first person “I” as though the reader is the writer of the narrative and is therefore talking to himself as he is reading the script.


Non-Preferred Activity
A student sometimes has a hard time starting and completing his homework because he would rather be outside playing right after school. Along with the support of his mother, his teacher writes a social script in which the protagonist is struggling with completing homework. The social script starts out with a positive about school and what the character's routine looks like when he comes home. The social narrative also addresses the need or desire to play, but emphasizes that when the character finishes his homework, he can go outside and play. In addition, the narrative identifies what the character can do if he needs help on his homework or if he doesn't understand an assignment. The student's mother agrees to read the story to her child after school but prior to starting his homework and playing outside.
Novel Situations
The class is getting ready to go on a field trip to the zoo. The student has never been to the zoo and doesn't know what to expect. A social narrative is written that outlines the plan for the day, including getting on the bus, arriving at the zoo, seeing different animals, staying with the group, eating lunch and going back to school. The student reads the social narrative every day for two weeks prior to the trip. The student also takes the social narrative with him, so he can refer to it during the trip to the zoo.
Adjusting to a Change in Schedule
A student is challenged with knowing what to do when she experiences a change in her schedule. A social script is written about what she can do when she has a change in her schedule. The social script also acknowledges the feelings that she might have, appropriate ways she can express these feelings and coping strategies she might apply when these changes happen.
Additional Examples
Here are a couple of additional examples of [[ | social narratives ]].

Related Strategies